For a long time I use to avoid this pose, I just didn’t like it. It would hurt my feet and my knees and well I couldn’t get my bottom onto the floor let alone my shoulders (this frustrated me). Knowing the many benefits of this pose (posted below) I stuck with it and put it into my daily home practice. Now it is one of my favorites! My legs feel so invigorated after a few minutes in this asana and I love the opening it gives me in the front of my body (quads and belly). This pose is so benefcial especially for anyone that is on their feet all day or is very active/athletic. Give it a try to see what you think.
Vira in Sanskrit means “hero” or “warrior”. Regular practice of this asana will help to develop your strength and endurance.
Eases stiffness in the shoulders, neck, hip joints, knees, and groin.
Reduces the pain of broken, deviated, or fused tailbone.
Corrects herniated discs.
Improves circulation in the feet.
Helps to reduce cardiac disorders.
Stretches the abdomen, back and waist
Aids digestion after a heavy meal.
Relieves the symptoms of asthma
Reduces menstrual pain and helps treat disorders of the ovaries.
That’s an impressive list if you ask me
1. Kneel on the floor with your knees together. spread your feet about 12-18 inches apart with the soles facing the ceiling.
2. Lean forward and place your thumb behind your knee at the center of your calve muscles. Push from the center of the muscles out to make space and slowly sit down. Rest your bottom on the floor. Do not sit on your feet. Make sure that your inner calve muscles are touching your outer thighs. Gently push the tops of your toes into the mat and the fronts of the shins into the mat. Allow the tailbone to lengthen down.
Beginners- If your bottom wont reach the ground, place a few folded blankets or use a block in between your heels to sit on.
3. Rest your weight on your thighs. Raise your waist and the sides of your torso, and press your shins firmly down on the floor. Keep your knees pressing down also, if you like you can place your palms on your knees and push your thighs down. Lift your torso from the base of the pelvis.
4. Hold your feet leaning your wait back slightly. Lengthen from your hip bones to your knees and lengthen the tailbone and bottom towards the knees. Slowly lower onto you elbows. Breathe. Draw your shoulder blades on the back and lift the heart.
5. Lower down onto the crown of the head. Keep lengthening out through the knees and keep the knees on the mat. (note: if your knees are lifting keep working the variation above for a while). Lower your shoulders and upper torso to rest on the mat.
6. Inhale the arms up over the head, your can bring the palms to touch or keep the palms facing the sky. Make sure that both shoulder blades remain flat on the floor and do not let your bottom or knees lift off the mat. Release your back and allow it to relax down towards the mat. Breath deeply and evenly and remain in the pose for 30-60 seconds.
Coming out of the pose:
Bring your hands back down and hold your feet. Lift your head gently and press into your forearms to come back up onto the elbows. Sit up slowly into Virasana. Place your hands on your thighs palms up or down , close your eyes and take a few breaths. Then slowly move forward to hands and knees and gently shake out the legs or alternatively you can come up to downward facing dog and walk out the legs.
This really is a great and beneficial pose to put into your daily the practice. I was amazed at how fast my body opened once I started practicing Virasana everyday. Your legs and the rest of your body will thank you for it.