Health Benefits of Viparita Karani
by Claire Berghorst
When you are struggling to fall asleep, or stay asleep, it’s often the result of a chattering mind. Incorporating a few simple yoga exercises into your day can be hugely beneficial for calming the mind and its constant chatter. One of the simplest poses – and in my opinion one of the loveliest too – that you can incorporate is Viparita Karani, otherwise known as ‘Legs up the Wall’.
The health benefits of Viparita Karani are numerous! This pose is not only effective at calming the mind, but it also assists with headaches, digestion, anxiety and mild depression – all factors that can interfere with a healthy sleep cycle.
As we lie in this mild inversion we naturally assist the lymphatic system with the flow and elimination of waste products within the body. We also assist our circulation system, specifically the venous return process, bringing oxygen rich blood back to the heart, and therefore easing tired and swollen feet.
Remain in the pose for 10 to 15 minutes focusing on your breath, and you will soon start to notice how relaxing and simple this pose is.
To come into the pose sit sideways against a wall, with your left shoulder and left hip close to the wall. Slowly lie down on your back swing both of your legs up against the wall. You may also place a bolster, or small pillow underneath the sacrum for additional support. If your hamstrings are tight, come a little further back from the wall.
Placing an eye pillow over your eyes, and a blanket over your upper body and shoulders can further promote a state of peace and tranquillity.
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