Virasana - Pose, Benefits, Steps and How it is Different from Vajrasana

Apr 21, 2024

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Virasana - Pose, Benefits, Steps and How it is Different from Vajrasana

Virasana, also known as hero pose, is a traditional seated yoga pose that offers numerous benefits for the mind and body. This pose, derived from the Sanskrit term "vira" meaning hero or brave person, involves kneeling on the floor with the feet wide open and sitting between the feet while keeping the spine straight.

Aside from its physical benefits, Virasana promotes mindfulness by allowing practitioners to focus on their breath and connect with their body. In this pose, one can cultivate a sense of inner strength and courage, fostering a deeper awareness of the present moment. 

By practicing Virasana regularly, individuals can enhance their mindfulness practice and experience a greater sense of calm and clarity both on and off the mat.

In this article, we will learn everything about Virasana yoga , including its variations, benefits and precautions. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Virasana, or hero pose, is a traditional seated yoga pose that strengthens the body and promotes mindfulness.

  • Virasana is different from Vajrasana as it involves kneeling on the floor with the feet wide open and sitting between the feet while keeping the spine straight. In contrast to vajrasana where the hands are kept on the thighs and feet closer to each other.

Infographics of a Women demonstrating Virasana, also known as Hero Pose, in yoga

What is Virasana Yoga?

Virasana, also known as hero pose,is a foundational pose in yoga that strengthens the spine, hips, pelvis, legs, thighs, ankles, and knees, promoting overall stability and flexibility. This pose also aids in digestion and can help alleviate problems such as acidity.

Variations of Virasana

Virasana, also known as hero pose, has variations that offer unique benefits to the practitioner. These variations add depth and versatility to the foundational pose, allowing for a more customized practice. Here are three variations of Virasana that you can incorporate into your yoga routine:

Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana, or the reclining hero pose, involves kneeling on the ground and reclining backwards, resting the spine and head on cushions for support. This variation rejuvenates the body and refreshes the organs. It helps relieve tension in the lower back, hips, and thighs, while gently stretching the quads and ankles. Supta Virasana also opens the chest and promotes deep relaxation.

Parivrtta Virasana

Parivrtta Virasana, or the twist in hero pose, adds a rotational element to the traditional Virasana. Start in Virasana, then place one hand behind the hips and look over the shoulder behind the back while sitting on the feet. This variation improves spinal mobility and stimulates digestion. It also stretches the outer hips and strengthens the core. The twist in Parivrtta Virasana helps release tension in the back and shoulders, promoting overall relaxation.

Adho Mukha Virasana

Adho Mukha Virasana, or the downward-facing hero posture, is a sitting relaxation variation. Begin in Virasana and place cushions or bolsters under the hips and legs for support. Rest the head on a pillow, bringing the spine into a gentle forward fold. This variation provides a deep stretch to the hips, thighs, and ankles while promoting relaxation and grounding. Adho Mukha Virasana is especially beneficial for relieving fatigue and stress.

Virasana and Vajrasana Difference

Virasana ( Hero Pose)

Vajrasana ( Diamond Pose )

A Women practicing Virasana, also known as Hero Pose, sitting on a yoga mat with legs folded beneath, demonstrating the serene and meditative posture of this yoga asana

An image depicting Vajrasana, also known as Diamond Pose, with a women sitting on a yoga mat, kneeling with their buttocks resting on their heels, showcasing the proper alignment and tranquility of this yoga posture

The major difference lies in the alignment of feet, in Virasana both the legs are aligned at a certain distance 

But, in Vajrasana both the legs are posed closed to each other

The hands are placed on the thighs, thus their alignment is between both the feet 

The hands are placed on the thighs same as virasana but as both the legs are placed close to each other, the alignment of hands is just over the both feet

It is a Sanskrit term where Vir means Hero. Thus, Virasana also known as hero pose

It is also a sanskrit name where Vajra means weapon with the meaning diamond or thunderbolt. Thus Vajrasana also known as diamond pose or thunderbolt pose. 

How to Perform Virasana

Performing Virasana, also known as the hero pose, requires proper alignment and technique. Follow these steps to execute Virasana correctly:

  1. Kneel on the floor, making sure your knees are together and your feet are wider than hip-width apart.

  2. Sit back on your heels, keeping your spine straight.

  3. If it's comfortable, you can place a cushion or yoga block between your feet for support.

  4. Rest your hands on your thighs, palms facing down.

  5. Relax your shoulders and lengthen through the crown of your head.

  6. Hold the pose for several breaths, focusing on grounding through your sit bones.

Remember to breathe deeply and listen to your body during the practice. If you experience any discomfort or pain, modify the pose to suit your needs.

