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Reclining Hero Pose

Supta Virasana

LIMITS_202_SuptaVirasana_248.jpg

Caution: Supta Virasana, the reclining variation of Virasana, is an intermediate pose. DO NOT perform this pose unless you can sit your buttocks relatively easily on the floor between your feet.

(soup-tah veer-AHS-anna)
supta = lying down, reclining
vira = man, hero, chief (compare Latin vir, “man,” the root of English words virile and virtue)

Step by Step

Perform Virasana. Exhale and lower your back torso toward the floor. First lean onto your hands, then your forearms and elbows. Once you are on your elbows, place your hands on the back of the pelvis and release your lower back and upper buttocks by spreading the flesh down toward the tailbone. Then finish reclining, either onto the floor or a support.

If your front ribs jut up sharply toward the ceiling, it’s a sign of tight groins, which pulls your front pelvis toward your knees and causes your belly and lower back to tense. Use your hands to press your front ribs down slightly and lift your pubis toward your navel. This should lengthen your lower back and lower it toward the floor. If it doesn’t, raise yourself onto a higher support. Then lay your arms and hands on the floor, angled about 45 degrees from the sides of your torso, palms up.

Sink the heads of the thighbones deep into the back of the hip sockets. It’s alright to lift your knees a little away from the floor to help soften your groins; in fact, you can raise your knees a few inches on a thickly folded blanket. You can also allow a little bit of space between your knees as long as your thighs remain parallel to each other. Do not, however, allow the knees to splay apart wider than your hips – this will cause strain on the hips and lower back.

To begin, stay in this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Gradually extend your stay to 5 minutes. To come out, press your forearms against the floor and come onto your hands. Then use your hands to lift your torso into Virasana. As you come up, lead with your sternum, not your head or chin. Come out of Virasana in the recommended manner.


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Reader Comments

Alicia Stars

About two years ago, I was able to achieve this pose relatvely easy. One year back, I had a surgery (partial patellar tendon tear). And now I cannot even sit my buttocks on the floor between my legs. My previously injured knee just hurts so much.

Try

Fatima

after this pose i fell sleepy

susan

I have found that there are 3 areas of stiffness which prevents the pose from being achieved:
Stiff ankles making this difficult for the practitioner to have top of feet on floor, sickling of feet is the term used for feet that stick outwards and not in line with the calves. Here placing a sock or rolled blanket under the ankles can ease pain here. The other is a stiff lower back or lower back pain. Here folding blankets and lying on them helps and stacking them as high as is needed. Thirdly the knees. I practised this when I suffered bursitis in hte knee and placed a small face towel between the back of the knee joints. This helped with that problem. There is a fourth problem and that is tight quadraceps but that is when you know you can't sit between your ankles. I prescribe sitting in hero pose as often as possible to stretch the whole area little by little. Taking this too fast leads to problems. x

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