We all do strange things in pursuit of relaxation, so when I saw the latest yoga pose going viral on TikTok, I knew I had to try it out.
Taking the app by storm is the viparita karani pose – something so simple, yet you feel so stupid doing it.
All you have to do is lie on your back with your legs up the wall. It’s a simple, accessible, low energy pose many people will be able to do.
The supposed benefits of the pose include improved circulation, stress and anxiety relief, debloating and a better night’s sleep.
As someone who struggles with sleep and occasional bloating (thanks cheese!), I decided to give it a try, to see if it could be the low-maintenance solution to all my problems.
How do I do the TikTok yoga pose?
The viparita karani is probably a beginner’s pose – if I can do it with little struggle, so can most others.
I decided to do it on the bed, as it can be quite harsh on your back lying on the floor.
You’ll have to shoogle yourself up against the wall and lie with your legs so they’re at a right angle up the wall.
Once you’re in position, all you have to do is lie there. You should stay in the pose for no longer than 20 minutes.
During this time, it can help to focus your mind and take some deep breaths. You could listen to a meditation or use Headspace or Calm to help guide you.
If you’re only looking to experience some of the physical benefits, or you find yourself getting distracted, you could use the time to read, answer some emails or watch a few TikToks.
I did the pose for around 15 minutes once a day, usually close to bed time.
However, you should avoid the pose if you have glaucoma, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a condition that causes excessive fluid retention.
Does it work?
There’s no denying you feel good after completing the pose and returning to a normal angle.
Who knew something so simple could give you such a rush of endorphins?
However, after doing the pose most days for a few weeks now, I can’t say for certain whether it has improved my sleep, and it certainly hasn’t helped any bloating.
Some nights I’m falling asleep more quickly than normal – this is more common on the nights when I relax while doing the pose and take the time to do it properly.
But some nights it takes me much longer. These tend to be the nights where I’m distracted while doing it, or have other things to do between finishing it and going to sleep.
I would say, if you dedicate yourself to a relaxing experience and focus your mind, there are improvements to be seen.
But if, like me, you often have a thousand thoughts in your head at bedtime and find it hard to block them out, a guided meditation or sleep story might be more helpful.