For our November 2018 pose of the month, we are featuring Virasana or Hero Pose to honor all of the veterans that sacrifice so much personally so that we can enjoy the freedoms and opportunities of our wonderful nation.
Hero pose can be quite challenging for many, so we will offer several suitable variations.
There are numerous benefits in practicing this pose:
▪ Stretches the hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet
▪ Improves circulation and relieves tired legs
▪ Strengthens foot arches, relieving flat feet
▪ Improves digestion and relieves gas
▪ Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
▪ Improves posture
▪ Therapeutic for asthma and high blood pressure
▪ Great alternative to lotus or easy seated pose during mediation.
▪ During pregnancy it helps to reduce swelling of the legs (through second trimester).
▪ Useful in Asthma and high blood pressure.
To get into Virasana:
Start from a tabletop position; bring your knees together and splay your heels apart.
Begin to ease your sitting bones back, trying to keep your knees together.
When you’re about halfway down to seated, reach back and externally rotate the fleshy part of your calves.
Ease back and down into a seated and upright position.
Straighten your spine: stack head over shoulders, shoulders over hips with a lift through the crown of your head. Puff through your chest, drawing shoulder blades down your back away from your ears.
You can always place a block between your feet and sit on the block.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. You can gradually build up the time.
If you’re not feeling much sensation, and only if you’re not sitting on a block, you can start to ease onto your elbows, keeping chest uplifted and shoulder blades down your back.
For a deep expression, lower all the way onto your back and extend your arms overhead catching opposite elbows for Supta Virasana or reclined hero pose.
Your full expression is an advanced posture requiring very open quadriceps and flexibility in knees and ankles. This final expression is entered through bridge pose or setu bandha sarvangasana.
From bridge pose, walk your heels in closer to your back and tuck your toes underneath you lifting your heels. From here, gently ease your knees to the floor gently rolling to the crown of your head. Energetically extend your arms overhead and breathe deeply into chest and throat chakras!