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Ardha Supta Virasana

Half Reclined Hero – Ardha Supta Virasana

Ardha Supta Virasana – half reclined hero is a asana I couldn’t do for a long time. Well, couldn’t do: there is no picture perfect in yoga so I could do something, but it didn’t look anything like Supta Virasana or even half reclined hero. My quadriceps and iliopsoas muscles wouldn’t give me any room.

When I was playing soccer we did a standing version to stretch the quadriceps. Same when I was running, but I think I never did it really seriously. When I started with yoga Supta Virasana was one of the poses we did. There was one girl – I can’t remember her name at this moment – but she would have both legs double and lay flat on her back. For her it was a relaxing pose. According to her she could even sleep like that.

Hurting like hell

I was glad I could bend one leg double, but I was leaning on my hands. Going to my elbows was hurting like hell. By now I can actually fold both legs double and lay backwards. It’s not the most comfortable pose for my low back, but m thighs feel okay in it. I think it’s the muscle in my body that has gained most flexibility over the years that I’ve been doing yoga. So if you’re far from laying backwards with both legs double: don’t worry. Keep doing the pose and one day you’ll get there. Maybe not this life, but there is always a next life. 😉

How to do Ardha Supta Virasana – half reclined hero

  • Sit in Dandasana – staff posture with both legs forward
  • Fold one leg double. Release your calf muscle, so it’s next to your thigh and not squeezed underneath
  • Place your hands behind you and start leaning back
  • If you have ‘the room’ lay down on your elbows. If you can go down further lay down on your back If you still have room you can bend your straight leg and place your foot close to your butt. Still have room? Bring your knee into your chest and get hold of your knee; pulling it in
  • Stay in the pose for 30 seconds up until a minute. Later on you can stay longer in it in yin yoga classes

Benefits of Ardha Supta Virasana – half reclined hero

  • Stretches the quadriceps and iliopsoas muscle
  • Stretches the abdominal organs
  • Doing this asana just before going to bed will make you up with rejuvenates legs

Contraindications Ardha Supta Virasana – half reclined hero

  • Knee injury
  • Ankle injury
  • Low back injury

Light on Yoga - BKS Iyengar 
Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long
Ashtanga – David Swenson 
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Want more? Check out my library of yoga poses or do them with me on YouTube.


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