To make Virasana practice less complicated, we have divided this practice into a few easy-to-follow parts—warm-up, posture cues, cool down, and much more.
So, get your yoga mat ready as we get started with the hero pose practice.
Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Virasana
Before getting started with your Virasana practice, activate your legs, core, and glutes with these below-listed warm-up poses:
1. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) - Practicing Surya Namaskar before Virasana can be an excellent way to prepare the whole body for this kneeling pose and help to improve your flexibility and strength.
Start in Tadasana, following through a series of poses, including the Cobra Pose, Chaturanga Dandasana, Upward-Facing Dog Pose, Downward-Facing Dog Pose, Standing Forward Fold, etc.
As you practice Surya Namaskar, focus on your breath and stay present in each pose. You can repeat the whole sequence 10 to 12 times.
2. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) - Practicing Baddha Konasana before the hero pose can be an excellent way to prepare the body for the pose and help to improve your flexibility and stability in the glutes and flexibility in your thighs.
Start in a seated position with legs in front, bend your legs and join the soles together. Hold the feet with your palms and ensure the knees are close to the ground. You can use your hands to press your knees toward the floor.
Also, keep your chest lifted, and back straight as you open your hips. Hold this pose for 3 to 5 minutes for a complete spine and lower-body activation.
Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Virasana
The following are steps to practice the Hero Pose:
Step 1- Sit on the floor with your spine straight and legs stretched in the front.
Step 2- Bend your knees back one by one, such that you must be sitting in between your calves.
Step 3- Focus on extending your spine straight up, and close your eyes.
Step 4- Next, place your palms on your kneecaps and focus on deep breathing.
Step 5- Hold this position for a minute and finally release by straightening your legs into the staff pose.
Inhale - Inhale while bending the legs back into a kneeling hero pose stance.
Exhale - Exhale as the spine is lengthened and the head is flexed upwards to the sky.
Inhale & Exhale - While holding the hero pose for a prolonged duration.
Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold the hero pose for 60 to 90 seconds.
Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold the hero pose until it feels comfortable.
Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind
Discover proper alignment tips for a safe Virasana practice with the following posture cues:
Don’t rush: Rushing into a hero pose can lead to a lack of activation in the lower body and cause severe injuries during prolonged holds.
Also, it’s essential to listen to your body—if you feel discomfort during virasana or you have any concerns regarding the proper execution of your pose, seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor.
Keep your back straight: Hunching over can cause more Make sure to keep your back straight, and your chest lifted as you sit back in Virasana. This will help to improve your posture and prevent strain on your lower back.
Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Virasana
With these counter yoga poses, relax and re-establish blood circulation in your legs and hip muscles after a long Virasana practice:
1. Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero Pose) - Start in the virasana position, slowly lower your torso and head down towards the floor, keeping your back straight and your chest lifted.
Make sure to keep your hips grounded and your core and legs engaged as you lower down. Extend your arms overhead and stretch the upper back muscles for deep spinal relaxation.
Hold the pose until your back muscles feel completely relaxed, and once you are ready to release the pose, slowly sit back up in Virasana.
2. Paschimottanasana (Forward Fold Pose) - Paschimottanasana is an excellent pose to practice after Virasana as it can help to stretch and release tension in the back and leg muscles. Post the hero pose practice, unwind by extending your legs in front of you, keeping your back straight and your chest lifted.
Inhale deep and as you exhale slowly, start to hinge at the hips and lower your torso down towards your legs, reaching for your toes or shins. You can hold onto your toes or shins with your hands.
Keep your back straight during the prolonged stretch. Hold the pose for 2 to 5 minutes for deep lower back and hamstring relaxation.