English name: Reclined Hero Pose (modified for beginner)
Sanskrit name: Supta Virasana
Step by step instruction:
Step 1: Sit in Virasana, which is sitting between your feet with both legs bent at the knees with the calves alongside the thigh, next to the buttock and toes pointing backward.
Step 2: Exhale and lower your torso towards the floor. Lean on your hand, then slowly to your forearms and elbows. Place a block (or cushion/blanket) at your back as a support when you recline. Spread the flesh of the lower back and upper buttocks toward the tailbone as you recline. Sink the heads of the thighbones deep into the back of the hip sockets.
Step 3: Finish reclining with your back on the block supporting your spine. Rest your hands to the side of the body. If you have a tight groin, your front ribs may protrude out toward the ceiling. Use your hand to press your front ribs down and lift your pelvis towards your navel. This will lengthen your lower back. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
Step 4: To get out of the pose, hold on to the ankle or feet, press into the elbows using the arms to lift the head and torso off the floor. Slowly walk the hands back towards the hip and sit back to upright position.
Muscles activated: • quadriceps • hip flexors • rectus abdominis
Physical benefits: • A supine hip opener, gives a powerful stretch to the front of the thigh and the abdominal muscles • Increase flexibility of the knee, hip, and spine • Improves digestion • Relieves symptoms of menstrual pain
Mental benefits: • Confers calm and meditative mind
Spiritual benefits: • Activates the Svadhistana chakra, bring on a sense of equanimity. Precaution & contraindication: • You should not perform this pose if you have severe back, knee, or ankle problem. You may learn a supported variation with the assistance of an experienced instructor
Counter pose: Virasana (Hero pose), Balasana (Child pose)
Jenny Lim 200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend