Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero)
This asana is also known as the reclining hero, as Supta means lying down, and vira means hero or chief. This asana thus can be performed as follows;
- Sit in the Virasana or the Hero Pose. Breathe out or exhale and lower your torso toward the floor.
- At first you lean onto your hands, then your forearms and elbows. Once you are leaning on your elbows, place your hands on the back of the pelvis and release your lower back and upper buttocks by spreading the flesh down towards the tailbone. Then finish reclining, either onto the floor or on a support.
- Your ribs must protrude up sharply towards the ceiling, it keep the groin tight, which pulls your front pelvis toward your knees and causes your belly and lower back to get in a tensed position.
- Now use your hands to press your front ribs down slightly and lift your pubis toward your navel. This should lengthen your lower back and lower it towards the floor. If it does not happens to then raise it yourself with a higher support. Then lay your arms and hands on the floor, angled about 45 degrees from the sides of your torso, and the palms must be facing upwards.
- Now take the head of the thigh bones deep into the back of the hip sockets. You can also allow a little bit of space between your knees as long as your thighs remain parallel to each other.
- Do not, however, allow the knees to move or shift apart wider than your hips – this will cause less strain on the hips and lower back.
- Remain in this posture for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then gradually extending your stay in this posture.
- Then finally to come out of this pose, press your forearms against the floor and come onto your hands. Then use your hands to lift your torso into Virasana. As you come up, lead with your sternum and not your head or chin.
The benefits of this asana are:
- This brings about the stretching of the abdomen, thighs, and the deep flexor muscles.
- Provides relief in tired legs.
- Helps in the improvement of digestion.
- Helps to relieve symptoms of menstrual pain.
- This also brings about the stretching of the quadriceps muscles.
- Helps to correct overarched lumbar spine.
- Also increases flexibility in arthritis.
- Provides relief in diarrhea and constipation.
- Helps in elimination of the intestinal gases.
- Provides relief in varicose vein.
- Opens the chest in asthma and respiratory problems to promote better breathing.
Precautionary measures in this asana are:
- Should be avoided in cases with back, knee, and ankle problems.
- Also extreme care must be taken when coming out of this asana.