Reclining Hero Pose is a supine (lying-down) variation of Hero Pose (Virasana), which provides an even deeper stretch to the thighs, hip flexors, and ankles than the upright version.This asana is one of the most avoided poses. Although it is an incredibly beneficial pose for your body, it could be painful and must be practiced only after you have mastered the Virasana. It is an intense variation of the Virasana and an intermediate level asana, which makes your body come into a full reclination.
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 Supta Virasana if you are currently suffering from heart problems or headaches. If you have a knee, back, or ankle injury, only attempt this pose under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. Only practice this pose if you can correctly and comfortably perform Hero Pose, with your buttocks resting easily on the floor between your feet.
How To Do The Supta Virasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- To start off, you must assume the Virasana.
- Kneel on the floor. Make sure your knees are placed directly under your hips. Let your hands rest on your knees.
- Bring your knees closer to each other so that your feet automatically widen. They should be wider than the width of your hips.
- Firmly press the tops of your feet on the floor.
- Gently lower your hips, such that your find yourself sitting on the mat. Roll the calves away, and ensure your hips are right between your heels.
- You need to make sure that while you get into the pose, you do not feel any sharp twisting sensations in your knees.
- Let your toes point outwards and back. Your inner ankles must be drawn in to protect your knees.
- Pull in your navel. Extend your tailbone from the crown of your head to the floor.
- Place your hands by your sides, and exhale and lean backward. Gently keep leaning until your back rests on the floor.
- Then, shift the weight of your body on your elbows.
- Release the lower back and buttocks, and push yourself down towards the tailbone.
- Once you comfortably rest on the floor, take your arms over your head, and make sure that your palms face the ceiling.
- Hold the pose for about a minute. Then, gently come back up.
Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Since Hero Pose (Virasana) is the foundation for Reclining Hero Pose, it’s important to fully understand the correct alignment of Hero Pose.
- As you descend in the pose, focus on lowering your shoulders to the floor, not arching your head back. Keep your chest lifting as you recline.
- Keep your tailbone moving upward toward your pubic bone throughout the pose. This will help protect your low back.
- Create space and length between your vertebrae by lifting your ribcage upward and away from your hips, toward your head. Keep the backbend distributed evenly throughout your entire spine.
- Keep your knees as close together as possible, and firmly on the floor.
If your thighs insist on sliding apart in this pose, you might try one of two short-term solutions: bind your thighs together with a strap positioned around the mid-thighs; or squeeze a 2- to 3-inch thick book between your thighs. In either case be sure to draw your inner groins sharply up into your pelvis.
Modifications & Variations
Try these simple changes to find a variation of the pose that works best for you:
- If you cannot yet recline fully on the floor, place a bolster or a stack of folded blankets behind your body before coming into the pose. Rest on the bolster or blankets with your spine and head fully supported. Experiment with various levels of height until you find one that is right for you.
- To help with the releasing of your thigh bones and groin, drape a sandbag across the top of each thigh at the pelvic crease.
- To deepen the pose, stretch your arms up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Broaden across your shoulder blades, then reach your arms overhead, resting the backs of your hands on the floor. Bend your elbows, draw your shoulder blades down once more, and take hold of each elbow.
- If your ankles need extra padding in the pose, place a blanket or rolled towel beneath each one before coming fully into the pose.
Benefits Of The Supta Virasana
- It gives your thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen, and deep hip flexors a good stretch.
- It helps relieve tired legs.
- It strengthens the arches of the feet.
- It is useful and helps in the treatment of sciatica.
- It helps to deal with sleeping disorders such as insomnia.
- Digestive problems, intestinal gas, acidity and so on can be treated by doing this posture.
- Respiratory ailments like asthma or other diseases like arthritis can also be treated with this pose.
- It is recommended for helping people who suffer with high blood pressure.
- Colds, headaches, diarrhea, flat feet, varicose veins, infertility, menstrual problems are other areas where this posture can help.
Regularly practicing Supta Virasana will result in greater flexibility, normalized digestion, and improved posture. As you become more comfortable in the pose, you may discover a profound sense of calmness and peace while reclining. By restoring balance to your body, Supta Virasana also restores equanimity to your mind and spirit.