HomeYogaHow To Do Reclining Hero Yoga Pose (Supta Virasana)
How To Do Reclining Hero Yoga Pose (Supta Virasana)
June 1, 2023
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Reclining Hero Pose or Supta Virasana, has transformative effects on both the body and mind. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘The body is a temple’? As a yoga practitioner, I believe this to be true. Our bodies are sacred vessels that carry us through life’s ups and downs.
Yoga allows us to connect with our bodies on a deeper level. Bringing awareness to the present moment and creating space for inner peace.
This powerful asana has been known to relieve tension in the hips, thighs, and abdomen while also calming the mind and reducing stress.
In this article, I will guide you through how to safely enter into this pose, provide modifications for different body types, and offer tips for avoiding common mistakes.
So grab your mat and let’s begin our journey towards freedom of both body and mind.
Here are the step-by-step instructions to perform Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana):
Begin by kneeling on your mat with your knees hip-width apart and your feet pointing straight back.
Slowly sit back onto your heels, making sure your buttocks are firmly grounded.
Lower your torso down onto the mat, extending your legs straight out in front of you.
Keeping your knees together, begin to separate your feet wider than your hips.
Exhale and gently lower your back onto the mat, one vertebra at a time. Use your hands to support your weight as you lower down.
Once your back is on the mat, slide your hands along your sides and let your arms rest comfortably on the floor, palms facing up.
Relax your shoulders and allow them to soften away from your ears.
If you find discomfort in your lower back or knees, you can place a bolster, blanket, or cushion under your back or thighs for support.
Close your eyes, relax your entire body, and take slow, deep breaths.
Hold the pose for 1 to 5 minutes, or as long as you feel comfortable. Gradually increase the duration as you become more familiar with the pose.
To come out of the pose, engage your core muscles and slowly roll onto your side, using your hands for support.
Take a few moments to rest on your side before gently pushing yourself up to a seated position.
If you experience any discomfort or strain in your knees, do not force yourself into a deeper variation of the pose. Use props such as blankets or blocks for additional support.
Be mindful of your body’s limitations and listen to any sensations of pain or discomfort. Modify the pose as necessary.
Focus on releasing tension and allowing your body to relax fully in the pose.
This pose can be intense for some individuals, particularly in the front of the thighs and hips. Take it slowly and be patient with yourself.
Regular practice can help open the chest, stretch the thighs and hips, and increase flexibility in the legs and ankles.
Benefits of Reclining Hero Pose for Body and Mind
Here are some of the key benefits:
Stretches the Hips, Thighs, and Ankles: This pose provides a deep stretch for the hip flexors, quadriceps, and ankles, which can help improve flexibility and mobility in these areas.
Strengthens the Arch of the Foot: By pressing the tops of the feet into the floor, this pose can help strengthen the arches, which can be beneficial for people with flat feet.
Improves Digestion: The pose puts gentle pressure on the abdominal organs, which can stimulate digestion and help alleviate constipation.
Relieves Symptoms of Menopause: Some studies suggest that this pose can help alleviate symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood swings.
Helps with Sciatica: The pose can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with sciatica.
Promotes Relaxation: The Reclining Hero Pose is a restorative pose that promotes relaxation and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Improves Focus: By focusing on the breath and the sensations in the body, this pose can help improve concentration and mental clarity.
Encourages Mindfulness: The pose encourages mindfulness by bringing awareness to the present moment and the sensations in the body.
Boosts Mood: The pose can help boost mood by releasing tension and promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
Remember, it’s important to practice yoga poses under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor, especially if you’re a beginner or have any health conditions. Always listen to your body and modify the pose as needed to suit your individual needs and abilities.
Now, let’s prepare for this amazing pose by gathering our props and setting up our space properly.
Preparing for Reclining Hero Pose: Props and Set-Up
Get ready for the next step by setting up some props to help you comfortably ease into a reclined position.
To begin, gather a bolster and a yoga block. Place the bolster behind you, perpendicular to your spine. With one end touching your tailbone and the other end supporting your head. Then place the yoga block underneath the bolster at its highest height.
Now it’s time to make any necessary modifications or variations for extra support. If you find that your knees are uncomfortable or feel strained in this pose. Try placing a blanket or pillow between them to provide cushioning. You can also adjust the height of the bolster and block if needed.
Once everything is set up, bring your knees together and slowly lower yourself onto the bolster. With mindful awareness of how your body feels in each moment. This gentle approach will allow you to enter reclining pose with comfort and ease before moving on to explore its many benefits for both mind and body in subsequent sections.
Entering Reclining Hero Pose with Mindful Awareness
Entering into this relaxing posture is like sinking into a cozy bed. As you bring your knees together and mindfully lower yourself onto the bolster with ease.
