I remember in high school and college sports, our athletic trainers would have us lay on our backs with our legs up against the wall. We did this to reduce lactic acid when we were sore from training.
Now, the leg-up-the-wall pose has been reintroduced to me in the yoga world.
Here is what I have learned:
viparita = turned around, reversed, inverted
karani = doing, making, action
Gheranda gives lots of praise on this pose and states that Viparita Karani "destroys" old age and death. Svatmarama claims that after six months of practice, "grey hairs and wrinkles become inconspicuous."
Now, I take these sort of benefits with a grain of salt. However, modern teachers do believe that Viparita Karani is good for most everything that ails you, including:
Honestly, the list of benefits is as long as your yoga mat...
Beginner's Tip from Yoga Journal:
If you are interested in learning more about the pose, including step-by-step instructions, visit yogajournal.com.