Restorative Poses

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Reclined Hero Pose over a bolster
Level: Intermediate

Supta = reclined. Vira = a hero.

If the thighs are tight, this will not seem all that restorative. Once the front of the body has begun to open up, however, the pose becomes very restful in its own way.

Organizing the Pose

  1. Come into Virasana (Hero Pose) and belt the legs so that the thighs do not slide too far apart and compress the back. When belting the legs, be sure to keep the knees a little bit apart, as much as the width of your hip joints, to leave room in the hip socket for the trunk to recline.
  2. Lie back over a bolster, blocks or stacked up blankets to a height that allows you to recline without crunching the lower back.
  3. Either release the arms down by the sides as shown or bring them alongside the ears and hold the elbows.
  4. Hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Come out of the pose slowly and go into Child’s Pose, Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) or Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) to relieve the legs and lower back.

Practice Points

  • Lengthen the thighs towards the knees.
  • Widen the hip creases.
  • Soften and widen the buttock flesh, lengthening it towards the knees.
  • Settle the sides of the waist towards the floor.
  • Soften and widen the back ribs,
  • Soften and widen the neck, throat and top chest.