Vipareeta karani – Inverted action Pose

School of Yoga explains Vipareeta karani – Inverted action pose by Yogacharya Sundaram

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika on Vipareeta karani:

Vipareeta Karani

Sundara Vipareeta Karani – Inverted Action pose as invented by Yogacharya Sundaram

Ch 3- v7 viparitakarani, vajroli and sakticalana; these are the 10 mudras which destroy old age and death.

Ch 3 – v77 vipareetakarani: That nectar of the moon which has divine qualities gets digested by the Sun and induces ageing.

v 78 There is a divine technique by which the Sun’s face can be cheated. This should be learned under a Guru and not through theoretical study or discussions.

v 79 When the navel is above and palate below, the Sun above and moon below, then this is vipareetakarani. This should be leaned through instructions of a Guru.

v 80 In the case of one who practices this daily, the gastric fires (jataragni) are increased, so one should eat sufficient food.

v 81 If one eats non-nutritious food, then the heat will quickly consume the practitioner. On the first day, stand on the head with feet up, for only a brief moment.

v 82 Increase the duration gradually every day. After 6 months, the wrinkles and grey hair disappear. He, who practices it daily for a yama (3 hours) daily, conquers death.

School of Yoga explains – sundara-vipareeta-karani technique: (Should be learned under supervision)

Vipareeta Karani

Sundara vipareeta karani demonstrated by Vishwanathan

  • Place 3-5 hard pillows on the mat in such a way that the pillows are at an incline of 60 degrees with respect to the floor.
  • Sit at the opposite end of the pillows and slowly lower the torso over the incline on the opposite side so that the shoulders rest on the floor.
  • Ensure that torso is at 45 degrees to the floor.
  • Fold legs over the pillows towards the body and raise them straight into the air.
  • Move the legs towards the face, so that the legs and torso are about 90 degrees with each other.
  • Place hands at the sides.
  • Hold position for 5 minutes, increasing up to 20 minutes. One can also split the practice into 2 periods between 3-10 minutes in duration.
  • Come back to sthithi position in reverse order.
  • The drishti (gaze) recommended is padhayoragre (toe of the foot gaze).

School of Yoga explains – vipareeta-karani variations 

Should hard pillows not be available, it is possible to perform the asana by supporting the hip with the hands.

  • Sthithi (starting) position: Lie down on the floor with hands at the sides,
  • Bend the knees over the torso to touch the forehead with the knees.
  • Support the hips with the hands just above the hip bone and let the hips rest on the floor, such that the torso is at 45 degrees to the floor.
  • Lift the legs and align it such that it is at 90 degrees to the torso.

School of Yoga explains – vipareeta-karani benefits: 

  • This exercise ensures concentration of blood supply to the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, stomach and respiratory tract.

    Vipareeta Karani

    Classical Vipareeta Karani

  • It is good for all illnesses related to the torso and neck, including respiratory disorders, heart and digestion disorders.
  • This exercise builds resistance to all forms of allergies, colds and flu.
  • It is excellent for treating digestive ailments, especially those related to the stomach, liver and bowels.
  • This asana helps in stabilising the female reproductive organs and alleviates menstrual discomfort and cramps.

School of Yoga explains – vipareeta-karani contraindications:

  • If you have any form of back ache, do not attempt this asana without adequate supervision and support.
  • People with cardiac problems, lower back problems and circulatory disorders should not attempt this asana without first consulting a physician.
  • Should not to be done by people having neck ailments like cervical or lumbar spondylosis or arthritis.
  • People with hernia etc should avoid this asana.
  • This asana should not be practiced during menstruation or pregnancy.

Some noteworthy points on sundara-vipareeta-karani:

Internal Links: Dharma (conditioning), Stress and Situational Awareness, Prana, Asana overview 1, Asana Overview 2, Asana Focus or gazing, PranayamaHatha Yoga Pradeepika

External Links: Prana, Chakra, Pancha Tattva, Pancha Prana, Pancha Kosha, Nadi

Vipareeta Karani

Yogacharya Sundaram demonstrates Vipareeta Karani @ age 80+

  • Vipareetha = inverted + karani = action in Sanskrit. The torso should be at right angle to the legs and toes should form a hypotenuse with the head.
  • This is one of the easiest and most effective asanas for overall maintenance of health.
  • Initially, practitioners will find difficulty in maintaining position, but over time, this will stabilise.
  • Also, it may be difficult to maintain position for extended period of time. So, one should initially split this effort into 3-5 minutes twice with a rest interval of 2 minutes. Over time, this can be made into a single effort with time taken up to 15 minutes
Editor at School Of Yoga
School Of Yoga is a single point resource for all aspects of Classical Yoga practise. We try to achieve this by placing Yoga's traditional methodology in front of the reader and eliciting his or her experience. We value everyone's Yoga experience and would like you to share and enrich other practitioners so that everyone benefits.
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