Hero Pose (Virasana)

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Hero Pose, Virasana, (vaj-ra-suh-nuh)

vira (‘warrior’ or ‘hero’ or ‘champion’) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Vajrasana, Thunderbolt Pose, Diamond Pose

Pose Type: Seated

Difficulty: Beginners

a man wearing black yoga clothes doing hero pose

Hero Pose can be a great alternative pose to Lotus Pose for a meditative seat

hero pose Fundamentals

Ground down and mindfully lift through the spine with confidence in Hero pose. Breath and stretch into the legs, knees, ankles, and feet in this foundational kneeling pose.

The knees and shins are parallel to each other and support the body equally in this pose. Without the asymmetrical crossing of the legs and opening in the hips, it makes a great alternative to sukhasana (easy pose).

Hero pose supports the spine in a way that better supports the skull during sitting meditation.

As with all seated poses and really all asana poses, practice balancing between sthira (steadiness) and sukha (ease).

hero pose Benefits

  • Calms the nervous system and grounds you.
  • Stretches the quads and massages the shins and calves.
  • Great for lubricating the knee joints and better flexion.
  • Great for improving posture and comfortably growing up tall through the spine.
  • Aids in digestion or soothes the stomach after a big meal.
  • Deep stretch and flexion for the tops of the feet and all 10 toes.
an annotated image of a man doing hero pose

How To Do hero pose: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

1. Come to the knees and onto all fours. Slowly walk the palms back and space the legs a little wider than hip-width apart.

2. Press onto the tops of the feet, and come back to sit on the heels and shins.

3. Hug the shoulder blades together. Engage the core and come to sit up nice and tall. Lift up through the heart center and up through the crown of the head.

4. Palms can rest on the lap, knees or over the arches of the feet to lift you higher.

5. Stay here for 5-10 rounds of breath. Embody a victorious hero.

Tips And Tricks:

  • Support your knees and ankles by placing a blanket underneath the knee joints.
  • If coming to sit in between the heels is not in your reach or you feel a lot of pressure in the ankles place 1 or 2 blocks underneath your sitting bones to support you.
  • Root down through the pinky toe outer edges of the foot.

hero pose Variation:

Hero Pose Variation: Hero Pose With A Bolster Or Blanket

  • a woman doing hero pose with a bolster between her legs
  • a woman doing hero pose with a blanket between her legs

Bring a bolster underneath the sit bones to lift the ground up to you and make this pose more accessible for you and reduce pressure on the knees, shins, and ankles.

You can also bring a blanket under the knees to add padding and support.

Hero Pose Variation: Hero Pose With A Rolled Up Towel Under Ankles

If you experience discomfort in the ankles try placing a rolled-up towel or blanket underneath the ankles for support.

Hero Pose Variation: Hero Pose With Torso Extended Forward

a man wearing black yoga clothes doing hero pose with his torso over his thighs

For more sensation, you can try bending forward and bringing the weight of the torso onto the legs.

Precautions & Contraindications:

Knee or ankle Injury:

If you are recovering from any knee or ankle injury skip this pose and try sitting on a chair instead.

Related Poses

Childs Pose

Camel Pose

Preparatory Poses:

Bound Angle Pose

Staff Pose

Counter Poses:

Reclining Hero Pose

Cat-Cow Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

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Anna is a lifestyle writer and yoga teacher currently living in sunny San Diego, California. Her mission is to make the tools of yoga accessible to those in underrepresented communities.

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