Supta Virasana

Common Title Supta Virasana
English Title Reclining Hero Pose
Sanskrit Title Supta Virasana
All Titles Reclining Hero Pose, Supta Virasana, Saddle Pose
Pose Level Advanced
Pose Position Supine
Pose Type Stretch,
Sanskrit Pronunciation Play Audio
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Yoga Sequences

List of yoga sequences with Supta Virasana:

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In Sanskrit, ‘supta’ = ‘reclined’ and ‘vira’ = ‘hero’. Hence the name Supta Virasana or Reclined Hero Pose. A variation of the base yoga pose Virasana (Hero Pose), where the torso is in a backbend while resting the head down on the floor. This is the traditional Hatha Yoga Pose while the same yoga pose in Ashtanga Yoga is called Paryankasana (Couch Pose). The practice of this pose Supta Virasana which is categorized under intermediate level requires strong and flexible lower back.

Supta Virasana is considered a base pose as supta virasana variations can be derived from this pose.

Chakras

Supta Virasana helps open, activate, and balance the following chakra(s):
  • Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)
  • Solar Plexus (Manipura Chakra)

Anatomy

Supta Virasana benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus:
  • Lower Back
  • Middle Back
  • Upper Back
  • Feet and Ankles
  • Chest
  • Knees
  • Neck
  • Quadriceps

Supta Virasana yoga sequences

Supta Virasana is commonly found in the following types of yoga sequences:
  • Yin yoga sequences
  • Yoga sequences for relieving lower back pain
  • Middle back focused sequences
  • Upper back focused sequences
  • Yoga for feet and ankles
  • Heart opening yoga sequences
  • Yoga therapy sequences for knees
  • Yoga therapy sequences for neck
  • Yoga sequences for Quadriceps

How to do Supta Virasana

The below cues and yoga sequences added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Supta Virasana depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.

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  1. Sitting or lying down.
    Hold: 2-5 minutes | Nose-to-Mouth breathing
    1. Bring your knees together, feet apart
    2. Sit down on the floor between your heels OR on a folded blanket
    3. IF you can sit on the floor with no knee pain, you can lower yourself down to your back one elbow at a time
    IF you...
  2. 1. Start in Virasana.
    2. Exhale and recline the trunk back and rest the elbows one by one on the floor.
    3. Come down slowly extending the arms and placing the crown of the head on to the floor.
    4. Gradually rest the back of the head and then the back on to the floor and take the arms overhead and...
  3. Bolster option - or forearms supported
  4. I like this pose with a bunch of props (2 bolsters, 2 blocks, 2 blankets) because it's more comfortable for my low back & knees. Feel free to adjust your props as needed. Prop set up- place one block between the bolsters, near the top where your head would be; I also stagger the bolsters slightly le...
  5. If this is too deep for the lower back, do the Sphinx pose.
    You can also straighten one leg for Half Saddle. You can bend the straight leg and place the foot on the floor (note pictures). A deep variation is to hug the top knee toward the chest. That can get quite juicy.
    If you can only go as far ...
  6. Use block or blanket to support back.
  7. 1. Start in Virasana.
    2. Exhale and recline the trunk back and rest the elbows one by one on the floor.
    3. Come down slowly extending the arms and placing the crown of the head on to the floor.
    4. Gradually rest the back of the head and then the back on to the floor and take the arms overhead and...
  8. Coperta caviglie - cuscini sotto sedere (fastidio ginocchia) - inclino busto dietro (eventualmente testa) - gomiti a terra
  9. A. Trazer o corpo para relaxar em pose de cadáver, fique por algumas respirações.
    B. Traga os pés dobrando os joelhos próximos ao quadril e coloque-os lá. Inspire e coloque os braços acima da cabeça esticados e coloque-os no chão, levantando a parte inferior das costas do chão.
    C. Expire na post...
  10. Start with simply sitting on the heels and notice how this feels. If there's pain in the knees or ankle place a bolster or 2 under your back and try a blanket under your knees or ankles. Lean back on your hands, creating a little arch to the lower back. Check in with how this feels. This may be it ...
  11. There are several options for coming into this pose. Start with simply sitting on the heels and notice how this feels. If there's pain in the knees, skip this one. If your ankles are complaining, try a blanket under them or skip the pose. Lean back on your hands, creating a little arch to the lower ...
  12. Bring the feet by bending at the knees close to the hip and place them there. Inhale and take the arms above your head stretched and place them on the floor raising the lower back away from the floor.

