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Viparita Karani - Legs up the wall pose

Legs up the Wall pose – Viparita Karani

It’s still Yin month. So time for another yin yoga pose. This is one of the most relaxed and easiest poses I know and at the same time one of the best healing poses there is in yoga: Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall pose. The old yogis claim that Viparita Karani destroys old age and death.

It’s a variation of shoulder stand, but a variation almost everybody can do. There are two ways you can do Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall pose. The first option is with just your legs on the wall and your pelvis on the floor. The second option is with your hips ‘elevated’ by placing them on a pillow or bolster.

Getting into  Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall pose

  • Start lying on your back, close to the wall, your legs either bend or with your knees close to your chest.
  • Use your hands to bring your bum all the way against the wall.
  • Straighten your legs.
  • If you want to elevate your pelvis for even more benefits, slide a pillow or bolster under your hips.
  • You can open your arms to the side of place your hands on your belly.
  • Close your eyes, focus on your breath; making it slow and deep and relax.

Benefits  Viparita Karani – Legs up the wall pose

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Digestive problems
  • Headache
  • High and low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Mild depression
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Urinary disorders
  • Varicose veins
  • Menstrual cramps*
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Menopause

* Some teachers advise not to do Viparita Karani during menstruation. I know a lot of girls benefit from it. Just don’t do the elevated version.

Source: Iyengar – Light on Yoga / Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long / Ashtanga – David 
Swenson / Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati
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