Viparita Karani – Waterfall Pose
Restorative Yoga is all about slowing down and using props (blankets, bolsters, pillows, cushions) to allow your body to open through passive stretching. In a restorative pose, there is no movement; the key is to set yourself up so you are supported; then let the pose do its work, and it’s quite usual to stay in such poses for 15-20 minutes or even longer, to let that happen.
Viparita Karani is regarded by many as the most healing of all the restorative poses. Also known as supported shoulder stand, in this pose the body is gently inverted with the legs resting up against a wall. The hips and pelvis (usually on a bolster) are higher than the torso (which is usually on folded blankets), which is higher than the head (usually on the floor).
You can see why it’s called the waterfall pose, as the overall effect is to aid the return of blood flow to the heart, our spirit home, to enable us to embrace the power of rest. This is a good pose to reduce anger (that irritable hormonal induced kind) and heat; it also lowers the heart rate in those whose heart rate is elevated, and for all of these reasons is commonly prescribed in the peri/menopause, but it’s reach goes way beyond that. Somehow, it works to restore depleted energy and build energy resources for everyone. It’s also safe as it places no strain on the neck, and there are ways to adjust the pose if people have neck issues to make it super comfortable.
As we redefine ourselves and face new challenges and responsibilities, our need for solitude, reflection and spiritual practice increases, as does our need to nurture vitality and heart-peace. This pose will help you to achieve that.
To experience Viparita Karani and other restorative poses: