Supta Virasana is the Sanskrit name for The Reclined Hero Pose. ‘Supta’ means ‘Lying Down’, ‘Vira’ means ‘An eminent man or Hero’ and ‘Asana’ means ‘Pose’. Supta Virasana is pronounced as “Soup-tah veer-AHS-anna”. This is the supine variant of the Hero Pose which further stretches the hip flexors, thighs, and ankles. Being an intermediate level posture, this pose is best suited to rectify several bodily ailments ranging from respiratory issues to arthritis. This posture is guaranteed to bring inner strength, courage, and self-confidence, thus, staying true to its name.
Steps to perform Supta Virasana
- Begin in a high kneeling position.
- Separate your feet wide enough so that you can sit your hips between them.
- Place a block, a bolster, or a folded blanket between your feet and ankles if your hips are away from the floor, or if your knees are under pressure.
- Your feet should be just outside your hips, the tops of your feet pressing into the floor, and your toes pointing backwards.
- Make sure your knees don’t splay out wider than your hips.
- Recline backwards by first walking back onto your hands, then your elbows, and then if it feels comfortable, onto your back.
- If you feel discomfort in your knees or lower back, or if your knees lift significantly off of the floor, back out of the pose and come more upright.
- For more support, sit on a block or a blanket folded to about the size of a block and support your middle and upper back, neck, and head with a bolster or blankets.
Benefits of Supta Virasana / Reclined Hero Pose:
- It greatly improves digestion
- It strengthens your arches
- It stretches your quadriceps
- It helps in the treatment of sciatica
- It relieves sleeping disorders
- Many respiratory ailments can be treated by practicing this posture
- It helps people who suffer from high blood pressure
- It relieves menstrual pain
- It stretches your ankles and also your abdomen
- It relaxes tendons, ligaments, and many smaller muscles in the knee
- It may be used to cure several medical conditions like Acidity, Arthritis, Asthma, Diarrhea, Gastritis, Headache, High blood pressure, Infertility, Insomnia, Menstrual discomfort, Respiratory ailments, Varicose veins, and many more.
Refrain from practicing this pose if you are unable to comfortably sit on your hips easily between the feet.
Anyone with a history of back, knee, or ankle problems must consult their doctor before attempting this posture.
Beginners need to perform this pose under supervision of a Yoga teacher and must not hesitate to use props (bolsters, blocks, straps) if required.