As you extend your arms to the sides, let your shoulders relax down towards the ground and close your eyes. You’ll feel a stretch in your quadriceps, hip flexors, and ankles as you settle into the asana.
It’s important to enter this pose with mindful awareness of our body’s limits. It’s not uncommon to feel discomfort in the knee joints or back when attempting this pose for the first time.
If that happens, modify by placing a folded blanket under your knees or using additional props for support. Remember to support your spine throughout the pose by engaging abdominal muscles gently.
With practice, you’ll find different modifications and variations that work best for your unique body type. So that you can fully enjoy all of the benefits of practicing.
Modifications and Variations for Different Body Types
No matter your body type, there are plenty of ways to modify and personalize the pose for maximum comfort and benefits. For those with tight thighs or ankles, it’s recommended to place a bolster or rolled-up blanket under the knees to provide support. This will also allow the pelvis to tilt forward slightly, taking pressure off the lower back.
For those who want to deepen the posture and explore a gentle backbend. Try extending the arms overhead or placing a block under the shoulder blades. This modification can help open up both the front and back of the body. While still maintaining a yin quality to the practice.
Remember that every variation should be approached mindfully and with patience. Listening closely to what your body needs in each moment.
As you begin exploring modifications for supta virasana, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that could cause discomfort or injury. One common error is forcing yourself into a deeper stretch than your body is ready for.
Be sure to approach each variation gradually and with conscious awareness of any sensations you feel in your muscles and joints.
Avoid Common Mistakes
To prevent discomfort or injury, it’s crucial to steer clear of frequent errors when practicing the asana.
One common mistake is not modifying the posture to accommodate your body type. This can lead to strain on the knees, ankles, and hips.
It’s important to remember that not everyone’s body is built the same way. So using props such as blankets or blocks for support can ensure proper alignment and prevent injury.
Another mistake is not fully relaxing into the supine position. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain level of flexibility in this pose. But forcing yourself too far can cause pain or discomfort later on.
Remember that yoga should be a practice of compassion towards yourself and your body. Take your time getting into the pose. Use modifications as needed until you find a comfortable stretch in your muscles without any strain on your joints.
By avoiding these common mistakes and taking care of your body during this posture. You’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of this relaxing yoga asana with ease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Reclining Hero Pose? The Reclining Hero Pose, or Supta Virasana, is a restorative yoga pose that involves sitting between your heels and leaning back, which provides a deep stretch for the hips, thighs, and ankles.
Who should avoid the Reclining Hero Pose? Individuals with knee, ankle, or back issues should avoid this pose or practice it with caution under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.
Can beginners do the Reclining Hero Pose? Yes, beginners can do the Reclining Hero Pose, but they should start with the support of bolsters or cushions and gradually deepen the pose as their flexibility improves.
How long should I hold the Reclining Hero Pose? It’s generally recommended to hold the Reclining Hero Pose for 30 seconds to a minute, but you can gradually increase the duration as your comfort and flexibility improve.
Does the Reclining Hero Pose help with digestion? Yes, the Reclining Hero Pose puts gentle pressure on the abdominal organs, which can stimulate digestion and help alleviate constipation.
Can the Reclining Hero Pose help with stress and anxiety? Yes, the Reclining Hero Pose is a restorative pose that promotes relaxation and can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Is the Reclining Hero Pose beneficial for flat feet? Yes, by pressing the tops of the feet into the floor, this pose can help strengthen the arches, which can be beneficial for people with flat feet.
Supta Virasana provides a variety of benefits. It stretches and opens the front of the body, including the thighs, hip flexors, and abdominal muscles.
It can be particularly helpful for individuals who experience ankle problems or have flat feet. However, it is important to listen to your body and modify the pose if you feel any pain or discomfort, especially if you have back issues.
For a variation of Virasana, you can perform Reclining Hero Pose by keeping your thighs together and lying back onto your hands. This variation offers a more fully reclined position while still providing a deep stretch for the front of the body.
To support your spine and make the pose more accessible, you can place a yoga mat or bolster between your feet. You can also use props such as blocks or blankets to modify the pose as needed.
If you find it challenging to keep your knees together or your feet easily on the floor, you can try using a strap to bind your thighs together or place cushions or bolsters under your thighs for support. It’s important to adjust the props as necessary and make sure you are able to release muscular effort and relax in the pose.
As with any yoga pose, it is essential to listen to your body and honor its limits. If you have specific concerns or medical conditions, it is recommended to consult with a certified yoga instructor or a registered yoga teacher who can guide you through modifications and variations that suit your individual needs.
Always prioritize your comfort and safety. Keep your knees together or use props for support, and if needed, come onto your hands or return to your forearms to make sure they stay perpendicular to the floor. You can also try curling your toes or adjusting the arch of your foot to find a position that works best for you.
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