Vipareeta Karani Asana – Inverted Pose

Vipareeta Karani Asana or the inverted pose, comes from the Sanskrit word – ‘Vipareeta’ means ‘inverted’ and ‘karani’ means ‘doing’. Vipareeta karani asana is one of the simplest of the inverted asanas and hence easy to perform. Those who have difficulty doing the difficult inverted poses like sirsana (head stand) and sarvangasana (shoulder stand) can get similar benefits by doing vipareeta karani asana. This asana also is the basic pose for the Vipareeta Karani Mudra. Hence the final pose for the mudra and the asana is same.

Inverted asanas like vipareeta karani asana have a special effect on the human body. Usually, all the organs are pulled downwards due to the gravitational force. While performing inverted asanas you are trying to reverse this effect. This can have various health benefits especially for those suffering from piles and hydrocele. However, it is good to consult a qualified yoga instructor and your doctor before attempting inverted asanas for therapeutic reasons. Those suffering from high blood pressure, bad neck conditions, heart problems, inflammation of spleen or liver, should not do inverted poses without consent from the doctor.


How to do Vipareeta Karani Asana (Inverted Pose)?

  1. Start with the supine position, lying on your back in a relaxed way. Let the hands rest on the floor next to the body and breathe normally.
  2. Try to raise the legs slowly till the legs are almost 90 degrees to the floor.
  3. Now place the hands under the lower back at the waist level. Use the hands and elbows for support to raise your body up further.
  4. The breath should be held inside when you are raising the body to the vertical position
  5. Use the support of the hands to raise the trunk further up, till the whole trunk is about 45 degrees to the ground and the leg are vertical. At this stage the body weight rests on the shoulders. Hands and elbows remain as props to support and balance the body.
  6. In the final pose the legs are 90 degrees to the floor and the trunk is about 45 degrees to the floor.
  7. Remain in this position according to your comfort. For health benefits 3 – 5 minutes every day is good enough. Though practitioners can go up to 15 minutes for spiritual benefits.
  8. Breathe normally while maintaining the steady raised position.
  9. While releasing the position, the breath is held inside and the body is slowly brought down to the supine position.
  10. After performing vipareeta karani asana, usually a counter asana like matyasana, ushtrasana or supta vajrasana is performed for half the duration.


Benefits of Vipareeta Karani Asana

  1. Even though chin press is not done in vipareeta karani asana, there is definitely increased flow of blood to the neck region and the thyroid glands. It stimulates the thyroid glands. It is good for those suffering from hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland also controls the effectiveness of other hormones. This will help to balance the functions of other endocrine glands.
  2. This also activates the spiritual center in the neck region called the vishuddhi chakra which is closely associated with the thyroid glands and general health.
  3. The inverted pose relieves the gravitational weight from many organs and helps in piles, hydrocele and certain kinds of hernia.
  4. It tones the spine, the neck, the intestines and other organs in the abdomen.
  5. It can help to reduce fat around the waist region.
  6. Vipareeta karani asana is used in kriya yoga as a one of the poses for performing spinal breathing.
  7. For those who cannot perform advanced inverted poses like Sirsana (the head stand) or sarvangasana (the Shoulder Stand), this asana is a boon as it gives you most of the benefits of the other inverted asanas.