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Viparitakarni Mudra (The Inverted Posture)


The Sanskrit word Vipareeta means inverted & Karni means one who does. According to Yoga, within the human body the Sun dwells at the root of the naval (the solar plexus) and the Moon at the root of the palate. In the reverse posture, the position is reversed and the Sun is raised above the Moon. The process by which the Sun is brought upwards and the Moon downward is called Viparitakarani Mudra.


Blood travels long distance from the bottom of the feet to the heart, approximately five feet from the ground. It means that the body has a lot of work to do. The force of gravity naturally pulls all body fluids down to the lower parts. By inverting the body, the head goes lower than the heart, all the fluids flow back towards the head without undue force or pressure. It helps to redirect the blood flow from the legs to the brain. Hence, heart has to work lesser in pumping the blood to the brain. As a result blood circulation in head is increased & this increased blood circulation rejuvenates the brain cells & relieves fatigue. Also the nervous and infor­mation system of the head gets stronger. Hence it is extremely important to counteract this gravitational pull by inverting the body occasionally for good health & general well being.


  • Lie flat on your back on the mat with the legs & feet together in a straight line. Place the arms close to the body with the palms facing downwards.
  • Make sure the whole body is relaxed.
  • Inhale & raise both the legs off the floor to 90 degrees, keeping them straight & together, toes pointing upwards. This is the first stage.
  • In the next stage, while exhaling, bring the legs back towards the head, so that the hips rise & you can immediately place your hands under your hips. The body is supported on the elbows.
  • In the third stage, after the hands are adjusted, inhale & bring your legs back to 90 degrees straight into the air making the back at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Now for the fourth stage, the position of your half body from shoulder to navel is 45 degrees & your legs are 90 degrees.
  • The weight of the body rests on the shoulders, neck & elbows. Do not press your chin into the chest. In all stages, the movements should be slow, smooth, and controlled.
  • Close your eyes. Stay in this position as long as is comfortable, breathing normally.
  • While coming back, first bring the legs back over the head then slowly lower the hips onto the floor & hands to the ground. While doing so, do not lift the head.
  • Now here your legs are back to 90 degrees, exhale & bring the legs down slowly.
Relax & repeat 5-6 times in a day with empty stomach.


Holding the body upside down improves the blood circulation, strengthens the nervous system and relieves stress from the back. It also stimulates endocrine glands. It prevents premature ageing, removes facial wrinkles and improves complexion and appearance. It calms the brain, opens the chest & rests the legs. It helps reduce respiratory problems, eases headaches & relives indigestion & nausea. It also helps to prevent varicose veins. It produces vitality and rejuvenation due to stimulation of the sex glands and the thyroid gland.

This posture is especially recommended for women who suffer from female disorders, irregular or painful periods and physical or mental discomforts during menopause. It restores the manly vigour. By performing this posture, the memory and concentration is enhanced. It empowers the whole body. This asana is beneficial to men, women and children alike.

People suffering from high blood pressure, dizziness or serious eye problems should not perform this practice until these conditions improve.
People with spinal cord deformities, disabilities of hip and shoulder joints, severe backache, cervical spondylitis or beginners in Yoga should refrain from doing this asana.
Women should not practise any inversions during menstruation, as these asanas will interfere with the natural flow of blood.

If you are a beginner, it is advisable to practice the asanas under the guidance of a Guru or a qualified yoga instructor.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna

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