Hero Pose, also known as Virasana, is a soothing posture for the legs that extends the knees, thighs, and ankles to relieve tension. It’s fantastic to see how much Vajrasana resembles “Vir Hanuman.” Yoga instructors can use Hanuman tales to inspire their students to embody the genuine meaning of dedication, surrender, and trust, frequently practiced in Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga.
Hero Pose Steps
- Start out on your knees.
Kneel with your knees joined thighs parallel to the floor, and shins on the floor.
- Make your stance wider.
Slide your feet out beyond hip-width while keeping your knees together. Put a flat surface on the floor with the tops of your feet.
- Exhale as you descend.
As you exhale, bring your buttocks to the floor in front of your feet.
Use your thumbs to gently pull your calf muscles toward your heels if your calves are in the way. Use your prop if your buttocks still aren’t touching the ground. Your hips will be supported and your knees will be in the right position if you add some height beneath your buttocks.
- Extend your shoulders.
In order to lengthen from the tailbone and lift your sternum proudly, roll your shoulder blades away from your ears. Place your hands palms up and stacked one on top of the other in your lap or place them palms down on your knees.
Hold this heroic position for 30 to 60 seconds. As you gain experience, gradually increase the time.
- Let go.
Lean forward and press your hands into the ground to come out of the hero pose. Sit back, cross your ankles, and lift your buttocks off the floor, placing them on the floor over your feet. Pose by gently straightening both of your legs in front of you (dandasana).
Hero Pose Benefits
- Strengthen, stretch and lengthen: When firmly positioned between the feet, Hero Pose extends and strengthens the hips. It also lengthens the legs. By bringing both knees together, pressure is applied, strengthening the knees. Additionally, by bringing the knees together, the quadriceps and muscles from the thigh to the foot are strengthened. The spine lengthens as well with consistent practice and keeping the stance longer. In this position, the pelvic region’s nerve impulses and blood flow are altered, and the pelvic muscles are strengthened as the spine is raised off the floor.
- Flexibility and range of motion: When practicing virasana pose while seated and flexing the knees and ankles, pressure is felt at the ankles, giving the thigh muscles the most remarkable stretch possible. As a result, the muscles in the knees, ankles, and thighs loosen up, making it easier to perform the problematic twisting poses required for yoga. The foot’s flexibility around the ankles improves as the ankles are stretched to their maximum extent, and any heel pain from prolonged standing is greatly alleviated.
- Awareness and Focus: Hero Pose enhances spinal posture while keeping the body strong and upright, which aids in enhancing mental focus when pranayama and meditation are practiced while in the posture. The student must lay their buttocks between their feet on the mat. Teachers can set up a block or cushion for the pupils to sit on if they find this alignment problematic. This enables them to strike the posture and advance progressively.
- Stimulation and Organs: Sitting gently in the Hero Pose keeps a mild pressure on the abdomen, which helps with digestion. The manipura chakra controls the fire element inside the body and is responsible for burning out toxins from the body. The sacral chakra (Swadisthana Chakra), which is well-known for stimulating sexual and creative energy, is activated by gentle pressure applied to the lower belly. Similarly, the root chakra (Muladhara Chakra), which serves as the structural support for life and other chakras, is stimulated by light pressure applied to the lower back region in virasana pose.
- Therapeutic, Healing, and Ailments: The Hero Pose, which involves flexing the knees and hips, effectively treats rheumatic knee pain. Flat feet can be cured by stretching the ankles, legs, and feet to establish correct arches.
- Circulation and Systems: The end of the spinal column (Meru dandas), which is so exquisitely positioned in the space between the feet in this position gives the body a fantastic posture and aids in the smooth circulation of prana throughout the entire body. It is thought that the flow of prana is the initial step in the body’s internal healing process. The blood flow throughout the legs is improved by folding the knees and thighs, making these areas more flexible.
- Balance and Emotion: When you are fully in Hero Pose, the mind stabilizes along with the body’s balance. Thus, pranayama and meditation can be fostered while in posture. With more time and consistent effort, one can acquire the mental condition of equilibrium thanks to a stabilized mind. As a result, since a quiet mind is beneficial for good memory, this pose can surely be advised to children and teenagers.
- Others: Hero Pose may be performed in a sitting position and doesn’t require additional bending or twisting, making it suitable for older students with strong feet and legs. As it is done while sitting, it is a great stretching intermediate yoga pose for kids to start with. This pose has been recommended for women to help with a smooth transition from perimenopause to menopause because it strengthens the pelvic region. The position might also benefit women after giving birth because it strengthens the pelvic and core.
Hero Pose Contraindications:
- Injury and surgery: The Hero Pose demands the hips, quadriceps, knees, and ankles to be sufficiently flexible. Students must therefore take a break and avoid this stance if they have recently had an accident or surgery at the parts mentioned above.
- Physical Strength and Weak Body: The knees, hips, and ankles are considerably stretched during the Hero Pose. Therefore, if one has excessively stiff knees and ankles or is healing from a recent injury to these areas of the body, there may be a significant risk. Avoid virasana if you are a senior student or have serious arthritis. This stance will be difficult for students with swollen varicose veins. Therefore they should stay away from it. It may result in painful, severe vein obstructions. Avoid this stance if you have piles or a prolapsed uterus, students.
- Others: Pregnant women in their later stages should avoid this pose since it will hurt their knees and hips. Yoga instructors must instruct students on breathing and provide feedback as they do it if they are unaware of the links between the body and breath.
Hero Pose Variations:
- While seated on your knees and shins, position your feet so that the soles are facing backward and all your toes are in contact with the floor. This is a simple virasana pose.
- The second form involves placing the feet on each other with the soles facing in the opposite direction. The hip is raised when your sit bones are positioned on the heels of your feet. Because of the increased pressure on the ankles, this must be done with caution.
- By placing the hands on the thighs, one can perform Uddiyana Bandha, also known as the abdominal lock, which involves pushing the hands down on the knees and lifting the upper abdomen and chest upward. After achieving this form of Pranayama expertise, this exercise should be performed under appropriate supervision.
- You can also perform Virasana by lifting your arms above your shoulders and extending your head upward while keeping your fingers interlaced. The chest and upper abdominal muscles should be tightened due to this upward stretch.
While seated in a basic Virasana, place your palms on the bottoms of your feet. As you inhale, lift your body upward, and as you exhale, stretch forward, lowering your forehead to the floor in front of you. This tones the lower abdominal muscles maintain the strength of the hips and tightens the buttocks.