Hero Pose: Its Benefits for the Whole Person

3 min read

Virasana, or Hero Pose, is a beautiful and unique asana. This posture is perfect for long meditation sessions as it improves posture and increases circulation in the legs.

Virasana allows for the deepest flexion possible of the knee (for a normal, healthy knee), which “resets” and restabilizes this important joint. While it’s a great posture for keeping your knees mobile and healthy, practitioners with knee or ankle injuries should avoid it.

How to Be a Hero

Start by kneeling on your knees with your feet pointed straight behind you. Your thighs should be perpendicular to your floor. Add padding to your knees and ankles if kneeling is causing you discomfort. Roll up your mat or blanket, then place it where you need additional cushioning.

Draw your inner knees together and walk your feet slightly wider than your hips. Holding your calves, manually externally rotate your gastrocnemius muscle (the main muscle that runs through your calves).

Imagine that you’re cinching your waist with a corset. While maintaining this engagement, begin to gently relax your seat, either onto a bolster, block, or blanket or down to the ground.

Make sure your feet are pointing straight behind you. Do not allow your feet to splay out in any way. Also, keep the tops of your feet flat against the mat. Keep your knees touching each other throughout the entire posture.

Refrain from allowing your spine to slump here. Press your sit bones against a block, blanket, or floor and extend your crown in the opposite direction. Relax your hands anywhere that feels comfortable, and focus your attention inward. Breathe in the power and gentle stretch of this heroic pose.

Note: The knee is a complex and sensitive joint. Many muscles support the knee, but the actual joint itself has no muscles. There is no “good stretch” for the knee itself.

Release the pose immediately if you feel any tension or pain in your knee. You can add more padding underneath you, raise yourself higher, or skip this asana. Choose the option that feels best for you and not just your ego.

Hero Pose Benefits

Hero Pose physically stretches hips, thighs, ankles, and feet. It helps to relieve flatfoot symptoms by strengthening the arches. It helps improve circulation in the legs and reduces fatigue.

This pose also helps to improve digestion and relieve pain from gas. Virasana also works wonders for women, as it relieves symptoms of menopause. It can also reduce swelling in the legs caused by pregnancy. Hero Pose can also be therapeutic for those with asthma or high blood pressure.

Hero pose is a great seated meditation position that allows practitioners to transcend the physical body and enter the subtle world. Hero Pose is a powerful posture that can help relieve the symptoms of many annoying and troubling ailments.

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