As a child, I always used to sit in Hero Pose. My hips are quite internally rotated, (which means I find it easy to turn the femur bones inwards and towards the bodies mid line, but much more difficult to turn them outwards) so this is a very comfortable position for me. If your hips are more externally rotated (you find it easier to turn the femur bones outwards and away from the bodies mid line) this pose my be quite tricky.
It’s a great pose to practice to release tension in the hips and to stretch the quadriceps.
Hero Pose is a posture in itself, but in this article I will describe Reclining Hero Pose, or Supta Virasana. This asana can be practiced in a yin or yang fashion, depending on the length of time you hold it.
Note- Reclining hero pose is an intermediate posture. Only come down as far as feels good for your body.
How to do it-
Props needed- Cushions, pillows and folded blankets.
Come into a kneeling position on your mat. Take your cushions and pillows and place them behind you, close enough so that they touch your toes.
Sit back onto your heels. Rest your buttocks between your heels.
This position may already be very uncomfortable for you, in which case, place a folded blanket under your knees, shins or feet. If you find it impossible to sit back onto your heels, place a folded blanket or a cushion on top of your shins and underneath your buttocks to give you a bit more height.
If this already feels like enough of a stretch for you, stay here.
You may feel like you can go a little bit deeper into the pose. If so, inhale and open your chest. Gently bring your hands onto the mat behind you and begin to lower your body down. This may be where you stay.
Then, if you still feel like you have space in the body (particularly in the front of the thighs) come down onto your fore arms. Make sure that your chest is still open and you can still breathe freely.
Keep the natural curve in your lower back.
Stay here for a few breaths and let you body get used to being in this position.
You can now lower yourself all the way down onto the cushions you have placed behind you, ONLY if you feel comfortable to do so and don’t feel any pain in your lower back or knees. If you do, please come out of the pose straight away.
You can place as many cushions as you like behind you.
Stay here for 3-5 minutes for the yin yoga version, or for 5-10 breaths if you would like a shorter hold.
If your knees want to come apart slightly then let them. Try to relax as much as you can an enjoy the deep stretch in the front of the thighs and the gentle compression of the lower back.
Gently compresses the lumbar spine and maintains the natural curve of our lower backs. With age, the lumbar spine often begins to straighten which causes lower back pain, this pose helps to prevent this happening.
Relief from menstrual cramping.
Relieves tired legs and stretches the quadriceps.
Stretches the Psoas (deep hip flexor muscle), abdomen, thighs and ankles.
Do not practice this pose if you have knee, back or ankle problems.
If you have any questions at all about this pose, or just want to say hi, contact us here.