Virasana is a Sanskrit word that translates into Hero Pose. The conventional hero is the kind who fights for the world. He protects and safeguards his own. He sits still only once he has conquered his enemy. The yogic hero is meant to overcome his/her own inner turmoil. This asana does just that.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Do not practice Hero Pose if you are currently suffering from heart problems or headaches. If you have a knee or ankle injury, only attempt this pose under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor.
How To Do The Virasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Kneel on the floor. Make sure your knees are placed directly under your hips. Let your hands rest on your knees.
2. Bring your knees closer to each other so that the gap between your feet automatically widens. It should be wider than the width of your hips.
3. Then, firmly press the tops of your feet on the floor.
4. Gently lower your hips, such that your find yourself sitting on the mat. Roll the calves away. Ensure your hips are right between your heels.
5. You need to make sure that while you get into the pose, you do not feel any sharp, twisting sensations in your knees.
6. Let your toes point outwards and back. Your inner ankles must be drawn in to protect your knees.
7. Pull in your navel. Extend your tailbone from the crown of your head to the floor.
8. Hold the position for about 30 seconds. Release. Once you get comfortable in this pose, you could also use it as a meditative posture.
Practicing Hero Pose in correct alignment will improve the health and mobility of your knees, while connecting you to an ancient yoga practice. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Keep your weight balanced equally across both sit bones.
- Make sure the tops of your feet are pressing equally into the floor — do not let the inner or outer tops of your feet hold more weight. Press your hands along the soles of your feet to help evenly distribute the weight.
- Never be aggressive or force the pose! Keep in mind that it can take weeks, months, and even years to reach your sit bones all the way to the floor. Take it slowly and use props and modifications to avoid injury. Over time, you will gain a greater range of motion.
- If you are sitting on blocks or blankets, make sure they are narrow enough to fit between your shins without forcing your knees wider than your hips.
- If you are using props, keep your thighbones parallel to each other. If you are sitting on the floor, gradually bring your knees together until they touch.
Often the inner top feet press more heavily into the floor than the outer top feet. Press the bases of your palms along the outer edges of the feet and gently push the pinky-toe sides of the feet to the floor.
Modifications & Variations
If your ankles are painful in this pose, roll up a towel and place it underneath them before you sit back. To deepen the pose cup your hands around the knees, straighten the arms fully, and pull on the knees. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, lift the top sternum, and release your chin down onto the chest without straining the back of your neck. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Then let go of the knees and raise your head back to neutral without losing the lift of the sternum.
Benefits Of The Hero Pose
These are some amazing benefits of the Virasana.
- It gives the ankles, thighs, and knees a good stretch.
- The arches of the feet become strong.
- This asana acts like a digestive that not only improves the process but also relieves gas.
- It helps to ease the symptoms of menopause.
- It helps relieve and reduce the swelling of the legs through the second trimester of pregnancy.
- It improves the circulation of blood in the legs and relieves tired legs.
- It helps improve posture.
- It helps cure high blood pressure, asthma, and flat feet.
Practicing Virasana will gradually result in greater knee mobility and improved posture. With patience and time, you may begin to notice a greater awareness of your entire body when you sit in the pose. Coming to the ground and sitting quietly with a long spine will calm your mind and allow you to go deep within.