Yoga Posture Guide - The Hero Pose (Vira – asana)


The Hero Pose (Vira – asana)

Posture: Vira-asana - The Hero Pose
Translation; The Sanskrit word vira means hero, brave or eminent man, or warrior.
Pronunciation: veer-ah-sa-na
Difficulty Level: (2)

The vira-asana is an alternative to the padma-asana, siddha-asana, as well as other seated postures, meditation, and pranayama.

Benefits of The Hero Pose (Vira – asana)


  • It stretches thighs, knees, ankles, and feet.
  • Useful in meditation.
  • Relieve legs tiredness.
  • Virasana improves blood circulation in legs.
  • It improves digestion.
  • Beneficial to gas problems.
  • Cures the symptoms of menopause.
  • Improves your posture.
  • During pregnancy, it helps to reduce swelling of the legs (through the second trimester).
  • Useful in Asthma and high blood pressure.
  • It relaxes the legs.

Instructions for The Hero Yoga Pose (Vira – asana)


  1. Kneel on the floor with the calves and tops of the feet flat on the floor and the thighs touching. 
  2. Slowly spread the feet, about shoulder distance apart, while keeping the knees together. Place the buttocks flat on the floor. The outer sides of the thighs are touching the inner sides of the calves and the soles of the feet are exposed facing up. Place the hands' palms downs, on the knees and form a circle with the thumb and forefinger (in the chin-mudra) while pointing the other fingers straight ahead. 
  3. Breath slowly and deeply through the nostrils and remain motionless for six complete breaths (an inhale and exhale is one complete breath). 
  4. Inhale slowly and stretch the arms straight up over the head and interlock the fingers with the palms pushed upward. Remain in this position for six complete breaths. 
  5. Exhale slowly, release the fingers and slowly bend forward at the waist while placing the palms of the hands flat on the soles of the feet. Place the chin between the knees. 
  6. Hold this position for the duration of six complete breaths.Inhale, raise the chest up, stretch the legs straight ahead and place the hands, palms down, on top of the thighs. 
Note
Don’t perform this pose in case of ankle or knee injuries. If you feel any strain in your knees, place a blanket or towel under your feet. Always perform yogic activities under the supervision of an expert.

Tip
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.

Duration/Repetitions: Hold the posture for several minutes as part of an asana session or for the duration of your meditation or pranyama.

Variations for The Hero Yoga Pose (Vira – asana)


The Supta-vira-asana variation (supta is the Sanskrit word for "lying down") stretches the abdominal muscles and relieves pain and discomfort in the legs. Begin the posture as detailed above then incline backward and lean the back on the floor. The arms are stretch straight above the shoulders and kept flat on the floor.

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