Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Virasana gets its name from Sanskrit like other yogasanas where "Vir" means "hero" and "Asana" means "Posture" or "pose".

The asana is termed as Virasana or The Hero Pose as a hero sits still once he has conquered the enemy, a yogi sits still in this pose to conquer his/her inner turmoil.

Virasana is one of the meditative asanas and is considered best when it is practiced early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice t in the morning, you can practice Virasana in the evening as well.

Virasana or Hero pose helps to increase the flexibleness of your legs by stretching the knees, thighs, ankles, and feet. There is a minor difference between Virasana and Vajrasana. In Vajrasana or The Thunderbolt Pose, your feet touch each other and there is no gap between your feet, in Virasana or the Hero Pose, there is a gap between your feet and you have to put your hips in between your toes.

Additionally, Virasana or Hero Pose is also called Warrior Pose. This pose has the ability to keep the spine centered and the mind calm.

Virasana or The Hero Pose is considered as a balm for tired legs at the end of the day

How To Do Virasana Or The Hero Pose?

To practice Virasana, one must get into Vajrasana first:

Vajrasana Or The Thunderbolt Pose

  • To practice Vajrasana, sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Kneel down while bending your lower legs backward in such a way that they are kept together and the big toes of both the feet are crossing each other.
  • To practice Vajrasana, gently lower your body on the lower legs in such a way that the thighs are resting on your calves.
  • Keep your hands on your knees and set your gaze on a point and look forward while keeping your head and neck straight.
  • Maintain your breath while practicing Vajrasana. You should inhale and exhale deeply while sitting in this position.
  • Close your eyes while breathing and focus on the eye center and try to calm your mind.

Virasana Or The Hero Pose

  • While sitting in Vajrasana, bring your knees closer together and your feet slightly wider than the width of your hips.
  • Press the tops or the front of the feet firmly into the mat.
  • While practicing Virasana, lower your hips back slowly so that you are eventually sitting on the mat or on the ground between your heels.
  • Make sure you do not feel any shooting pain or any sensation in your body while practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose.
  • Also, make sure that the toes are pointing backward and ankles are drawn inwards to protect the knees.
  • While practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose pull in your navel. Extend your tailbone from the crown of your head to the floor.
  • Stay in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 5-10 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 15-20 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • Release the pose by stretching your legs straight on the floor.

Breathing Pattern To Be Followed While Practicing Virasana Or The Hero Pose

  • When doing Virasana or Hero pose , Inhale deeply while folding your legs.
  • Exhale while joining your knees to rest your hips on the floor.
  • Maintain a deep and calming breath while staying in the final position of Virasana or Hero pose and relax the mind.
  • Exhale deeply once you release the pose.

Yogasanas To Be Performed Before And After Virasana Or The Hero Pose

  • The various preparatory poses to be done before practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose are Balasana or The Child's Pose and Baddha Konasana or The Butterfly Pose.
  • Various follow-up poses that can be done after practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose are Padmasana or The Lotus Pose and Bakasana.

Tips While Practicing Virasana Or The Hero Pose

  • It is not always mandatory to practice Virasana or The Hero Pose on empty stomach. But if you are preceding or following it up with other yoga asanas, it is best you have your meals at least four to six hours before you do Virasana or Hero pose. Also, make sure that your bowels are clean.
  • People who face any difficulty while sitting onto the heels can place a block or cushion between the heels. Also, if your ankles are painful in this pose, roll up a towel and place it underneath them before you sit back.
  • Be aware of your breath while practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose. Keep your concentration fixed on the third eye and keep the eyes closed while being in the final position.
    For advanced practitioners to deepen the pose, hold your knees with your hands and straighten your arms and firm your shoulder blades against your back and also take your chin down to your chest without straining your back. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds. To release the pose raise your head to the neutral position and release the knees as well.
  • If you feel excessive pain while practicing Virasana, leave the pose and stretch the legs on the yoga mat or on the floor.
  • For maximum benefits, the breath should be kept deep and long while practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose. Many people tend to breathe faster while practicing this asana which might hinder calming the mind and relaxing the body.
  • The body should not be tensed while bending the legs. Instead, the body should be loosened to promote relaxation while practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose.

Benefits Of Practicing Virasana Or The Hero Pose

Benefits Of Practicing Virasana Or The Hero Pose

  • One of the main benefits of practicing Virasana or Hero pose is that it helps in strengthening the Digestive system as it regulation practice helps in relieving constipation and other stomach disorders. While practicing Virasana or Hero pose, the blood flow is obstructed to the lower part of the body and the blood flow is increased in the stomach and pelvic area which promotes the bowel movement and hence improves digestion.
  • Regular practice of Virasana or The Hero Pose helps in getting rid of Acidity.
  • Practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose aids liver function.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose helps ease the labor pains and reduce the menstrual cramps.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose stretches and strengthens the knees, thighs, and ankles on regular practice.
  • Virasana massages the abdominal organs and stimulates the digestive system which in return improves digestion.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose also helps in getting rid of High Blood Pressure.
  • Virasana helps in getting rid of Respiratory ailments like Asthma.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose, when practiced during the second trimester of pregnancy, helps in getting rid of swelling from the legs.
  • On regular practice, Virasana or The Hero Pose helps in improving blood flow in the feet and legs.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose also helps in improving the posture.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, allows more awareness of the unconscious realms and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of Virasana.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose upon regular practice keeps the Reproductive organs healthy.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose is also very beneficial for Liver and Kidneys and helps prevent Liver and kidney ailments.
  • Virasana is also considered helpful in curing Flat Feet.
  • After a long day of work or after long walks, Virasana or The Hero Pose is considered very helpful in relaxing the legs.

Precautions And Contraindications While Practicing Virasana Or The Hero Pose

  • Avoid practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose if you have had any recent injuries to the foot.
  • You should immediately stop the practice if you feel a sudden and sharp shooting pain in the knees. You can also try using a towel or a sheet or other yoga props to feel easy while practicing the asana.
  • Virasana or The Hero Pose should not be practiced if you have any heart conditions.
  • If you get frequent headaches, you should not practice Virasana or The Hero Pose.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Virasana or The Hero Pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Virasana. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: December 30, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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