Parsva Virasana

Last Updated: January 2, 2018

Definition - What does Parsva Virasana mean?

Parsva virasana is a beginner seated pose with a twist that stretches the quadriceps, knees, ankles, hips and back. The name comes from the Sanskrit, parsva, meaning “side”; vira, meaning “hero”; and asana, which translates as “posture” or “pose.”

To practice parsva virasana, the yogi sits in virasana, a simple sitting pose in which the shins and tops of the feet rest on the ground and the buttocks sit on the heels. With the upper body erect, the yogi then twists to one side.

Parsva virasana is also known in English as side twist in hero pose.

Parsva Virasana

Yogapedia explains Parsva Virasana

Alternately, parsva virasana can be practiced with the knees together, but the feet separated and the buttocks resting on a yoga block, blanket or bolster placed between the feet.

In addition to its physical benefits, parsva virasana creates a sense of inner calmness and groundedness. As a twisting posture, it energizes the body and mind by creating space in the spine, decreases stress and reduces anxiety. Spiritually, twisting postures like parsva virasana are believed to open and balance the manipura (navel or solar plexus) chakra, which is associated with self-confidence, personal power, self-esteem, decision-making and a sense of purpose.

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