» (Inverted Lake)
In this pose, the legs, trunk and heart are elevated higher than the head, and the abdomen forms a pool or lake. Viparita Karani induces deep relaxation and restores lost energy.
Inverted postures help regulate hormones, stimulate the immune system and regulate blood pressure. When the body is upside down like this, the heart must pump against gravity, so the heart is given gentle exercise without overstimulation. Viparita Karani should not be practiced during the menstrual cycle.
1. Place folded blankets or a yoga bolster close to a wall. If the floor is slippery, put a no-skid mat under this support.
2. Sit on the right side of the support and bring your buttock bones against the wall as you place your right shoulder on the floor.
3. Swing your legs up the wall. The buttocks will now be close to the wall and your sacrum on the support. The shoulders and back of the head should be on the floor.
4. Now straighten the body. Align your nose, breastbone and navel.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Shelley Choy, co-director of Manoa Yoga Center, demonstrates Viparita Karanani.
5. Bend your knees and shift your buttock bones to the wall and straighten your legs up the wall. If the muscles on the back of your legs are tight, the buttock bones will curl up the wall, the sacrum will come off the support and your legs will bend. If this happens, slide the support away from the wall until you can straighten your legs with your heels on the wall.
6. If your head tilts back, place a blanket under your skull until your forehead is parallel to the floor. Observe that your chest is open.
7. With your body aligned and legs straight up the wall, close your eyes and observe the flow of breath at your nostrils. Let your face relax and allow yourself to become quiet.
8. Keep your legs extended up the wall but allow their weight to fall into the hips. Feel the vastness in your chest as you relax your arms against the floor. Soften your hands. As you breathe softly, allow the back of your neck to lengthen. Detach from the sounds, smells, sensations and thoughts that come to you and observe the mind become quiet and consciousness become still. With practice, you can stay in this pose for 30 minutes.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.