January Asana: Virasana (Hero’s Pose)

virasana

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. This month, it’s Virasana (Hero’s Pose), an excellent posture for maintaining the health and mobility of our knees.

In Light on Yoga, the late BKS Iynengar wrote that Virasana “cures rheumatic pains in the knees and gout, and is also good for flat feet. Due to the stretching of the ankles and the feet, proper arches will be formed. This however, takes a long time and requires daily practice of the pose for a few minutes for several months. Those suffering from pain in the heels or growth of calcaneal spurs … will get relief and the spurs will gradually disappear. This pose can even be done immediately after food and will relieve heaviness in the stomach.”

Virasana (Hero’s Pose):

Vira = hero, warrior, champion

Benefits:

  • Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Strengthens the arches
  • Relieves tired legs
  • May help reduce swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester)
  • May help improve digestion and relieve gas

Cautions/Contraindications:

  • Forego this pose if you have any serious knee or ankle problems

Preparatory Poses:

  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

Red Hot Chili Peppers’: “Taste the Pain” ‚

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