Viparita Karani

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Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani (Sanskrit: विपरीतकरणी; IAST: viparītakaraṇī) literally Upside-Down is considered alternately as an asana or a mudra in haṭha yoga.


The name comes from the Sanskrit words viparita meaning "inverted" or "reversed", and karani meaning "doing" or "making".[1]


Viparita Karani refers to any practice where one is upside down. This can include the asanas of shoulder stand (sarvangasana), headstand (sirsasana), or handstand (adho mukha vrksasana). In the hatha yoga pradipika, as in most classical texts on haṭha yoga , viparita karani is listed as a mudra (HYP III.7), meaning its purpose is for the directing of energy or kundalini upwards within the body (HYP III.5) as opposed to asanas which are used in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika to create steadiness (HYP I.19).

In one popular expression of viparita karani as an asana in modern postural yoga, it resembles Salamba Sarvāngāsana (supported shoulder stand) but with flexion in the thoracic spine (rather than the cervical spine, elbows on the floor and hands supporting hips or lower back.[2]

Variations include bringing the soles of the feet together such as in Baddha Konasana or letting the legs fall outward into a straddle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Witold Fitz-Simon - Viparita Karani". Retrieved 2011-07-29. 
  2. ^ "Viparita Karani Mudra (Upside Down Seal)". Yoga Art and Science. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 

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