Hero Pose (Virasana)

The name comes from the Sanskrit words वीरvira meaning “hero”, and आसनāsana meaning “posture” or “seat”.  

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, ‘Veerasana’ also known as the Hero’s Pose, is the practice of ‘kneeling on one knee’. It means ‘kneeling on one knee’ or ‘hero-sitting’. The Pradipika also quotes Veerasana as the practice of “Placing one foot by the opposite thigh and the other foot under the same thigh”. However, with time, Virasana included in Modern Yoga is done with both knees folded and by placing the feet on the outside of the hips.  

Veerasana has a close resemblance to ‘Vir Hanuman’. Hanuman is known for his devotion to Lord Rama and for being a humble soul. It is said that he portrayed his devotion and humility during his visit to Lanka. There he surrendered himself in Ravana’s court and while seated on his tail that looked like a mountain, he never showed off his powers. The story shows how fearless and brave Hanuman was: he was sure that his Lord Rama would take care of him and protect him. 

Since this pose can be hard on the knees and ankles, you may be in a constant battle between releasing yourself from the pose and remaining focused in the pose to build endurance. This kind of dilemma is faced by every individual in their day-to-day lives. Through the practice of Virasana, you can learn how to keep your mind at ease and follow what is in you heart. You will learn how to surrender to things you cannot change and go with the flow. It is nothing but a simple act of courage, trust and surrender – the act of being a true Hero!  

Benefits: 

  • Stretches the thighs, knees, and ankles. 
  • Strengthens the arches. 
  • Improves digestion and relieves gas. 
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. 
  • Reduces swelling of the legs during pregnancy (through second trimester). 
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure and asthma. 

⚠️ Here are Some Conditions in which you should not practice Virasana: 

  • Heart problems 
  • Headache: Practice this pose lying back on a bolster. 
  • Knee or ankle injury: Avoid this pose unless you have the assistance of an experienced instructor.