The name comes from the Sanskrit words viparita meaning "inverted" or "reversed", and karani meaning "doing" or "making".
This is a really beautiful and restorative asana (pose). It can be a great help to get you through the day when you feel as though you have hit a wall and it's only lunch time. There are several health benefits associated with this pose such as improved circulation through the legs and improved lymph circulation, but if you are going through one of the many taxing treatments for cancer or have recently finished treatment, the main reason to get your legs up the wall is to feel refreshed and combat fatigue.
You don't need a yoga mat or stretchy pants to do this pose and you will still feel the therapeutic effects whether you have 5 or 15 minutes to spare.
Sit next to the wall with your hip close against it and then begin to rotate your legs up as you lay down on your back. It can feel a bit awkward at first to get into this pose but as you get used to it, it will become easier. Let your legs float up the wall. If your hamstrings are too tight to allow your legs to be straight then you can have a small bend in your knee or move your bottom back from the wall.
Rest your arms out alongside your body with your palms facing up. Breath naturally and with ease.
Attached below is a great short film that illustrates how to get into the pose, some of the variations and its benefits.