Viparita Karani (Half Shoulder Stand)

English Name(s)
Viparita Karani, Half Shoulder Stand
विपरीतकरणी / Viparītakaraṇī
vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-nee
viparita: “inverted/reversed”
karani: “doing/making”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Viparita Karani (vip-par-ee-tah car-AHN-nee) is a restorative pose similar to Sarvangasana. It gives relaxation to the abdomen, legs and the lower back, especially after standing asanas. This encourages deep and smooth breathing. This pose improves digestion and elimination. It also improves lung capacity and makes them elastic and stronger. This asana can also be used as a substitute for Shavasana with beginners.

Energetic Benefits

This asana gives complete rest to the legs and has the capacity to recharge the entire body and mind from tiredness.


Women who are menstruating should avoid this asana. If students have tight hamstrings it’s difficult to rest the legs close against the wall. Keep the buttocks away from the wall.

Going into the Pose

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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