    Exhale at the pose and begin deep breathing and with every breath stretch deeper taking the arms...
  13. HALF SADDLE ONLY - 1 min each side

    Use block or bolster underneath sacrum -

    gently go backwards until you feel your edge. Stop there.

    Go further if you can / want.

    Do not let knee lift up off the floor - you're going too far.
  14. 3 MINUTES/Supported Saddle
    Draw your knees toward each other and slowly roll up to sit on your heels. Scoot forward to the top quarter of your mat. Place two blocks behind you—one block closer to you on its lowest height, and the other farther away from you on its tallest or medium height. Position...

Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana Benefits

Supta Virasana Benefits:
  • Helps prevent arterial blockages by gently massaging and strengthening the heart and increasing coronary blood flow.
  • Increases the elasticity of lung tissue.
  • Enhances resistance to infections.
  • Relieves indigestion, acidity and flatulence.
  • Corrects a prolapsed uterus, and tones the pelvic organs.
  • Relieves lower backache.
  • Reduces inflammation in the knees, and relieves gout and rheumatic pain.
  • Relieves pain in the legs and feet and rests them, alleviating the effects of long hours of standing.
  • Helps correct flat feet.
Continue reading more on Supta Virasana Benefits

Supta Virasana Contraindications

 (Reclining Hero Pose) Supta Virasana Contraindications: You should avoid this pose (or reach out to an experienced teacher), if you have any of the following:
  • Angina
  • Partially blocked arteries
  • Recovering from bypass surgery

Supta Virasana Variations

Supta Virasana Variations: Below are some common variations of the yoga pose Supta Virasana with base pose as Reclined Hero Pose (Supta Virasana).

Supta Virasana Steps

 (Reclining Hero Pose) Supta Virasana Steps:
  1. Bringing the body to relax in Corpse pose, stay for a few breaths.
  2. Bring the feet by bending at the knees close to the hip and place them there. Inhale and take the arms above your head stretched and place them on the floor raising the lower back away from the floor.
  3. Exhale at the pose and begin deep breathing and with every breath stretch deeper taking the arms out far above you with tight core muscles raise the back away from the floor, placing the shoulders on the floor.
  4. Remain here for about 6 breaths if it is comfortable or release when uncomfortable.
  5. This pose has a direct impact of the abdominal muscles and strengthening the core and the abs.
  6. Release and relax.
Learn more: Supta Virasana Steps

Supta Virasana Modifications

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Supta Virasana Preparatory Poses

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Supta Virasana Relaxing Follow-up Poses

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Supta Virasana Yoga Sequence Level Up Follow-up Poses

Supta Virasana is an intermediate level yoga pose that works on the lower back and the entire spine, and challenging one too as it requires the torso to go in a backbend while the body is in supine. Hence to take the practice to the next level there are few yoga poses that can be practiced based on the spine flexibility. Mentioning a few below with reasons:

  • Laghu Vajrasana (Little Thunderbolt Pose): This yoga pose is intense as the crown of the head touches the floor creating a deeper backbend.
  • Matsyasana Variation Lotus (Fish Pose Variation Lotus): A great variation for the backbend with the deep stretch to the groin (adductor muscles).
  • Poorna Dhanurasana (Full Bow Pose): This yoga pose is a backbend done in supine but brings in the challenge with balancing the body.

Supta Virasana Yoga Sequences

Supta Virasana Titles in English and Sanskrit

Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Supta Virasana:

  • Reclining Hero Pose
  • Supta Virasana
  • Saddle Pose

Supta Virasana Sanskrit

Supta Virasana sanskrit title is Supta Virasana

Please click on the link below to listen to Sanskrit pronunciation of Supta Virasana:
Sanskrit audio pronunciation for  Supta Virasana Play Sanskrit audio pronunciation for Supta Virasana

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