Hero’s Yoga Pose

Hero’s Yoga Pose

Virasana

Although not technically a backbend, this Yoga Pose is an important preparation and meditation posture. It stretches the quadriceps, knees, ankles, groins, and psoas major muscle along the spine, and lengthens the spine, all of which are important for a backbend practice. As the name also suggests, the Yoga Pose cultivates the bravery needed to stay open to all of life.

QUALITY Grounding EFFECT Flexibility, stability, tranquility PROPS Block or blanket GAZE Forward and down

1 Begin on your shins, sitting on your heels. Place a blanket under your shins if needed.

2 Lean forward with your hands on the ground. Widen your feet about hip-distance apart and roll yoi heels open to the outside edges of your feet, keeping your knees together. Use your hands to draw your calf muscles out to the sides. Slowly lift your hips back and sit between your heels. If you feel any pressure in your knees, place a block between your heels, wide-side up, and sit on the block.

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3 Distribute your weight equally between your sit bones and sit up tall. Draw your shoulders back ai wrap your shoulder blades around your upper spine to broaden your chest and heart. Draw in the bottom ribs to lift out of your lower back and feel the back of the heart lift as well.

4 Slide your hands to the top of your thighs and breathe. Tip your chin toward your chest to lengthen the back of your neck. Drop your gaze toward the tip of your nose and stay for 5 to 10 breaths or longer.

5 You can also do a breathing practice or meditation (see chapters 5 and 6 ) while in this Yoga Pose. Whe you’re ready to come out of the position, come onto your hands and knees. Stretch one leg back and then the other to return the blood flow to your legs before moving on to your next Yoga Pose.

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