Viparita Karni: Yoga for sleep


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 yoga.

The Legs Up The Wall pose or Viparta Karni is one of the best yoga asanas for sleep. The stretch the legs and the feet receive helps release tension, which in turn, results in good sleep. Also, the asana is known to improve blood circulation to the head. Therefore, if you are not being able to sleep because of a headache, this asana can come to your rescue making sure you dose off soon.

Viparita Karni: Yoga for sleep

What is the Viparita Karni?

The Viparita Karni asana or the legs up the wall pose is a restorative pose 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 is said to have anti-aging effects on the body. According to yogic scriptures of Patanjali, this asana can deter the occurrence of wrinkles, fine lines, and other premature signs of aging by ensuring good rest every night.

Before practicing this asana, make sure your stomach is empty. Therefore, you can either perform this pose after waking up or at least five hours after your meal. Performing the asana between two meals (at least five hours apart), can help with digestion, thus making you more active through the day.

How to perform the Viparita Karni?

The Viparita Karni is a restorative pose. Because of this, many people like using props, and you may want to do so too. Some props to choose from include bolsters, folded blankets, and pillows.

After you have found a prop of your choice, or have decided to go without them,

  • Lie down on a flat surface. Position yourself in a way that your tailbone is pointed at the base a 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, 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.

  1. The Viparita Karni helps relax your feet.
  2. The posture helps improve sleep.
  3. The asana soothes cramped legs.
  4. It gives your torso and the back of your legs the stretch they need.
  5. It gives relief from a mild ache in the back.
  6. It helps stretch out the back of your neck.
  7. The inverted lake pose has many therapeutic benefits. It heals mild anxiety, arthritis, digestive issues, headaches, hypertension, sleep deprivation, migraines, breathing problems, symptoms of depression, and symptoms of menopause.
  8. The asana helps alleviate the mood swings felt during PMS.

Precautions to be taken when practicing Viparita Karni

It is good to keep in mind a few points of caution before practicing the vipareet Karni asana.

  1. Do not perform this asana during menstruation since it involves mild inversion.
  2. Those with eye problems, such as glaucoma, should avoid this asana.
  3. If you feel a sensation in your feet every time while performing this asana, try bending your knees and touching your soles to bring the heels as close as you can to the pelvic region.
  4. People with back and/or neck problems should refrain from practicing the vipareet Karni asana or should perform it in the presence of a certified instructor.

If you are a beginner, 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 in order to not get hurt or sprain your muscles.

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