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Supta Virasana Yoga Pose (Supine Hero) - Benefits & Variations

Supine Hero, or as it's known in Sanskrit, Supta Virasana. This asana, a reclined variation of the heroic Virasana, holds the power to unlock physical and spiritual realms, inviting practitioners to explore the depths of their inner selves.

Supta Virasana Yoga Pose (Supine Hero)

What Is Supta Virasana Yoga Pose (Supine Hero)?

Meaning: The name "Supine Hero" encapsulates the essence of this pose. 'Supine' refers to lying on the back, while 'Hero' is a nod to the original Virasana – a seated posture symbolizing strength and courage.

Sanskrit Pronunciation: Pronounced as "soop-tah veer-AHS-uh-nuh," each syllable resonates with the grace and strength embodied by this reclined hero.

Anatomy of Supine Hero (Supta Virasana):

To understand the magic behind Supine Hero, let's dissect its anatomy. This pose primarily targets the quadriceps, thighs, and psoas muscles. The chest and shoulders are gently expanded, promoting openness and flexibility. As you recline, the spine undergoes a gentle stretch, fostering spinal flexibility.

How to do it/Steps/Instructions:

  1. Start in Hero Pose (Virasana): Begin by sitting on your heels with your knees bent.

  2. Part the Knees: Gradually part your knees wider than your hips, creating a comfortable V-shape.

  3. Lower to Elbows: Slowly lower your torso backward, supporting yourself on your elbows.

  4. Extend Backwards: Continue lowering your back until it rests comfortably on the floor. Your head should lie back, creating a natural arch in the spine.

  5. Arms Position: Extend your arms overhead, reaching for the opposite elbows, or place them on the floor beside you with palms facing up.

  6. Relax and Breathe: Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Allow the pose to unfold, melting away tension.

Supta Virasana Yoga Pose (Supine Hero)

When to Do It?

Supine Hero is an excellent pose for relaxation and unwinding. It is best practiced in the evenings or after more vigorous yoga sessions.

Preparatory Poses

  1. Hero Pose (Virasana): Prepares your body by stretching the quadriceps.

  2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): Opens the chest and shoulders.

Follow-Up Poses

  1. Child's Pose (Balasana): Counteracts the backbend, gently stretching the spine.

  2. Corpse Pose (Shavasana): Allows for complete relaxation, integrating the benefits of the practice.

Chakra it’s Connected to:

Supine Hero stimulates the Anahata (Heart) Chakra, fostering love, compassion, and balance.

Heart Chakra

Mantra for this Pose:

As you settle into Supine Hero, silently recite the mantra "Om Shanti," invoking peace and tranquility.

Alignment Cues

  1. Knee Placement: Ensure your knees are comfortably parted, avoiding strain.

  2. Pelvic Tilt: Maintain a neutral pelvic tilt to protect the lower back.

  3. Shoulder Relaxation: Soften the shoulders away from the ears for a spacious chest opening.

Duration of Hold

Hold Supine Hero for 3-5 minutes, allowing the body to surrender to the pose's soothing embrace.


Direct your gaze towards the heart center, amplifying the connection to the Anahata Chakra.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

Feel the grounding energy beneath you, connecting with the Earth. Sense the expansion in the chest, symbolizing the opening of your heart.

Beginners’ Tips

Start with a bolster or cushion beneath your back for added support. Gradually reduce its height as your flexibility improves.

Who Should Not Do It

Avoid Supine Hero if you have knee or ankle injuries. Pregnant women should also skip this pose, especially in the later stages.

Who Should Do It

Ideal for those seeking a deep heart opener and individuals with no existing knee or ankle issues.

Benefits of Supine Hero (Supta Virasana)

The Supine Hero Pose, or Supta Virasana, offers a plethora of physical, mental, and emotional benefits, making it a valuable addition to your yoga practice. Let's delve into the various advantages that this pose brings to the table:

1. Heart Opener:

Supine Hero is renowned for its profound impact on the heart center. The expansive chest opening promotes emotional release, fostering feelings of love, compassion, and vulnerability.

2. Quadriceps Stretch:

The pose specifically targets the quadriceps, providing a deep stretch to these muscles. This is especially beneficial for individuals who may experience tightness or discomfort in the front of the thighs.

