Viparita Karani : The Half Shoulderstand

Viparita is the Sanskrit word for “inverted” while Karani means “doing” or “making” but also can be understood as “which makes you do”. Viparita Karani thus means “the posture which makes you inverted”.

Viparita Karani : Half Shoulderstand - Detailed Description

  1. Lie flat on your back and keep your legs together.
  2. Keep your arms on their respective sides.
  3. Inhaling, press your palms down and raise your legs slowly together.
  4. Without bending the knees or raising the hands till they are perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Exhale Completely.
  6. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
  7. While exhaling, press the palms down again and without bending the knees or raising the head, move the legs towards the head.
  8. While doing this, raise the hips and the small of the back also from the floor and curve up the lower part of the spine.
  9. Bring the legs parallel to the Root.
  10. Take a deep breath and breathe normally a few times.
  11. Bend the arms at the elbows and support the slanted trunk with the palms which should press the upper portion of the posterior on each side.
  12. Inhaling, bring back the legs again perpendicular to the floor, using the elbows as a fulcrum.
  13. Exhale and breathe normally.
  14. Keep the knees straight and the feet together.
  15. Fix your gaze on the tips of the big toes.
  16. Maintain this position for about three minutes.
  17. Return to the starting position in the reverse order.
  • Movements in Viparita Karani stimulates abdominal organs and hence stimulates digestion and is good against constipation and other digestive problems. Additionally you increase your appetite through this stimulation.
  • Urinary system also benefits from this movement as do women’s reproductive organs. With regular practice of this exercise, women can thus avoid menstrual cramps and problems of the premenstrual syndrome as well as the menopause.
  • As this yoga pose is an inversion, the blood circulation is stimulated and upper body and head receives a stronger blood flow which supplies the whole area with oxygen. Through this, migraines and headaches, caused by poor blood circulation, can be healed and prevented.
  • Pimples, boils and acne problems also are reduced by this increase of blood flow. Additionally it is said that such inverted poses are good against losing hair and getting gray hair.
  • It is also a great exercise for anybody who wants to prevent or deal with high or low blood pressure. Blood and other body fluids stuck in the legs and causing swelling, get into movement again and thus the swelling will reduce.
  • This yoga asana strengthens arms and legs but also back and neck muscles. Through the bending of neck, your throat and chest are squeezed together. In this way respiratory system to open to its full extent. The pressure is also said to help men who are suffering from goiter.
  • Movement of joints in this asana keep them active in a rather gentle motion which is good against arthritis.
  • Through the additional blood flow in head, you get more oxygen which is beneficial for very problems like insomnia but which also lifts your spirits and helps against depression and anxiety.
Tips and Help:
  • You should not focus on bringing your legs further up, as you are not doing the shoulder stand. Instead focus on the bend in your back, feel your abdominal area and the work there and hold your pelvis.

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