Hero pose, Virasana, is a seated pose. It stretches the knees, thighs, and ankles. It also strengthens the arches of the foot and improves posture. This pose is one of the most used poses for meditation and breathing exercises. This pose can be difficult for people with tight knees, thighs or groin, but do not let that discourage you. Do the best you can and the rest will come with time. When is pose is done correctly, it will begin to help mobility and the health of those body parts. You can use different props (block or pillow) in the beginning and take it slow.
Hero pose teaches internal thigh rotation, and helps to reduce the tightness in the thighs. Due to the upright spinal alignment of this pose, it helps to improve posture and relieve asthma. Once you get the pose down to a science and are able to do it fully, it can help to find a greater awareness of the entire body and how your breath moves through your torso. This awareness will create calm and focus, this is the true essence of YOGA.
To successfully do Hero Pose, begin by kneeling on the mat. For beginners you ca place a folded blanket or pillow beneath your knees, shins, or feet (whichever is comfortable). You Inner thighs should be touching and your feet to the side of your buttocks, keeping the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Lean your torso forward slightly and sit back on your hips halfway. Sit between your feet, while resting your weight equally across both sit bones. Hold the pose for a minute or the duration of your meditation. To release, press your palms firmly on the floor and lift your buttocks. As a more advance variation of this pose, keep your lower half the same (hips, buttocks, thighs, and feet) and lay back flat on the mat. Holding for a minute or until the duration of your meditation.