Virasana or Hero Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Virasana, Hero Pose
Sanskrit
वीरासन / Vīrāsana
Pronunciation
vaj-RAHS-uh-nuh
Meaning
vajra: “thunderbolt/diamond”
vira: “hero”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Vajrasana (vaj-RAHS-uh-nuh) and Virasana (veer-AHS-uh-nuh) strengthen the pelvic muscles, prevent hernias and relieve piles (hemorrhoids). They also relieve stiffness in the ankles, cramps in the feet, and are beneficial for people with gout, arthritic pain in the knees, pain in the heels, or calcaneal spurs.

These two poses are the only ones that can be done after meals. In fact, it is good to be in these poses for at least five minutes after meals, because they enhance the function of the digestive system.

According to an article The ancient Vedic texts describe meditation as an exercise of consciousness that results in the expansion and increasing efficiency of one’s inner faculty. The process occurs without any direction from your mind, which can cause you to feel more at peace with yourself than ever before!

Muscle Focus

Virasana or Hero Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Gluteus
  • Adductors
  • Quads (front thigh muscles)
  • Back muscles
  • Calf Muscles
  • Hamstrings Muscle

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • One of the postures that can be practiced after having a meal and helps to improve digestion.
  • A restorative pose.
  • Soothes Central Nervous System.
  • Helps to surrender and relax.

Benefits of Virasana or Hero Pose

1. Removes Tightness from the Legs

If you spend long hours sitting or standing, your legs tend to feel heavy and tired. In such cases, Virasana can be done for about five minutes to remove the tightness from the legs.

2. Relieves Pain in the Back

This pose is also known to relieve pain in the lower back and sacral region. It can also be helpful in sciatica.

3. Stretches the Ankles and Feet

Virasana is a great pose to stretch the ankles and feet. It also helps in strengthening these body parts.

4. Improves Blood Circulation

This pose helps in improving blood circulation in the legs, which can be beneficial for people suffering from varicose veins.

5. Reduces Stress

Virasana has a calming effect on the mind and can help reduce stress levels. It is also known to help treat anxiety and depression.

6. Improves Digestion

This pose is known to improve digestion by stimulating the digestive organs. It can also help relieve gas and bloat.

7. Can be Assumed While Practicing Meditation

Virasana can be assumed while practicing meditation as it helps in keeping the spine erect. It also calms the mind and helps in concentration.

8. Helps to Ease the Symptoms of Menopause

Virasana can help in reducing hot flashes and night sweats, which are common symptoms of menopause.

9. Strengthens Muscles in the Back and Legs

Virasana can help improve your posture by strengthening the muscles in the back and legs.

10.  It has a Soothing Effect on Asthma and High Blood Pressure

Virasana has a soothing effect on asthma and high blood pressure. It is also known to be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety.

11.  Calming Effect on Body and Mind

Virasana has a calming effect on the mind and body and can be helpful to relieve your entire body after a very hectic day.

Contraindications

Those with any knee injuries should avoid Virasana. One can try Vajrasana instead as it involves less bending of the knees.

Variations

  • Virasana withProps
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Parivrtta Virasana (Revolved Hero Pose)

Preparatory Pose

  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Do not force your knees together if they do not touch comfortably.
  • You can place a block or pillow under your buttocks for support.
  • If you have any pain in your knees, sit on a blanket or towel.
  • Do not practice this pose if you have any injuries in your knees, ankles, or feet.

How to do Virasana or Hero Pose

  • Start with Dandasana.
  • Then, one by one bend your knees and sit on the inner side of your feet in Vajrasana.
  • Knees will remain joined together.
  • Part your feet hip-width apart so that you can sit comfortably between them.
  • Slowly lower your buttocks towards your heels, sit comfortably between them.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs or knees.
  • Stay in this position for a few breaths and then slowly come back to the starting position.

Mental Benefits of Virasana or Hero Pose

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • Has a calming effect on the mind.
  • Helpful in treating insomnia.

Bottom Line

Virasana or Hero Pose is a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your legs, back, and feet. It can also help improve circulation and digestion and reduce stress levels. If you are pregnant, Virasana can help reduce swelling in the legs and relieve back pain. This pose is also beneficial for people with asthma and high blood pressure. Virasana can be assumed while practicing meditation and is known to calm the mind and relax the body.

1 sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895748/
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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