Asana of The Month: Reclining Hero (supra virasana)

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Reclining Hero begins in Hero pose and continues until the upper back and shoulders lie flat against the floor. Although Reclining Hero has the same level of difficulty as Hero pose, you may find it more challenging depending on the physical condition and flexibility of your knees, legs, back and shoulders. If reclining hero is too intense for you, practice the gently variation as you increase your flexibility. Remember to always listen to your body and do not overextend yourself.

English Name: Reclining Hero

Sanskrit Name: Supra Virasana

Difficulty Level: 4

Start Position: Hero

Instructions:

Step 1.

Starting in hero pose, use your arms and walk your elbows back until your shoulders and head are on the floor.

Step 2.

Extend your arm up and over your head.

Step 3.

Breath normally and remaining the pose as long as it feels comfortable. To get out of the pose, you can return to hero pose or swing your feet out and roll over onto your side to come up into a sitting position.

Gentle Variation

If you feel tension in your legs, hips, low back or neck try supported hero pose reclining on a bolster or folded blanket.

supported reclining hero

Physical Benefits:

  • Opens lower back & chest
  • Improves lung function
  • Improves knee, hip and ankle flexibility
  • Helps relieve menstrual discomfort
  • Can lower high blood pressure

Mental Benefits

  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Improves focus

Contraindications:

  • Injured coccyx
  • Knee or ankle injury (try gentle variation)
  • Arthritis (try gentle variation)
  • Pregnancy after 1st trimester

Virasana vs. Vajrasana

Common comments for the Virasana YouTube video is that the pose is Vajrasana or “what’s the difference between Virasana and Vajrasana.

All pose names in Hatha Yoga Asanas are based on B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. Other schools of yoga can call the pose by different names.

In this case, Virasana is Hero Pose and Vajrasana is kneeling pose.

 

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