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Supta Virasana: Reclining Hero Pose

 

Supta Virasana: Reclining Hero Pose


Reclining hero pose, or supta virasana (SOUP-tah veer-AHS-anna), is the reclined version of virasana. Take your time moving into this pose and move out of the pose if any pain increases.

Philosophy + Origin

In order to be a hero in the world, you first need to be a hero to yourself. This restorative posture reminds you to be your best so you can give your best to the world and community. Although not often celebrated, the quiet moments of rest and restoration are as vital to creating and sustaining the hero as more noticed, grand “heroic” gestures. As you take time to practice supta virasana, reflect on how making space for yourself in your day creates more space in every other aspect of your life. The more expansive you are, the more capable you are of being the hero the world needs you to be.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Practice ardha supta virasana (half reclining heros pose) to test out the intensity by keeping one leg extended. Then switch sides.
  • Use support as needed behind the upper body: try folded blankets, bolsters, blocks or any combination to find the right height for your body.
  • Use a sandbag on your thighs to help relieve pressure on hips and thighs.
  • To deepen the pose, extend your arms over your head.
  • If knees are uncomfortable, place a thick, folded blanket under your knees.

CONTRAINDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS:

  • Serious back, knee, or ankle conditions.
  • Back, quadricep, or knee injuries.

TIPS:

If you’re ready to deepen the posture, extend your arms over your head to provide even more opening. This is beneficial for a variety of respiratory issues. When extending your arms, first reach your hands straight up to the ceiling, making sure your shoulder blades are broad and spacious. Reach your arms over your head until they touch the floor. Turn your palms up and draw your shoulder blades back down to release the shoulders.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin in virasana, hero pose. Hold this posture until you can comfortably sit between your heels, knees on the floor.
  2. When you’re ready to lie back, exhale to lower your upper body toward the ground behind you. Shift your weight to your hands, then to your forearms on the ground. Use your fingertips and palms to support your lower back and begin to release all the way to the ground or the supports behind you. Keep your knees aligned with your hips.
  3. Lengthen your lower back: think about drawing your tailbone forward to help your lower back soften toward the floor behind you. Lay your hands at your sides like you would for savasana, palms up and fingers relaxed.
  4. Stay in this posture as long as it is comfortable, beginning with one minute and working up to five. When you’re ready to release, use your forearms and hands to return to virasana. Keep your chin tucked and lead with your chest.

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PREPARATORY POSES:

FOLLOW-UP POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Supta = reclining
  • Vira = hero
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stretches the front body and spine.
  • Strengthens the knees, ankles, and arches of the feet.
  • Improves digestion, relieving diarrhea, gas, and other issues.
  • Relieves PMS symptoms.
  • Improves arthritis symptoms.
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of asthma and other respiratory issues.
  • Eliminates head colds and headaches.
  • Reduces high blood pressure.
  • Reduces insomnia.
  • Reduces and prevents varicose veins.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Calms the mind.
  • Energizes the legs.
  • Improves mental digestion.

MANTRA:

Sita Ram Mantra

A celebration of love, this mantra will help open your heart center and give you the tools you need to live heroically from your heart – not your head. To practice, repeat “Sita Ram” mentally or aloud.

MUDRA: Apana Mudra

The apana mudra can aid both physical and mental digestion. This mudra generally helps remove whatever needs to be eliminated from your life. To practice, join the thumb with the middle and ring finger. Extend your index and pinky fingers straight out.

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