Yoga for Glowing Skin (Viparita Karani)

Legs Up the Wall pose or Viparita Karani (pronounced ‘vip-par-ee-tahcar-AHN-ee’) is one of my favorite yoga poses to practice to maintain clear, glowing skin.  Some Hindu scripts say that Viparita Karani reduces wrinkles and delays the aging process.  There definitely was some wisdom in this guidance.  

Viparita Karani is a mild inversion that reverses the flow of blood, increases circulation in the body and is known to relieve stress.  With this reverse of blood flow, fresh nutrients and oxygen are carried to the face, the facial capillaries are stimulated and your skin is given a healthy “face lift”.

I generally do this pose about every other evening. As I’m a runner, it definitely helps to stretch out my hamstrings, which tend to get tight from running. Also, the morning after I practice it, I notice more of a brightness, and glow to my face and skin. Who doesn’t want that to get their day started? =)

To practice this pose, follow these steps:

  • Lay down on your back and place the backs of your legs against a wall
  • Keep your buttocks as close to the wall as is comfortable and healthy for your body (you may feel a mild stretch in the backs of your hamstrings)
  • Lay your arms in a cactus position by your sides with palms face up
  • Once settled, focus on breathing deeply and notice the mild shift in blood flow
  • I generally stay in this position for about 5-10 minutes

Note:  This pose should be avoided if you suffer from eye problems, such as glaucoma, or if you suffer from any neck or back issues.

For some further information about how to practice this pose, I recommend reading this article.