Viparita Karani: Execution, Variations and Benefits

Viparita karani is an asana that can be performed mainly in two ways: in form basic and complete.

Both those who are beginners and yogis with a lot of experience can therefore dedicate themselves to its execution, benefiting from the numerous benefits that the pose is able to guarantee for body and mind.

Even if it is not a position that involves very complex movements, it is necessary to have good physical strength so as to remain in balance for a long time and try to carry it out without the support of a wall or other support.

In this article we will give you all the useful advice for carrying out the asana correctly, making you discover which variations are available and making you aware of all the benefits that the execution of Viparita Karani is able to offer to the body and mind of whoever carries it out.

An asana characterized by simplicity

Compared to other positions of the ancient discipline that come from India, on the surface, Viparita Karani seems to be less complete in terms of body parts involved during execution and in terms of benefits.

In reality, even if the movement to perform the pose is rather simple, the goals that can be achieved are very high and capable of giving new energy psychophysical to those who decide to carry it out.

Performing Viparita Karani is a panacea after a long day at work and is extremely useful for relaxing the lower limbs after a long walk, a bike ride or a leg training session in the weight room.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep in the evening, performing Viparita Karani before bed could be an option a good aid to promote sleep.

Furthermore, the position that the legs assume promotes venous return, reducing the possibility of cramps occurring under the covers.

Beginners and experts: useful tips

Often, those who practice disciplines in which the body performs movements forget to take some simple precautions that can avoid more or less serious injuries. Even if yoga is a generally non-dangerous discipline, approaching it in a superficial way is not correct.

We therefore suggest that you always carry out warm-up exercises before tackling your yoga sessions and if the classic ones are not to your liking, opting to perform simple preparatory asanas may be the solution for you.

It is then strongly recommended to carry out the exercises wearing the right outfit; this must be comfortable and must allow you to carry out all the movements with ease, thus not being an uncomfortable hindrance capable of hindering the correct performance of the asana.

Those who are used to practicing yoga at home, perhaps through the use of a specific app, may tend to encounter injuries not very serious and which mainly involve: back, neck and wrists.

Preventing them is very easy by adopting the right precautions.

Guide to performing Viparita karani

To perform the asana in its version complete and original you must:

  • Lie down on the mat face up
  • Support your back and buttocks well
  • Breathe consciously to increase concentration
  • Raise your legs as you enter Sarvangasana, Candle Pose
  • Place your palms just above your buttocks and lower slowly, arching your back
  • The elbows form an angle of approximately 90 degrees and the lower back is almost parallel to the floor

The only parts of the body that will rest on the ground will therefore be the head, the upper part of the back, the shoulders and the elbows, which support the lumbar area.

Once you are in this position, fix the balls of your feet looking up and breathe gently. Maintain the position as long as you can remain balanced and in any case until you feel pain.

Simplified variant with wall support

If you have back problems or think you don’t have enough strength in your arms and legs, you can think about performing the version that involves supporting a wall (or any other wall).

Unlike the classic variant you will have to:

  • Lie down on the mat and position your butt so that it is firmly against the wall
  • Extend your legs vertically so as to form a ninety-degree angle whose vertex is your buttocks
  • Extend your arms to the sides so as to balance yourself
  • Maintain the position until you feel pain in your legs and knees

This type of exercise can also be done in bed, perhaps before falling asleep. In this case, given that the surface on which you will be resting is not completely hard, it may be useful to use a pillow to prevent the cervical spine from hurting.

Paripar karani con la seat

Paripar karani con la seat

Those looking for a variant of intermediate difficulty can try the version that takes place using a chair; this can be used as a support for the butt so as to prevent all the weight from being placed on the elbows which rest on the ground.

Its execution is not too difficult, all you need to do is place a chair at the end of the mat and lie down on your stomach. All you then have to do is place your legs on the seat and slowly raise your butt so that it rests on the base of the chair.

At this point you will have your shoulders and neck resting on the mat while your buttocks and legs will be on the chair, thus significantly reducing the effort that both upper limbs have to make.


Viparita Karani is a very useful position for:

  • Reduce stress
  • Help the body relax
  • Promote sleep
  • Improve concentration

Furthermore, from a physical point of view:

  • Promotes blood circulation
  • It is useful for pregnant women to relieve swelling in the lower limbs
  • Helps the spine to relax
  • Tones buttocks and shoulders
  • Improves balance


Viparita karani is an asana suitable for beginners and experts, its execution is not very difficult and the variations allow everyone to do it. In fact, it is sufficient to position yourself near a wall or use a chair to make it easier to carry out.

Although aesthetically it presents itself as a rather simple and less scenic position than others, the psychophysical benefits are many and mainly concern aspects relating to stress reduction and muscle toning.

Did you know this position? Did you know that it is used by many athletes at the end of the race to relax their legs? Do you think it could help you fall asleep more easily and therefore promote night’s rest?

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