Back Bends

Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)

Reclined Hero Pose
Level: Intermediate

Supta = reclined, sleeping. Vira = a hero.

If you are unable to get all the way down to the floor, you can do the pose with blocks or a bolster under the trunk and head (see below).

Organizing the Pose

  1. Come into Virasana (Hero Pose) and belt the legs so that the thighs do not slide too far apart and compress the back. When belting the legs, be sure to keep the knees a little bit apart, as much as the width of your hip joints, to leave room in the hip socket for the trunk to recline.
  2. Lie back and raise the arms overhead.
  3. Hold the pose for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Come out of the pose slowly and go into Child’s Pose, Uttanasana (Intense Stretch Pose) or Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) to relieve the legs and lower back.

Practice Points

  • Lengthen the thighs towards the knees.
  • Widen the hip creases.
  • Soften and widen the buttock flesh, lengthening it towards the knees.
  • Settle the sides of the waist towards the floor.
  • Soften and widen the back ribs,
  • Soften and widen the neck, throat and top chest.

Reclined Hero pose on blocksReclined Hero Pose over a bolster