A hero pose, also called Heroic Pose, is a simple yet powerful pose for beginners. This seated pose is quite relaxing and can be adapted during meditation. It stretches quadriceps muscles and improves the joint range at the hip joints, the knee joints, and the ankle joints. Additionally, it can be adapted even after a meal to improve digestion.
As the name indicates, the easy posture reflects that it is not necessary to be physically impressive to be heroic, instead of sitting in quiet stillness for a few minutes is a feat in itself.
This pose is an excellent alternative for those who can not perform cross-legged pose due to muscle tightness. Heroic Pose has proved beneficial during menopause and can help to reduce edema in the legs and feet during pregnancy. However, those who have a history of knee and ankle injuries should practice this with great caution.
The Idea of The Heroic Pose
Heroic Pose is a seated pose that provides a great stretch to the lower limb. While maintaining the position, shoulders are placed over the hips, which helps to improve slouching posture and overall alignment of the spine. This pose is easy, to begin with if you are new to yoga. It is comfortable to maintain for a longer duration of time, and if you feel uncomfortable, you can put a block or cushion under the hip joint.
Steps: How To Perform A Heroic Pose
Put on your yoga pants and spread the yoga mat on the ground. Kneel on the floor and touch your inner knees together. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the feet. Start separating your feet to sides until they are 18 inches apart, with the front of your feet facing downwards. Move your toes inwards while keeping the knees straight. You can place a cushion or a pad below the knees if the hard surface is not bearable.
Exhale and lower down your body while keeping the upper torso in the forward direction. Smoothly draw the skin folds of your calf muscles towards the heel with your thumbs. Now, sit between your knees and place your body on the floor. Do not sit on your feet. You can use a blanket or a block to place between the ground and your buttocks if you can not sit comfortably or feel the tension in your muscles.
Try to relax in this position and make sure your sitting bones are evenly supported on the ground. One side of the body should not be raised than the other side. There should be a thumb’s-width space between the outer hips and the inner heels. Adjust your shoulders away from the ears. Then rest your hands in your lap with palms up. If you are placing the palms on your thighs, then they should be facing downwards.
Now move your shoulder away from your ears by firming the shoulder blades. Take a deep breath in and lift the top of your sternum like a proud warrior does. Pull your body upwards and straighten the spine to improve the length of your tailbone. Stay in this position to relax your muscles. Start practicing this pose for 30 seconds and gradually extend your stay to 3 to 5 minutes for a better outcome.
To come out of the pose, gradually press your palms against the ground and lift your buttocks. Move it up, slightly higher than the heels. Now, cross your widely apart ankles and sit over the feet and onto the ground. Then take your legs one by one and stretch them in front of you. Wiggle your toes and bounce the knees a few times to regain movement.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any Modifications and Variations?
Yoga should always be a relaxing experience for you, so if you feel uncomfortable while performing any of the poses, try to modify it according to your needs. Add paddings or folded blankets underneath your ankles, knees, or hips. Once you get comfortable, you can remove the padding and make it more challenging.
Any Safety and Precautions To Note?
Never push your body beyond its capacity. Be careful of the possible injury to your body. If you have any pain in the knee joint or hip, add the blocks to support your body and decrease the pressure from the joints. If it is still painful and not achievable, it is completely fine to skip the pose. Note that the foot position in this pose can cause foot cramps. If you get one, curl your toes up and massage your foot to try to relieve it.
How To Avoid Common Mistakes?
To avoid mistakes, do not go directly into the final position. The key is to go slow and accurately. Give yourself some time to learn the pose and allow the muscles to relax a little before moving towards the next step. This will save you from many injuries that could occur due to a sudden change in position.
The heroic pose is one of the oldest and most traditional yoga poses. More suitable for beginners who are still learning to adjust their bodies according to the required pose. As Heroic Pose is a seated pose, it is ideal after performing the standing pose to give your body some rest.