Asana: Virasana & Supta Virasana

1 Jan

Virasana & Supta Virasana (Hero Pose & Supine Hero Pose) is a great asana to find for pranayama or meditation in your yoga practice.

This pose should never cause pain in the knees.  Breathe slowly and fully as you practice, use appropriate props to build your pose in a way that supports your body, and come out of the pose, coming onto all fours and straightening your knees whenever you need to.  The stretch should be felt in the belly or middle of your muscles–not at the joints.  Notice sensation in your body–particularly in your knees–and please come out of the pose if you feel pain.

Virasana is beneficial for

  • Stretching the quadriceps
  • Keeping knee joints healthy (only if done with proper alignment!)
  • Aligning tendons in the back of the knees
  • Strengthening feet and ankles
  • Improving digestion
  • Relieving gas
  • Broadening the sacrum
  • Relieving gout
  • Reducing tailbone pain
  • Correcting herniated discs
  • Improving foot circulation

More resources:

Roger Cole, PhD, writes a series about how to navigate Virasana in a way that is healthy to your body: Keep the Knees Healthy in Virasana and Practice Tips for Virasana.

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Approach these asanas slowly and mindfully. If something hurts, back out of the pose gently and reassess. Do not ever push through pain. The techniques and suggestions presented in these videos are not intended to substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. Jessie Tierney and YogAscent/Horseback Yoga videos and website assume no responsibility for injuries suffered while practicing these techniques. If you are new to exercise or yoga, are elderly, have any chronic or recurring conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, arthritis, heart disease, and so on, seek your physician’s advice before practicing to determine necessary precautions.
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2 Responses to “Asana: Virasana & Supta Virasana”

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  1. Vinyasa III: Hip Healers | YogAscent: Heighten Your Practice - September 10, 2014

    […] Virasana on Support Please take care to build up your support in this posture by stacking two or three blocks and a blanket to sit on, then slowly removing layers until you are in a comfortable posture. The sensation is felt in the belly of your thigh muscles, never in the knee joints (if you feel strain/stretching in your knee joints, you are doing damage to the body; please come out of the pose and find a higher seat until there is no knee pain). The inner knees touch; the feet are just under or slightly wider than the hips. The spine is tall, sit bones equally rooted, shoulders relaxed, back of neck long. Enjoy at least ten rounds of your choice of pranayama (suggestion: belly breathing) with your palms folded in your lap. […]

    Like

  2. Back Care Vinyasa III: Hip Healers | Jessie Tierney - September 10, 2014

    […] Virasana on Support Please take care to build up your support in this posture by stacking two or three blocks and a blanket to sit on, then slowly removing layers until you are in a comfortable posture. The sensation is felt in the belly of your thigh muscles, never in the knee joints (if you feel strain/stretching in your knee joints, you are doing damage to the body; please come out of the pose and find a higher seat until there is no knee pain). The inner knees touch; the feet are just under or slightly wider than the hips. The spine is tall, sit bones equally rooted, shoulders relaxed, back of neck long. Enjoy at least ten rounds of your choice of pranayama (suggestion: belly breathing) with your palms folded in your lap. […]

    Like

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