Definition - What does Virasana mean?

Virasana is a relatively basic seated posture, but it requires some flexibility to perform. In addition to building flexibility and stretching the legs and feet, this asana also has a very calming, soothing effect on the mind. In spiritual practice, virasana energizes the root chakra, helping the individual feel more rooted and passionate.

To enter this asana, kneel on the floor with the feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Sit on the floor between the feet, keeping the spine straight and spreading the shoulders across the back. The palms should rest on the thighs. If sitting all the way down is difficult due to limited flexibility, a block can be placed between the feet for extra support.

The name for this asana comes from the Sanskrit roots vira, meaning "brave person" or "hero," and asana, meaning "pose." Virasana is also known as hero pose in English.

Yogapedia explains Virasana

Practicing virasana stretches the ankles, knees and thighs, and greatly improves their flexibility. It also strengthens the arches of the feet.

This asana has a number of mental benefits as well, including:

  • Calms the mind
  • Improves focus
  • Relieves stress
  • Strengthens the mind
  • Aids in meditation

As part of a spiritual yoga practice, virasana activates the muladhara (root chakra), which is located at the base of the spine. Energizing the muladhara promotes a sense of security and is also associated with health, passion and abundance.

Additionally, virasana is beneficial for those who suffer from high blood pressure, digestive issues, indigestion, asthma and menopausal symptoms.

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