Hero Pose/Reclined Hero • Virasana/ Supta Virasana

  • Sarah Kline
Step-By-Step:

STEP 1 - Begin by kneeling on your mat. Use a folded blanket to protect your knees if necessary. Keep your thighs parallel to one another. Sitting back half way yet still kneeling let your torso lean forward. Use your hands to draw the skin and flesh of the calf muscles towards the heels and out towards the outer shins. Sit down gently between your feet. If your buttocks does not touch the floor use a block or blanket for support. Open up your toes with your hands and press your pinky toenail into the floor. Try to line up the heel of your foot with the second toe of each foot. Make sure both sitting bones are evenly supported. You should be able to slide your hands smoothly between your inner heels and outer hips. Turn your thighs inward and press the heads of the thigh into the floor with your palms. Bring your hands to rest on the top of the thighs. Firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs and lift and broaden your sternum. Lengthen the tailbone into the floor to anchor the back of the torso. To come out of the pose, press your hands against the floor and lift your buttocks up.

STEP 2 - Open up your toes with your hands and press your pinky toenail into the floor. Try to line up the heel of your foot with the second toe of each foot. Make sure both sitting bones are evenly supported. You should be able to slide your hands smoothly between your inner heels and outer hips. Turn your thighs inward and press the heads of the thigh into the floor with your palms. Bring your hands to rest on the top of the thighs. Firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs and lift and broaden your sternum. Lengthen the tailbone into the floor to anchor the back of the torso. To come out of the pose, press your hands against the floor and lift your buttocks up.

STEP 3 - For reclining hero pose, begin in hero pose. If your buttocks is fully resting on the floor, internally rotate your arms at the shoulders and come back to rest on your elbows. Fingertips are reaching for the feet and the elbows are hugging in towards midline. Lower your back ribs to the floor. Keep pressing the shins and tops of the feet to the floor. Lift the hips slightly and gently reach the tailbone towards the feet and release the hips back down. Fully recline all the way on the your back, and rest the back of your head on the mat. Reach the arms over head and bring your upper arms along side the ears. Bend the arms and grab on to opposite elbows. Only come to fully recline if the front of the shins and the knees remain on the mat.

Target Area:

Thighs, Knees, Ankles, Feet

Therapeutic Focus:

Improves digestion and relieves gas.

Props & Modifications:

For hero pose, sit on a block if you feel too much stress on your knees. 

For reclining hero pose, only recline to the elbows and do not lie your back on the mat.

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