Yoga is characterised by several different breathing techniques, chanting and postures that help benefit different parts of the mind and body. This article provides insight into one particular yoga pose called Virasana.
What is Virasana?
Also called Hero Pose, Virasana requires practitioners to adopt a seated stance. It is classified as a kneeling yoga pose and helps strengthen the lower body and increases its flexibility. This pose is often used to prepare the body for meditation or pranayama (i.e., breath control).
Types of Virasana
Listed below are two different methods via which Virasana can be performed.
1. Supta Virasana
This form of Virasana requires a practitioner to lean his body backwards once he has adopted the kneeling stance. He is then required to keep leaning his body backward until his back rests against the floor. He must then move his arms over his head such that his palms face the ceiling. The Supta Virasana pose is maintained for a minute following which the practitioner gently lifts his upper body up such that he is upright.
2. Virasana with a Prop
In the event that practitioners find it hard to perform Virasana, they can use yoga blocks or fold a blanket under their ankles such as to reduce the discomfort they might otherwise experience.
Benefits of Virasana
People often adopt the Virasana stance as it provides them with several health benefits. Some of these have been examined below.
This yoga pose helps stretch the knees, thighs and ankles and relieves stiffness and muscle aches.
This yoga pose helps relieve pain associated with menstrual cramps.
Sitting in this yoga pose improves digestion and relieves the body of flatulence and gas.
This yoga pose helps increase circulation to the legs and the back. It helps relieve tired legs.
Athletes who frequently perform this yoga pose have found that it helps improve their endurance and performance in their sports.
People diagnosed with Asthma should do Virasana as it improves the functioning of the lungs and helps with shortness of breath.
How to Practise Virasana?
Follow the steps listed below in order to perform Virasana.
Step 1. Kneel down on the floor such that your knees are positioned under your hips.
Step 2. Place your hands on your knees.
Step 3. Bring your knees close to one another such that you widen the gap that exists between your feet.
Step 4. Press the top of your feet on the ground.
Step 5. Move your hips down and ensure that your calves don’t touch one another.
Step 6. Position your toes such that they point towards the bank and move your inner ankles in.
Step 7. Maintain a straight spine such that your tailbone is extended from the head towards the floor.
Step 8. Stay in this position for 5 to 10 breaths.
Step 9. You can release this pose by pressing your palms into the floor and raising your behind as you stand up.
Beginner’s Tip for Virasana
As a beginner, in case you find this position uncomfortable to maintain, you can stack some cushions between your feet. If you find that your ankles are stiff you can place a rolled blanket under them to reduce the discomfort.
How Often Should I Do Virasana?
Since Virasana is not a strenuous yoga pose, 2 or 3 rounds of Virasana can be performed on a daily basis and practitioners can repeat this pose 4 to 5 times under each round.
Precautions to Take to Perform Virasana
Prior to performing Virasana it is important to take into account the following considerations.
Avoid Virasana if you have any underlying heart conditions or suffer from frequent migraines or headaches.
Do not attempt to sit in Hero Pose if you suffer from severe arthritis or osteoporosis.
If you have sustained an injury to your legs or back, you should not attempt to sit in this pose. Avoid this pose if you have recently undergone surgery in either of these regions.
Simple additions to one’s life such as the Virasana yoga stance, can improve one’s quality of life. In fact, several people are known to practise certain exercises and maintain certain diets in order to be healthy. However, despite these precautions, people can still fall sick. Purchasing a good health insurance plan is therefore prudent as it provides protection in the form of coverage in case you fall ill or sustain an injury.