(Reclined Hero Pose)
"Supta" means to recline and "Vira" means hero. This is another asana (yoga pose) belonging to the clan of restoratives. Restorative asanas soothe the nerves, reduce fatigue and bring the mind into a reflective and quiet state.
Supta Virasana is wonderful for relieving tired legs and it may be practiced after eating, as it aids digestion. It helps knee joints and hips, and creates a good arch in the feet so is a boon to those with fallen arches.
1. Fold a blanket and place it on the floor. You will be kneeling on it. Fold another blanket lengthwise and place it on the floor. You will be reclining on this.
2. Kneel on the first blanket with your knees together and feet spread wider than your hips. Stretch the tops of your feet along the floor so all your toes point straight back. Do not let them turn in nor out.
3. With your hands, spread your calf muscles out and back as you sit down between the feet. Do not let your knees flare out.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Shelley Choy demonstrates Supta Virasana, the reclined hero pose, a restorative asana good for knees, hips and feet.
4. Keeping your knees on the floor and close together, gradually lower your spine onto the long blanket by coming down onto your elbows. The long blanket should be brought in so that it touches the sacrum. Lengthen your buttocks toward the knees and elongate your back along the support. Rest the back of your head on a small pillow or blanket so it is not thrown back. Keep the back of your neck long and your throat soft.
5. Open your chest and rest the back of your wrists on the floor. Relax your arms.
6. Now close your eyes and let them release and soften. Let your face muscles relax so that you become expressionless, and observe the soft flow of breath through your nostrils. Allow the brain to float so your mind becomes quiet and reflective. Stay for a minute or two.
7. Come up and stretch your legs out straight. Press your heels, knee backs and buttock bones into the floor, then relax.
Note: If you experience knee or back pain, do not stay in the pose. Seek the guidance of an experienced teacher to help you. Practitioners usually feel a good stretch in the front of the thighs and hips. However, you may use more elevation under your back if this is too intense. Be patient and do not force your body beyond its capabilities. With quiet, regular and determined practice, the body gains pliability and your mind will learn to be still and determined.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.