Virasana is a seated yoga posture for meditation. Though we could find references to this posture in earlier yoga texts that belong to 10th Century CE, the modern posture differs from them. In other words, the yoga texts describe this posture with a variation in leg position.
However, let us have, in this article, at the steps as available in the modern as well as in classical versions.
|English Name||Hero Pose|
|Origin||Classic Yoga Period before Medieval Yoga Period|
In Sanskrit, Vira means a hero; whereas Asana is a seat. Therefore in English we call it Hero Pose.
Why do we call it Hero Pose? A hero is one who faces his enemies with courage and valor. Likewise, a yogi who has equipped himself with this Asana faces the internal enemies with courage. Diseases, doubt, sloth, and sometimes his own mind too, are his enemies.
How to do Hero Pose?
One should take care of his knees being hurt by the performance of this posture. A normal person should get mastery over the pose very slowly. Stout people and older people may find it hard to bend their knees as required. They should either avoid this posture or perform it under the competent supervision and the advice of a physician.
Persons with a knee injury and those who had surgery on their knees should completely avoid this posture.
Apart from this, those who have health conditions like Osteoporosis should also avoid this posture.
Virasana Preparatory Poses
Vajrasana is a very good preparatory pose. By mastering Vajrasana, it will be very easy to get mastery over Hero Pose.
I hereby give the modern version of Hero Posture and the other two original versions of yoga texts. I recommend the users to follow any one of the original versions as given in Yoga Texts and avoid the modern version which has come out of individual imagination.
Steps as per Modern Version
Assume Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
Instead of placing the two big toes together as in Thunderbolt posture, place them apart giving room for the buttocks to be seated on the floor. Kneels should be placed together while feet apart.
Place the hands on knees with palms facing up. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. Keep the position as long as it is comfortable.
Steps in Hatha Yoga Pradipika Version
Place one foot on the top of the opposite thigh and another one under the same thigh. This is Hero Pose according to Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Steps in Hatha Ratnavali
Place one foot on the opposite thigh and the other foot under the opposite thigh. This is Virasana as per Hatha Ratnavali.
Steps as per Gheranda Samhita
Place one foot on the opposite thigh while placing the other foot backwards. This is Hero Pose.
Steps in Hatha Tattva Kaumudi
Place one foot on the opposite thigh and other foot under the opposite thigh. This is Hero Posture.
Note: Modern Hero posture taught under different styles are imaginary one. All Medieval text describes the posture with one foot on the opposite thigh. Only the placing of the other foot is different. Some texts are saying it should be placed under the same thigh and some texts say that it should be placed under the opposite thigh. Hence one should avoid the modern version which is baseless and follow any one of two versions of yoga texts.
One can extend the final position from ten minutes to three hours.
Follow Up Poses
This posture requires no follow up posture. However one may take Shavasana after this.
Advanced Pose Considerations
One may take the practice of Supta Vajrasana after mastering Hero Posture.
- Hero Posture is good for flat feet.
- This Posture is good for pain in the knees and heels.
- Hero Posture is good for meditation.
- This posture is good for digestion and heaviness.