I'm not much of a yogi, but I'm finding that yoga provides a plethora of poses that are great for stretching, especially after a good run or swim. At this point, I'm not flexible enough to do the Reclining Hero Pose, so, as the author suggested, I tried the Half Frog Pose and held it for 30 seconds on each side. That pose gives an amazing stretch! I'm definitely going to add that to the stretching routine after each run :)
My yoga teacher consistently emphasizes knee alignment--the "mechanical axis" passing through the middle of the femoral head and the middle of the ankle joint--in Virabhadrasana. But there seems to be special dispensation for the knee joint in Virasana. I really don't believe that the knee joint suddently converts from its flexion/extension capabilities and grows rotational skills. As a professional dancer, I have torn knee ligaments when it was inappropriately aligned. I feel that I know what it is designed to do without injury. And, Virasana needs more than just a flexible rectus femoris. I think it would be valuable information to students to learn about the types of joints and what each is designed to do without injury.
Finally! Someone has explained why this pose is absolute AGONY for me, even with three bolsters!
And now I know what to do about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!