Viparita Karani (inverted action pose). the practice of viparita karani, legs up the wall pose, is a yoga asana and a mudra or symbol. This is a restful asana, the name is a combination of two Sanskrit words,viparitameaning ‘inverted’ or ‘reversed’ andkaranimeaning ‘to do’ or ‘a particular practice’. With the body lying in a resting position , legs in the air up the wall and eyes relaxed, this asana is a reverse position of many of our own daily life activities. Viparita Karani offers a moment to reset the nervous system from the rush of movement from one task to another.
Lying in a reversed resting position and allowing the breathing to slow, we begin stimulating the ‘wandering nerve’ (the nerve that goes through our brain to the gut) . When energy flows through this nerve, the whole nervous system receives a message indicating that its safe to relax our body, and finally we’re able to switch from the fight or flight system (mostly induced from the stress of our daily lives), to rest and digest (a state of peace and balance, where the body can begin to find health and healing again).
Ancient yogic texts like theDattatreyayogasastra state that the practice of viparita karani regularly over a long period of time can‘destroy all diseases’, hinder the ageing process, decrease wrinkles and grey hairs and increase the average life span. Whilst lying in the viparita karani, our nervous system slows down which in turn helps in reducing inflammation, high blood pressure, anxiety and stress, difficulty in breathing , confusion and lack of concentration and overall well being.