Virasana (Hero Pose)

Virasana (Hero pose)

Benefits:
This pose helps to loosen the thighs, knees and ankles.

For people with knee joint discomforts, this is a great pose to open the knee joint a little in a safe and controlled way. Opening the knee joint allows more synovial fluid into the joint to aid lubrication in the joint area.

This pose calms the brain for meditation and helps to reduce high blood pressure.

Muscles activated:
Quadriceps muscle (vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris), it forms the front of the thigh.

Sartorius muscle, a long strap-like muscle from the anterior superior iliac spine to upper medial surface of the tibia. This muscle is used whenever in cross –legged sitting.

Lower leg muscles (Tibialis anterior, Extensor hallucis, Peroneus)

Tensor fasciae latae muscle, it helps with internal rotation of the hips.

Chakras:
Manipura Chakra

Caution and Contraindications:
Knee injury, Ankle injury.

Steps:

(Going into the pose)
1. From a kneeing position, adjust your knees till they are touching and heels hip width apart.
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2. Take your thumb and press the inside of your calves back.

3. Seat your buttocks in between the heels. If you feel any discomfort or pain in this position, place a yoga block beneath the buttocks to release tensions from the knee joints.
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4. Lift your chest and lengthen your tailbone into the floor.

5. Roll your shoulders back, soften your shoulders and place hands on the thigh.

6. Maintain in this pose for 10 to 15 breaths. With regular practice, extend the time in this pose to 1 to 2 minutes.

(Coming out of the pose to counterpose directly)
1. Place your palms on your mat, leaving about 2 feet distance directly in front of your knees
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2. Tuck your toes in, keep your knees on the mat and lift your torso forward to come to a tabletop pose.
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3. Extend and straighten both legs and come to downward dog, stay for 5 breaths.
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Video:
 http://youtu.be/t25cAailOVw

Variations:
Place a yoga block beneath the buttocks to release tensions from the knee joints

Counter pose:
Downward facing dog (Urkva Mukha Svanasana),Plank (Phalakasana)

By : Ronald Tan (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)

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