Reclining Hero Pose - Supta Virasana

Reclining Hero Pose - YanvaYoga


Reclining Hero Pose or Supta Virasana in Sanskrit (“supta”, meaning lying down, “vir”, meaning hero; and “asana”, meaning pose or posture.) is an extremely versatile posture. This yoga asana involves reclining back onto the floor while in the hero pose position It gives a thorough stretch to the legs and abdomen, increases the mobility of the hips and spine, and opens the groins.

Through the prism of this single asana, we see the entire subject of yoga encapsulated. The stretch given to the legs and the spine makes it a great pose to incorporate into the flexibility yoga sessions. Its calming effect on the nervous system means it can be used for repose within a sequence. It has a powerful recuperative nature, making it a useful therapeutic tool for many ailments.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin Reclined Hero Pose by sitting in Hero Pose or Virasana. In this position, your upper body is upright and your legs are bent back at the knees so your feet are on either side of your upper thighs
Step 2
Bring your hands down to the floor on either side of your thighs. Walk your hands back toward your butt as you lean your torso back.
Step 3
Bend at your elbows to come down onto your forearms. If you are sitting on a tall support, like ayoga block, this is as far as you should go. If you are sitting on a folded blanket, have blankets of the same height in place to support your spine as you come down.
Step 4
If you feel comfortable on your forearms, you can try continuing to release your back toward (and eventually reaching) the floor.
Step 5
If you feel pain in your knees or low back, it may be a signal that you've gone too far for your body. Return to your forearms instead of lowering your torso to the ground.
Step 6
Make sure your knees stay close together. Don't let them separate.
Step 7
Stay in a reclined position for five to 10 breaths.
Step 8
To come out, raise yourself onto your forearms first. Then press into your hands to return yourself to a sitting position.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the arches

Stretches the abdomen, thighs and deep hip flexors (psoas), knees, and ankles

Helps relieves the symptoms of menstrual pain

Improves digestion

Relieves tired legs


Partially blocked arteries


Knee or ankle injury


Heart problems

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props for Beginners

    In Reslining Hero Pose, props can be used in different ways to align and hold the proper position of body;

  • Yoga block –While leaning backward place a block under your hips. It will prevent the hip from lifting off the floor.
  • Yoga strap –For preventing the thighs sliding apart while holding the pose bind your thighs together with a strap.
  • Bolster –You can perform supta virasana by keeping a bolster on your back. Here, when you lean back you can rest your head and back on the bolster.
  • Bolster with blocks –Keep two blocks under the bolster one vertically and the other horizontally. Making this stand by the blocks and put the bolster obliquely on it. Now, lean back on it, this will keep the knees together and grounded.
  • Yoga strap aerially –For this hang a strap above your head. As you lean back you can raise your hands and hold the strap, this helps in maintaining balance while leaning on the back.

Useful Tips

  • Start slowly by just leaning back onto your hands. This can be enough to feel the stretch in the tops of the thighs.
  • If you feel too much stretch in your quadriceps by leaning back on your hands, you could also try placing the palms of your hands on some (steady) blocks.
  • Use your exhalation to help you soften more into the pose, walking the hands back further or coming onto the forearms.
  • If you get stuck coming out of the pose roll onto one side and extend your legs out.

    Frequently Asked Questions


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    Iana Varshavska
    Iana Varshavska
    Website administrator

    A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.