Viparita Karani: Legs Up The Wall Pose

Viparita Karani: The Legs Up The Wall Pose

Viparita karani (vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-ee) is a gentle restorative pose. This slightly inverted pose can ease busy mind chatter and may relieve uncomfortable symptoms like tension and menstrual cramps. You may enjoy practicing this pose with a block, folded blanket, or pillow under your hips to lift your hips above the plane of your heart.

Sanskrit:

  • Viparita: reversed/inverted
  • Karani: doing/action

Physical Benefits:

  • Relieves tired feet and legs.
  • Gently stretches the hamstrings and legs.
  • Can relieve discomfort in the lower back.

Energetic Benefits

  • Thought to calm the mind.
  • Thought to ease symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Preparatory Poses:

Sequential Poses:

  • Shoulder stand on the wall
  • Dragonfly on the wall
  • Figure four on the wall

Counter Poses:

  • Savasana

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • Place a pillow, bolster, or folded blanket under your hips to release the hamstrings and low back.
  • Gently lower your feet out to the sides so your legs make a wide “V” shape for dragonfly on the wall.
  • Place a rolled up blanket under your neck for additional support.
  • Loop a strap around your thighs to allow the legs to relax more deeply.

Step-By-Step:

  1. Begin seated beside an open wall, with your hip and shoulder against the wall.
  2. Gently lower your torso down to the ground as your legs lift up against the wall.
  3. Option to wiggle closer to or further away from the wall to your comfort level.
  4. Option to place a block, pillow, or folded blanket under your hips to release any discomfort in the low back or hamstrings.
  5. Allow your head to rest on the ground or a pillow and place your arms wherever they are most comfortable.
  6. Stay anywhere from one to 15 minutes.
  7. To release, push the bottoms of your feet into the wall and lift your hips slightly. If using a support, move the support out of the way. Gently roll to one side and stay for a few breaths before returning to your seat.

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Anjaneyasana: Monkey Lunge Pose

Anjaneyasana (AHN-jah-nay-AHS-uh-nuh), also known as low lunge or monkey lunge, stretches the hips, gluteus muscles, and quadriceps while improving balance, concentration, and core awareness.

Philosophy and Origin:

The term anjaneya is a matronymic reference to the monkey god Hanuman using his mother’s name, Anjani. Lord Hanuman is a central part of Hindu devotional worship, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The pose resembles a young, divine child (anjaneya), reaching towards the sky and the warmth of the sun, captivated by a glowing fruit in the sky as depicted in the traditional epic.

Sanskrit:

  • Anjaneya: Lord Hanumān, the divine entity of spiritual significance
  • Asana: pose
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