Viparita Karni: Yoga for sleep

Viparita Karni

Did you know that surveys suggest millennials are twice as likely to experience constant exhaustion than the generation before us? No wonder we are called the Exhausted Generation! Peace of mind and sleep are two things that we are struggling with. And both can be cured with sleep yoga. There are many yoga poses for sleep but the viparita karani benefits are many.

The Legs Up The Wall pose or Viparta Karni is one of the best yoga poses for sleep. The stretch the legs and the feet receive helps release tension, which in turn, results in good sleep and hence this asana is called sleep yoga. Also, the additional Viparita Karani benefits is that it improves blood circulation to the head. Therefore, if you are not able to sleep because of a headache do this yoga before sleep, the Viparita Karani benefits you as this is one of the yoga poses for sleep.

What is Viparita Karni yoga poses for sleep?

The Viparita Karni sleep yoga asana or the legs up the wall pose is among the yoga poses for sleep that improves the circulation of blood and helps it reach every part of the body. The posture is also called the Inverted Lake Pose and the Viparita Karani benefits are that they have anti-ageing effects on the body. According to yogic scriptures of Patanjali, this is one of the yoga poses for sleep that can deter the occurrence of wrinkles, fine lines, and other premature signs of ageing by ensuring good rest every night so this is an ideal yoga before sleep asana.

Viparita Karni Yoga for sleep | Wakefit

Before practising this yoga asana posture, make sure your stomach is empty. Therefore, you can either perform this yoga before sleep or after waking up or at least five hours after your meal. Performing this sleep yoga asana between two meals (at least five hours apart), can help with gaining more Viparita Karani benefits, thus making you more active throughout the day.

How to perform the Viparita Karni sleep yoga?

The Viparita Karni is a restorative pose, a yoga before sleep and is one of the best yoga poses for sleep. Because of this, many people like using props, and you may want to do so too. Some props to choose to get support from the wall to get good Viparita Karani benefits include bolsters, folded blankets, and pillows.

You can do this sleep yoga with or without a prop. But, do this yoga before sleep and get all the viparita karani benefits: The below steps are the yoga poses for sleep:

  • Lie down on a flat surface. Position yourself in a way that your tailbone is pointed at the base of the wall.
  • Shimmy your hips as close as possible to the wall, then start walking your feet up the wall until your body forms an L shape.
  • Make adjustments so that the posture feels relaxing, use a pillow under your head or a towel at the base of your back.

What are the benefits of Viparita Karni?

Let us now look at the various benefits of the Inverted Leg Pose, one of the best yoga poses for sleep.

  1. The Viparita Karni helps relax your feet and provides benefits if you have leg pain.
  2. The posture helps improve sleep and is a sleep yoga asana.
  3. It is known to reduce swelling and edema of the ankles and sleep caused due to inactivity like sitting or standing for a long time. 
  4. The Viparita Karni sleep yoga asana benefits people with cramped legs.
  5. Doing this yoga before sleep gives your torso and the back of your legs the stretch they need.
  6. It is one of the best yoga poses for sleep as it gives relief from a mild ache in the back.
  7. This yoga before sleep helps stretch out the back of your neck.
  8. The Viparita Karni benefits are therapeutic too. It heals mild anxiety, arthritis, digestive issues, headaches, hypertension, sleep deprivation, migraines, breathing problems, symptoms of depression, and symptoms of menopause.
  9. Do this yoga before sleep to lower the mood swings felt during PMS.
  10. It is one of the yoga poses for sleep that can calm the nervous system and lowers stress and anxiety. 
  11. This sleep yoga boosts the balance of the entire body. 
  12. The viparita karani benefits are not limited to the body but also the mind. 

Precautions to be taken when practising Viparita Karni Sleep Yoga

It is good to keep in mind a few points of caution before practising sleep yoga or the Viparita Karni asana to get the right benefits.

  • Do not perform the Viparita Karni yoga poses for sleep during menstruation since it involves mild inversion.
  • Avoid doing this sleep yoga if you are pregnant. 
  • Those with eye problems, such as glaucoma, or having high blood pressure should avoid this asana.
  • If you feel a sensation in your feet every time while performing this sleep yoga asana, try bending your knees and touching your soles to bring the heels as close as you can to the pelvic region.
  • People with back and/or neck problems should refrain from practising the Viparita Karni asana or should perform it in the presence of a certified instructor to get  and gain proper viparita karani benefits.

If you are a beginner to yoga then finding the right alignment of your body in this posture can be a bit of a challenge. There is a trick, however. To find the right alignment and balance, lean in such a way that the thigh bones are firmly pressed against the wall. By doing this while breathing normally, you will also be able to release your spine, your abs, and your pelvic muscles. With each exhalation, press the thigh bones harder into the wall and pull the torso away from the wall simultaneously. Be very slow and gentle when you are pressing the wall in order to not get hurt or sprain your muscles.