The reclining hero pose, also known as “Supta Virasana,” is best suited for advanced yoga practitioners who can handle a challenging asana. It is a derivate of the hero pose which provides plenty of benefits. This position requires a lot of self-discipline and targets plenty of different muscle groups. Here are some useful and practical tips and steps on how to perform the reclining hero pose.
Begin from the Hero Pose
As I previously mentioned, before doing the reclining hero pose, you must perform the classic hero asana. Kneel down on your yoga mat (you should definitely use a mat or a blanket to protect your knees). Keep your lower legs apart at a hip-width distance. Now, lower your pelvic area until your buttocks are supported by your heels. Then, slowly place your feet even further apart one from the other until your lower back and pelvis are situated in between your legs. Arms must remain relaxed and parallel with your torso. You can even rest them on your upper hips’ front part. Don’t forget to align your ankles with your knees. If you cannot sit on the mat, use a yoga block to prevent injuries created by pressuring your body too much. Don’t worry! Once you gain more experience, you will be able to perform this pose without any adjuvants.
Make the Transition from Standard Hero to the Reclining Hero Pose
Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply before you continue to the next phase of the asana. Doing this relaxes your entire body while making it more flexible. Support your body by putting both palms on the floor right behind your feet. Continue breathing and make slow movements. Slowly and deliberately start to lean your upper body back and align your hands with your torso. Make sure not to let go of your heels. Just place your palms further back as your body leans back as well. Continue doing this until your torso is almost parallel with the floor. Now, it is time for you to bring your elbows down on the yoga mat as well. Bend your elbows until your forearms are perpendicular to your upper arms.
Bring the rest of your body down on the yoga mat. Your body must be lying flat on the ground. With this movement, the reclining hero pose will be complete. As your upper body comes all the way down, you must extend your arms forward in the same direction pointed by your head crown. Another option is to maintain your arms as they were and grab your feet’s heels. Hold this pose and don’t forget to breathe deeply.
Releasing the Reclining Hero Pose
After holding the pose for as long as you can, it is time to come out of it and relax your body. Press up from your elbows and arms and push your body up toward your legs. Engage your abdominal muscles as well as leg muscles.
*Caution: during this pose, your movements must be deliberate and slow. Otherwise, you risk pulling a muscle or hurting your back.
The reclining hero pose, although challenging, will improve your digestion and will stretch and strengthen the pelvic area. It is best done after eating. Also, it opens your chest and torso while boosting your blood flow and mobility.