Virasana – Hero Pose Yoga – वीरासन
Hero Pose or Virasana or Veerasana (वीरासन – Virasana in Hindi) is a classical seated meditation yoga pose with many spiritual and health benefits. In the final position of this traditional pose, thighs, knees, and ankles are stretched. It is one of the most ancient and traditional yoga poses used for meditation and pranayama. Virasana is derived from two Sanskrit words viz. “Vira” meaning hero or brave or warrior and “asana“ meaning pose or posture.
Hero Pose looks similar to Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana), but there is a difference. Whereas the feet are together in Thunderbolt Pose, the heels are alongside the hips and the buttocks are resting on the floor in Hero Pose.
- Spread a Yoga Mat and begin by kneeling position on it with the tops of the feet down on the mat and the knees together touching each other.
- Keeping your knees together, separate your feet to either side until they are wider than hip-distance apart. By spreading the feet, you are in fact making room for your butt to come down to the floor between them. Ensure that you separate your feet only, keeping the knees together.
- As you exhale, lower your butt to slowly sit down on the floor between your feet. You might have to manually move your calf muscles out of the way to sit properly on the floor.
- Your thighs will turn inward slightly in this position with the tops of your feet touching the floor.
- Place your palms on top of your thighs just near to knees.
- Keep your spine erect and start breathing normally with your eyes closed.
- Relax in this final pose.
- You can hold the pose for a minute initially or as long as you are comfortable.
- To release the pose, press your palms into the floor and lift your body and extend your legs into Staff Pose.
Virasana For Beginners
- If you are a beginner and find this pose uncomfortable, use yoga blocks or a folded blanket under your seat depending on what you need to be in most comfortable position.
- You can also put a folded blanket beneath your knees or shins or even feet if you need to make yourself comfortable.
Virasana (Hero Pose) Precautions
- If you feel any knee pain either exit the pose or try using the blanket or yoga blocks as suggested above for beginners. If the pain still persists it’s OK to skip this pose.
- In case of foot cramps or ankle pain, return to kneeling position, stretch your legs and curl your toes up, massage your foot to try to relieve it, then return to pose.
Virasana (Hero Pose) Variations
- Variation 1. Supta Virasana or Reclining Hero Pose – Place hands beside hips, lower the elbows, bend backward and slowly put the crown of your head on the floor taking the support of your elbows. Put the palms on the thighs and close your eyes.
- Variation 2. Ananda Madirasana or Intoxicating bliss pose – Begin with hero pose. Place the palms on top of the heels so that the fingers are pointing towards each other. Close the eyes and keep the spine erect. Fix the attention at the eyebrow center.
- Variation 3. Bhadrasana or Gracious pose – Begin with hero pose. Separate the knees as far as possible while keeping the toes in contact with the floor and allowing buttocks and perineum to rest on the ground. Concentrate on the nose tip. Do not strain.
Virasana (Hero Pose) Benefits
- Virasana stretches the hips, thighs, knees, ankles, and feet.
- The Hero Pose is very good for digestion, as it relieves symptoms for peptic ulcers, hyperacidity, hemorrhoids, excess wind problems etc.
- This asana improves circulation and relieves tired legs.
- Regular practice of Virasana improves the posture of the practitioner.
- Virasana Strengthens foot arches and relieves flat feet.
- It helps to ease the symptoms of menopause.
- It is a very good posture for meditation.
Practicing the Hero Pose will gradually result in an improved posture and a greater awareness of your entire body. Sitting quietly with your butts on the floor and a straight spine will calm your mind and allow you to go deep within. You will embody the grace of the ancient yogis and the true essence of a yoga hero achieving a balance and stillness in your thoughts, emotions, and body.