How To Do The Supta Virasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Supta Virasana or Reclined Hero Pose is an asana. Sanskrit: सुप्तवीरासन; Supta – Reclining, Vira – Hero, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As: soup-tah veer-AHS-anna

This asana is one of the most avoided poses. Although it is an incredibly beneficial pose for your body, it could be painful and must be practiced only after you have mastered the Virasana. It is an intense variation of the Virasana and an intermediate level asana, which makes your body come into a full reclination.

Everything You Need To Know About The Supta Virasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Supta Virasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tips
  5. Advanced Pose Variations
  6. Benefits Of The Reclining Hero Pose
  7. The Science Behind The Supta Virasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice. Some believe that this asana is beneficial immediately after your meals as well, but it is best to consult with your instructor.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Intermediate
Style: Hatha Yoga
Duration: 30 to 60 seconds
Repetition: None
Stretches: Knees, Thighs, Abdomen, Ankles, Psoas major muscle
Strengthens: Arches of the feet

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How To Do The Supta Virasana 

  1. To start off, you must assume the Virasana.
  1. Kneel on the floor. Make sure your knees are placed directly under your hips. Let your hands rest on your knees.
  1. Bring your knees closer to each other so that your feet automatically widen. They should be wider than the width of your hips.
  1. Firmly press the tops of your feet on the floor.
  1. Gently lower your hips, such that your find yourself sitting on the mat. Roll the calves away, and ensure your hips are right between your heels.
  1. You need to make sure that while you get into the pose, you do not feel any sharp twisting sensations in your knees.
  1. Let your toes point outwards and back. Your inner ankles must be drawn in to protect your knees.
  1. Pull in your navel. Extend your tailbone from the crown of your head to the floor.
  1. Place your hands by your sides, and exhale and lean backward. Gently keep leaning until your back rests on the floor.
  1. Then, shift the weight of your body on your elbows.
  1. Release the lower back and buttocks, and push yourself down towards the tailbone.
  1. Once you comfortably rest on the floor, take your arms over your head, and make sure that your palms face the ceiling.
  1. Hold the pose for about a minute. Then, gently come back up.

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Precautions And Contraindications 

These are a few points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

  1. Avoid this asana if you have a serious knee, back, or ankle problem.
  1. It is best you practice this asana under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor. 

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Beginner’s Tips 

As a beginner, you might find your thighs sliding apart in this pose. To avoid this, use a strap to bind your thighs together, or squeeze a thick book between your thighs. However, these are only short-term solutions. You must make sure you pull the inner groins into your pelvis in both cases. 

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Advanced Pose Variations 

To take this pose to the next level, involve your arms in the pose. Inhale, and raise your arms towards the ceiling such that they are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Then, rock back and forth a few times, and broaden your shoulder blades across the back. Stretch your arms overhead on the floor, and let your palms face the ceiling. Let your outer armpits roll towards the ceiling. Pull your shoulder blades down and back towards your tailbone.

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The Benefits Of The Reclining Hero Pose 

These are some amazing benefits of Supta Virasana.

  1. It gives your thighs, knees, ankles, abdomen, and deep hip flexors a good stretch.
  2. It helps relieve tired legs.
  3. It helps improve digestion.
  4. It relieves menstrual discomfort.
  5. It strengthens the arches of the feet.
  6. It also has therapeutic benefits for the following conditions:
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive problems
  • Flat feet
  • Head cold
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Intestinal gas and acidity
  • Menstrual discomfort
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Sciatica
  • Varicose veins 

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The Science Behind The Supta Virasana 

This pose gives the pelvic region and the abdominal organs a good stretch. Therefore, all digestive problems and digestion itself are improved.

This asana also opens up the chest, pelvic area, and the torso. It relieves the body of many discomforts, and conditions as simple as colds and headaches too.

This pose also stimulates the circulation of blood in the hips, thighs, and knees, thereby solving problems in these areas. It improves the flexibility of the spine.

With time and practice, this asana can very easily become a resting pose that can deeply renew and rejuvenate the entire body.

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Preparatory Poses 

Baddha Konasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Baddha Konasana
Lotus position

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Now that you know how to do reclining hero pose, what are you waiting for? Sometimes, challenges are a good thing; they take you to places you never knew you existed. This asana is like that. As you strive to achieve it, you will become more aware of your body, and you will learn how to deal with it. This asana is highly beneficial. You must attempt it, but at your pace.

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer

Shirin is a health and wellness writer with three years of experience and specializes in writing articles on yoga and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Prior to joining Stylecraze, she interned with an advertising firm as a copywriter and as an editorial intern for a luxury fashion magazine. Always muddled up between traditions and modernism, full bio

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