Hero Pose - Virasana
Hero Pose (Virasana) is a seated pose that is a great stretch for the quadriceps. Virasana is conducive to keeping your shoulders over your hips, which helps align the spine so that your back doesn’t ache while you are sitting. This pose is actually easier and more comfortable for most people than sitting cross-legged, especially if you place a block under your butt. If you plan to sit still for more than a few minutes, as you would for a meditation session, give it a try.
- Difficulty: Beginners
- By Type: Flexibility Yoga Poses, Meditation Yoga Poses, Restorative Yoga Poses
- Body Position: Seated Yoga Poses
- By Benefit: Yoga Poses For Stress Relief
Benefits and Contraindications
Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles
Strengthens the arches
Improves digestion and relieves gas
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester)
Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma
Heart problems or headaches
Photo poses in different angles
Modifications, Props & Tips
Hero Pose can be a good way to increase flexibility in your thighs, ankles, and knees, while improving posture. However, since it is such a deep stretch for the knees, it is crucial to take the pose slowly, use props if needed, and make whatever modifications you need to feel steady, safe, and supported in the pose. Try these simple changes to find a variation of the pose that works best for you:
If you cannot easily sit on the floor, sit instead on a yoga block placed on the floor between your shins. Depending on your level of flexibility, you may need two blocks, or a block topped with a folded blanket. Lifting your hips above the level of your knees will greatly reduce stress and discomfort in your knees, hips, and back. It will also open your groins even further and bring your spine into correct alignment, which will help you avoid injury and stay in the position for much longer periods. Experiment with various heights of support to find the one that is most appropriate for you.
If your ankles need extra padding in the pose, place a blanket or rolled towel beneath each one before coming fully into the pose.
If you are practicing a mudra as part of your meditation, you can bring your hands into the correct position instead of resting them on your thighs.
To add a torso stretch to the pose, reach your arms forward until they are parallel to the floor with your palms facing down. Hook your thumbs. Then, on an inhalation, raise your arms overhead, until they are perpendicular to the floor with your palms facing forward. Exhale to lower your arms and release. Change the hook of your thumbs and repeat.
- Hero Pose sitting on a block
- Hero Pose sitting on a chair
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