Column: Yogi Ashwani

Viparitkarni: Reversing the Ageing Process

In the last issue we described the kriya of agnisaar which kindles the digestive fire in he body. In this issue let us take a look at a kriya that reverses the ageing process. As we all know the body is programmed for normal wear and tear. The pranic currents of the five mahapranas i.e Prana vayu, Apana vayu, Samana vayu, Udaan vayu and Vayan vayu are programmed to flow in their respective directions and take the body to its logical end. Our ancient rishis discovered in their deep thoughts that reversing of the process has the effect of turning around certain ageing processes. For instance, processes responsible for apparent decay of the body viz grey hair, sagging skin and losing of the youthful physical glow.

By practicing Viparitkarni the pranic flow is reversed to curtail the normal wear and tear of the body. Lie down on your back and then slowly lift the lower part of the body making an angle of 50 degrees and keeping the legs perpendicular to the ground. Remember, the legs should not be tilting towards the face. As you lift the body, inhale and hold your breath for a comfortable time and then exhaling slowly, come down. The key is not to overstrain yourself.

But be careful. The body should not be diseased, that is to say that you should practice this kriya only when there is no physical ailment in the body and do other asanas and kriyas to get rid of the diseases. The body process can be reversed only if the body is disease free.

The Hatha Yog Pradipika, Chapter 3, Verse 80 on Viparitkarni, says:
Adhahsiras cordhvapadah ksanam syat prathame dine
Ksanac ca-kincid adikam abhyasec ca dine dine.

Place the head on the ground and the feet up into the sky. For a second only on the first day and increase this time daily.

—The writer Yogi Ashwini Ji is the head of Dhyan Foundation, Delhi.
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February 2007

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