POSTURE BREAKDOWN: Hero Pose (Virasana)

Pin now, master later!

Pin now, master later!

Hero Pose (Virasana)

Step-By-Step

  1. Start by kneeling on the ground with the top of your feet pressing onto the ground.
  2. If your knees or feet are uncomfortable you can place a block under your seat and in between your feet to raise your hips or roll up a towel and place it between your thigh and calf muscles.
  3. Touch your inner knees together.
  4. Your feet are slightly wider than your hips.
  5. Lift your chest and pull your shoulders down and against your back.
  6. Your spine should be straight from the top of your head to your tailbone.
  7. Hold for 5-8 breaths.
  8. After 5-8 breaths slowly lean forward, putting your hands on the ground, straighten your legs and push back into downward-facing dog for a counter pose.

NOTE: Sometimes the inner top foot has a tendency to press harder into the ground than the outer top foot. If this is the case for you, using your palms, gently press down on the outer pinky edge of the sole of your foot.

MODIFICATION: If this pose hurts your ankles, roll a towel and place it under your ankles before sitting back in the pose for extra padding and support.

Benefits (Source: Yoga Journal)

  • Improves digestion and relieves gas
  • Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Strengthens the arches
  • Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester)
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause

Cautions

Avoid this pose if you have knee or ankle injuries.

Prep Poses (do these before hero pose)

  • Child's Pose (Balasana)
  • Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Follow-Up Poses (do these after hero pose)

  • Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
  • Crow Pose (Bakasana)