Viparita Karani Mudra

Definition - What does Viparita Karani Mudra mean?

Viparita karani mudra is a full-body gesture in yoga that is also an energizing inversion. The name comes from the Sanskrit viparita, meaning “inverted” or “reversed”; karani, meaning “doing” (referring to a particular type of yoga practice); and mudra, meaning “seal” or “gesture.”

Viparita karani can refer to any inverted practice, such as headstand and shoulder stand asanas, but as a mudra, its purpose is to direct kundalini energy upward through the body. In most traditional Hatha yoga texts, including the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, viparita karani is listed as a mudra. Mudras are usually associated with hand gestures, but can involve other parts of the body or the entire body.

Viparita Karani

Yogapedia explains Viparita Karani Mudra

Similar to salamba sarvangasana (supported shoulder stand), except that the hips are usually bent up to a 90-degree angle, this mudra can also be practiced from the position of legs up the wall – lying on the back with the hips on the ground and the buttocks against the wall.

Viparita karani mudra has a host of physical benefits, including supporting the thyroid glands and easing tired legs, but its ability to direct kundalini is what makes it a mudra. As such, it is believed to activate the vishuddhi (throat) chakra, or energy center. This first of the three spiritual chakras is associated with higher communication and authentic expression.

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