Inverted Leg Stretch Pose - Viparitakarani

The Inverted Leg Stretch Pose is performed with the legs in a raised position, possibly against a wall, and is one of the least demanding of the inverted poses.

It improves the supply and flow of blood towards the head and heart, and unlike most other inverted poses is not as restrictive, in that generally it can be practiced even by patients of hypertension or during menstruation.

Technique

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Technique

  • Lie on your back, with the lower back and hips mildly elevated on a bolster, with your hands by the sides, palms resting flat on the floor
  • Slowly raise your legs together, to a 30° angle, without bending the knees
  • Now hold your hips with your palms and support yourself with your elbows on the floor
  • Next raise your legs further up to a 60° angle
  • Try raising them further up to a 90° angle
  • While returning to the original position, first bend your legs towards your head
  • Slowly bring your buttocks to the ground and straighten out your legs and hands

Practicing the Inverted Stretch Poses offers a number of health benefits, both physical and emotional. This pose is a gentle inversion, but an inversion nevertheless. This means that it offers a number of the benefits common to the other inverted poses, but is a lot milder.

Its advantages can therefore be enjoyed by a wider spectrum of people.

  • It is extremely good for circulation as it improves the blood supply to the pelvic region, as well as the head and heart
  • Improved blood circulation also corresponds to an improved oxygen supply, which greatly improves brain function
  • It is a great stretching exercise for the legs, the hips and the posterior
  • It can also help open up the chest, which will consequently improve the functioning of the lungs and sinus
  • It can be extremely relaxing and will give your mind a chance to clear and relax

Before you decide to take up or begin practicing this pose however, there are certain things you should consider:

  • If your menstrual cycle has just begun and is in the first couple of days, then do not use the bolster or any other device to elevate your body. A blanket can however be used in both scenarios, simply as cushioning for your body
  • Although generally acceptable and safe even for patients of hypertension, make it a point to consult your doctor before taking up its practice
  • Glaucoma patients should avoid practicing this pose
  • Practicing this pose is not recommended if you are suffering from any injuries or recovering. As with almost all other poses, work with a qualified yoga instructor when you decide to take up the pose and are still learning
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