3. Spinal Flexibility:

As you recline into the pose, a gentle stretch is introduced to the spine. This contributes to increased spinal flexibility, promoting better posture and reducing stiffness.

4. Relaxation and Stress Reduction:

Supine Hero is a gateway to tranquility. The reclined nature of the pose encourages relaxation, calming the nervous system, and alleviating stress and anxiety.

5. Improved Circulation:

The open chest and elongated spine facilitate better blood circulation. This increased blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients to different parts of the body, promoting overall health.

6. Enhanced Lung Capacity:

The expansion of the chest allows for deeper and more conscious breathing. This not only boosts lung capacity but also encourages mindful breathing, which is beneficial for respiratory health.

7. Recovery for Legs and Feet:

For those who spend long hours on their feet, Supine Hero provides a restorative opportunity. It aids in the relief of tired legs and feet, promoting a sense of rejuvenation.

8. Balancing the Nervous System:

The calming effect of Supine Hero extends to the nervous system. By soothing the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the fight-or-flight response), it helps to bring about balance and a sense of calm.

10. Connectivity with Anahata Chakra:

Supine Hero stimulates the Anahata, or Heart Chakra, fostering qualities of love, compassion, and harmony. This alignment of the pose with the energy centers contributes to a holistic sense of well-being.

11. Alleviation of Menstrual Discomfort:

The gentle stretch across the lower abdomen can be soothing for menstrual discomfort. However, it's essential to listen to your body and modify the pose as needed during this time.

12. Promotes Better Sleep:

Including Supine Hero in your evening routine can contribute to better sleep. The calming effects and the release of tension prepare the body and mind for a restful night.

13. Aids Digestion:

The gentle compression on the abdominal region can stimulate digestion, making Supine Hero a helpful pose for those dealing with digestive issues.

Variations/Modifications of Supine Hero (Supta Virasana):

1. Bolster Support:

  • How to do it: Place a bolster lengthwise beneath your spine for added support.

  • Benefits: This variation provides a gentler stretch and is particularly helpful for beginners or those with lower back sensitivity.

2. Arm Variations:

  • How to do it: Experiment with different arm positions, such as clasping the hands behind your back or extending the arms overhead.

  • Benefits: Varied arm placements offer unique stretches, enhancing the experience of openness in the chest and shoulders.

3. Use of Props:

  • How to do it: Utilize props like blocks or cushions under the knees for added elevation.

  • Benefits: Props provide support, making the pose more accessible for those with limited flexibility or discomfort in the knee area.

4. One-Leg Extended:

  • How to do it: Extend one leg straight while keeping the other in the classic Supine Hero position.

  • Benefits: This variation intensifies the stretch in one leg while providing relief to the other, creating balance.

5. Half Supine Hero:

  • How to do it: Fold one leg beneath you and extend the other leg straight.

  • Benefits: This partial variation is suitable for those with limited mobility or discomfort in the knees.

Common Mistakes:

  1. Forcing the Knees: Avoid pushing the knees beyond their comfortable range.

  2. Overarching the Back: Maintain a gentle arch in the spine without straining.

Safety and Precautions:

Listen to your body; if you experience pain, ease out of the pose. Consult a yoga instructor for personalized guidance.

Additional Preparation Tips:

  • Direction to Face: Choose an eastward-facing direction, harnessing the energy of sunrise and new beginnings.

  • What to Wear: Opt for comfortable, stretchy attire that allows freedom of movement.

  • Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance: Practice in a serene space with lavender or chamomile essential oils to enhance relaxation.

  • Music for this Pose: Soft instrumental music or nature sounds can elevate your experience.

In the realm of Supine Hero, every breath is an invitation to surrender, every stretch a pathway to self-discovery. Embrace the serenity, and let the whispers of your heart guide you into the depths of this rejuvenating pose. As you lie there, a supine hero in repose, remember – strength, courage, and peace reside within, waiting to be unveiled with each graceful breath.

Happy yoga-ing, everyone!


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About the Author

Namaste! My name is Pooja Chauhan

I am a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher and a practitioner. Diving deep into the realm of my own heritage to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing my culture with the world.

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