Yoga Pose Breakdown: Virasana - Hero Pose

Sanskrit Name: Virasana (veer-AHS-anna)
Vira = Hero, Man, Chief
Asana = Pose

Get Started:

  • Begin by kneeling on the floor with your thighs perpendicular to the floor
  • Bring your knees toward each other, together if possible
  • Option to use a folded blanket or bolster between your calves 
  • Slide your knees wider than your hips with the tops of your feet on the floor
  • Put equal weight on each foot
  • If your buttocks don't rest comfortably on the floor or if you have knee sensitivity, option to sit on a block
  • Turn your thighs inward and press the heads of the thigh bones into the floor with the bases of your palms
  • Rest your hands in on your thighs
  • Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs, as you lift the top of your sternum 
  • Widen your collarbones and release your shoulder blades down your back
  • Lengthen your torso
  • Fix your gaze or close your eyes

Benefits: Hero Pose stretches the thighs, knees and ankles while strengthening the arches of the feet and improving digestion and relieving gas. It also helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and it reduces the swelling of the legs during pregnancy through the second trimester. It is also therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma.

Contradictions: Practice with caution if you have heart problems. If you have a headache, practice this pose by lying back on a bolster or similar prop. If you have a knee or ankle injury, avoid this pose without the supervision of an experience instructor. 

Know Your Asana: Virasana is an ancient pose that is also a great pose to sit in during meditation. Also option to lay back and move into Ardha Virasana by laying your torso toward the floor. 

Photo Cred: Babsi Glanznig