Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero Pose)

English Name(s)
Supta Virasana, Reclining Hero Pose
Sanskrit
सुप्तवीरासन /Supta Vīrāsana
Pronunciation
Soup-tah veer-AHS-anna
Meaning
supta: “reclining”
vira: “hero”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Supta Virasana (SOUP-tah veer-AHS-uh-nuh) is a restorative pose. It stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles, and relaxes the legs, abdominal organs, and pelvic region. This pose elongates the chest, making breathing easier and deeper. This asana brings elasticity to the legs and is good to take before back extensions.

The name Virasana may sound like a Sanskrit phrase meaning “heroic pose,” but this basic kneeling asana is actually part of several forward and backward bends. It can be used in place for other seated poses such as padmasana (lotus position) when meditating or simply relaxing with its healing effects on the backside! To enter, begin by knees together placing both feet flat against the floor so that buttocks rest upon them; separate heels slightly backward without allowing toes to hang off the edge while rising rest your arms alongside oneself if possible or at least keep hands relaxed yet positioned ready should something arise within mind/body connection during practice.

A study has shown that the students who practiced yoga performed better in academics, and low-stress people had an advantage over high-stress ones. This means that stress can affect your performance at school.

Muscle Focus

Reclining Virasana Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Latissimus Dorsi (Back Muscles)
  • Pectoralis (Chest Muscles)
  • Psoas (Hip Flexors)
  • Rectus Abdominis (Abdominal Muscles)
  • Glutes (Hip muscles)
  • Quads (First thigh muscles)

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • It improves posture and alignment.
  • Can be practiced to overcome stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • It can be practiced in restorative sequences.

Benefits of Supta Virasana or Reclining Hero Pose

1.  Aids Digestion and can be Practiced After the Meal

It is one of the few postures that can be practiced right after having a meal. It helps in stimulating the digestive organs.

2.  Benefits Kidney and Liver

Supta Virasana has a direct impact on the kidneys, liver, spleen, and pancreas. These are vital organs that help in the digestion of food we eat every day so it’s important to keep them healthy by practicing this pose for at least 20 minutes daily!

3. Strengthens Your Legs

This posture is beneficial as it strengthens your leg muscles which support you during any activity like walking or running etc. You can also use Supta Virasana after doing other yoga poses such as Bhujangasan (cobra position) because they will give great strength to both upper body parts like the shoulders neck area while simultaneously strengthening the lower part too.

4. Stretches Key Muscles

This posture helps in stretching the key muscles of the back and front thigh, hamstrings as well abdomen. Also, it stretches your psoas major which is a hip flexor that originates from the lumbar spine along with the Quadratus lumborum (QL) muscle located just below the rib cage on either side so these two anatomical structures are included when stretching into Supta Virasana pose too!

5.  Relieves Digestive Disorders

Supta Virasana can help you get rid of any digestive problems such as constipation or indigestion because this yoga posture will stretch out intestines which leads to better functioning gut flora bacteria processing food more efficiently through its natural processes without causing any issues like diarrhea etc.

6. Helps sciatica

Supta Virasana is a great asana for people suffering from sciatica pain. This yoga posture helps in stretching the piriformis muscle which is located deep in your glutes and responsible for causing that radiating pain down your leg.

7.  Reduces Stress Levels

This pose also helps to reduce stress levels because it relaxes not just the body but the mind too! After a long day at work, Supta Virasana can be really helpful in calming you down and helping you sleep better at night.

8. Cures Insomnia, Infertility, Headache, Flat Feet, Acidity, Diarrhea, Arthritis, High Blood Pressure, and Gastritis

Apart from all these benefits, Supta Virasana is also known to cure various medical conditions such as Insomnia, Infertility, Headache, Flat Feet, Acidity. Diarrhea etc. If practiced regularly with sincerity and dedication, this pose can help in curing a lot many health problems!

9. Eases Menstrual Pain

This posture is also very helpful in easing menstrual pain by relaxing the pelvic floor muscles and abdomen.

10.  Relieves Tired Legs

Supta Virasana helps you get rid of the fatigue caused due to standing for long hours or walking all day long. This pose can be practiced right after doing other yoga poses such as Bhujangasan (cobra position) because they will give great strength to both upper body parts like the shoulders neck area while simultaneously strengthening the lower part too! Supta Virasana stretches your psoas major which is a hip flexor that originates from the lumbar spine along with the quadratus lumborum (QL) muscle located just below the rib cage on either side.

11.  It has Restorative Properties

Supta Virasana is a restorative pose meaning it has a very soothing response on our body and mind. After practicing this pose, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated.

Contraindications

Avoid this pose if there is any knee or ankle pain or injury. If your buttocks do not touch the floor keep a folded blanket or a block in between your feet. Recline on a bolster to avoid overarching the lower back; especially when the student’s quadriceps are tight they will not be able to recline. This asana is best done with props to give deeper relaxation and to avoid any compression on the lower back.

Variations

  • Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Thunderbolt Pose)

Preparatory Pose

  • Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Virasana (Seated Hero Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • If you feel a pull on your knees while doing this posture, then place firm pillows underneath the outer edges of your buttocks and between each knee.
  • If there is any pain in the back or hips, fold one blanket under the buttocks; if necessary, another under the head.
  • Inhale and slowly press into your hands to lift your torso off the mat. cautiously roll to one side, then press up to sit.
  • Always exercise caution and listen to your body when practicing asanas. if any posture ever feels painful or uncomfortable, back off and modify as needed! yoga should always be practiced in a safe and comfortable manner.

How to do Reclining Hero Pose

  • Begin in Virasana (Hero Pose) sitting between your heels.
  • Bring your hands behind you to the mat.
  • Tighten your feet so as to stabilize the movement.
  • Bend your elbows and slowly lean your body back as you inhale, lowering onto your forearms and then your upper back. Make sure that your knees and lower back still feel ok.
  • You should feel a stretch in the midpoint of your thigh muscle (quadriceps) rather than the attachment points of the muscle at your knees.
  • If your back is on the mat you can bring your arms alongside the ears, out to the sides.
  • Take a few deep breaths and relax completely.
  • This posture can be maintained for 10 minutes in a restorative flow.

Mental Benefits of Reclining Hero Pose

  • Relax the mind and body.
  • Can also help to cure insomnia.
  • Reduces stress levels, due to its calming effect on the mind and body.

Bottom Line

All in all, Supta Virasana or Reclining Hero Pose is an incredibly beneficial asana that can help improve digestion, relieve menstrual pain, stretch key muscles and relieve stress levels. Practicing Supta Virasana regularly can help improve your overall health in addition to relieving many common ailments. If you are looking for a gentle yoga pose that has multiple benefits, Supta Virasana is a great option! Give it a try today. Namaste!

1 sources
  1. https://www.ijoy.org.in/article.asp?issn=0973-6131;year=2009;volume=2;issue=1;spage=39;epage=43;aulast=Kauts
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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