We typically end a physical yoga practice with Savasana (corpse pose). Sometimes, however, you might feel like spicing up the end of the practice with a different pose. An asana that is ideal for relaxation at the end of your practice is called Viparita Karani. How do you practice Viparita Karani? Simply stretch your legs up. You can support your hips with your hands or perhaps a yoga bolster. You can also rest your feet against a wall for extra relaxation.
What are the benefits of this pose?
It supports the lymphatic system and strengthens immunity
Just as inversions (such as headstand and shoulderstand) bring fresh blood and oxygen to the brain and upper body, Viparita Karani promotes the flow of fresh oxygenated blood to the upper extremities and stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid. The lymphatic system plays an important role in filtering and breaking down bacteria and other harmful cells.
It helps us to activate the parasympathetic nervous system
Because we usually breathe more slowly and we circulate blood to the upper body in resting positions where the legs are higher than the heart, we also activate the parasympathetic nervous system at the same time. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for, among other things, the proper regulation of digestion and the elimination of harmful substances from the body.
It gives rest to the ankles and feet
Our feet carry us every day. Especially if you spend a large part of the day on your feet, there is nothing better than giving your feet and ankles a rest at the end of the day in the Viparita Karani pose.
It relieves tension in the lower back and hamstrings
The Viparita Karani pose gently stretches the area of your hamstrings, glutes, hips, and spine, and it also releases tension from the lower back. That is because it reduces the curve of the lumbar spine and consequently it relieves tightness in the lumbar region. Practicing this pose regularly might lead to an improvement in your back pain.
It relaxes your pelvic floor muscles
Last but not least, Viparita Karani encourages the muscles in the pelvic floor to relax. Relaxing your pelvic floor muscles is great after a long day as it helps your whole body release accumulated stress. It can also relieve menstrual cramps and any feelings of discomfort in the area of the pelvis.
What do you think – are you going to bring Viparita Karani into your practice?