Updated: Aug 29, 2022
What's the best pose ever? It might be this one, Viparita Karani, which is directly translated as "reversed doing," how great is that? Don't we all need to reverse the doing?!?
I call it the "Great Rejuvenator" because of its energy restoring benefits. But I LOVE it because it's a super-versatile pose that can be done anytime by anyone!
before, after, or during a regular asana practice
anytime you need a sense of balance restored
It can be done:
completely on its own without warm up or cool down
in the morning to help you wake up
in the evening to help you wind down
no matter what your age
if you're sick
even after you eat (but use a lower block, or put your legs against the wall instead)
It may help you to:
soothe the nervous system
soften excess tension
quiet the mind
minimize menstrual cramps
The picture shown here is a more active version of the pose, and you can get into it through bridge pose. Lying on the back, with knees bent and feet flat, lift hips high enough to slide a block directly beneath the pelvis. Lift your chest so your back stays arched, and bring one leg at a time up to the sky. Reverse these actions to come out of the pose.
The simplest version, especially if you don't have yoga blocks at home, is to find a wall and put your legs up it. If wall space is an issue, find a chair and put your legs in it.
Stay for 5-15 minutes, letting your intuition tell you when you're done. If you're not used to having your legs up, then they may start to tingle after only a minute, so come out of the pose. If you keep practicing, your body will adjust to longer holds.