Proper alignment and gradual progression are key to safely and effectively perform Virasana. Consult a certified yoga instructor for personalized guidance and adjustments.

Also Read : Garbha Pindasana (Embryo in Womb Pose) : How to Do and its Benefits

Benefits of Virasana

Virasana, also known as hero pose, offers a multitude of benefits for both the mind and body. Incorporating Virasana into your yoga practice can help improve digestion, enhance flexibility, strengthen the spine, knees, and ankles, and promote overall well-being.

Here are some key benefits of practicing Virasana:

  • Improved Digestion: Virasana stimulates the abdominal organs, aiding digestion and relieving digestive discomfort.

  • Enhanced Flexibility: Regular practice of Virasana helps stretch and open the hips, thighs, and ankles, increasing flexibility in these areas.

  • Strengthened Spine: The seated posture of Virasana encourages an upright, aligned spine, promoting good posture and strengthening the back muscles.

  • Stronger Knees and Ankles: By sitting on the feet in Virasana, the knees and ankles are provided with a gentle stretch and strengthening, improving their stability and overall health.

These are just a few of the many benefits that Virasana, the hero pose, can contribute to your physical and mental well-being. Regular practice of Virasana, under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor, can help you harness the full potential of this powerful yoga asana.

Precautions of Virasana

While practicing Virasana (hero pose) can be beneficial for most individuals, it is important to take certain precautions and make modifications based on individual needs and limitations. Here are some considerations:

1. Knee Injuries

If you have a history of knee injuries or discomfort, it is essential to approach Virasana with caution. Use props such as blankets or bolsters to provide support to the knees and reduce strain. Avoid forcing the knees to the ground if it causes pain or discomfort.

2. Hip Injuries

Individuals with hip injuries or stiffness should modify Virasana to avoid exacerbating the condition. Place a cushion or bolster under the hips to elevate and support them. This modification helps reduce strain on the hips and allows for a more comfortable seated position.

3. Pregnancy

Pregnant women should be mindful when practicing Virasana. As the pregnancy progresses, it is advisable to avoid deep knee flexion and focus on using props to elevate the hips and maintain a comfortable sitting position. Consult with a prenatal yoga instructor for guidance on modifications suitable for each trimester.

4. Modifications

Modifications can enhance the experience of Virasana and make it accessible to individuals with limited flexibility or specific needs. Here are some modifications to consider:

  • Use blankets or blocks under the sitting bones to lessen the intensity of the stretch.

  • Place a bolster or rolled-up blanket between the calves and thighs for added support and comfort.

  • If sitting directly on the floor is challenging, sit on a folded blanket or cushion to elevate the hips.

  • For individuals with limited ankle mobility, try placing a rolled-up towel or blanket under the ankles to reduce strain.

Remember to listen to your body and adjust the pose accordingly. It is always recommended to practice Virasana under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor, especially when dealing with injuries or specific needs.

Read Also : Gorakshasana or Cowherd Pose How to do and Its Benefits


Virasana, also known as the hero pose, is a powerful yoga asana that offers numerous benefits for both the mind and body. By incorporating Virasana into your yoga routine, you can enhance your mindfulness practice and improve overall well-being.

One of the key benefits of Virasana is its ability to strengthen and tone the body. It targets the spine, hips, pelvis, legs, thighs, ankles, and knees, promoting better posture and stability. Additionally, Virasana aids in improving flexibility, making it an excellent pose for increasing your range of motion and preventing injuries.

Mindfulness is another significant aspect that Virasana contributes to. This pose allows you to focus on your breath and bring your awareness to the present moment, promoting mental clarity and reducing stress. With regular practice, Virasana can help cultivate a calm and centered mindset.

As with any yoga pose, it is essential to practice Virasana with caution. If you have any specific limitations or concerns, it is recommended to seek guidance from a trained yoga instructor. With proper alignment and modifications, you can safely enjoy the benefits of Virasana and deepen your yoga practice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Virasana, also known as hero pose, is a seated yoga pose that involves kneeling on the floor with the feet wide open and sitting between the feet, keeping the spine straight. It is derived from the Sanskrit term "vira" meaning hero or brave person.

There are variations of Virasana such as Supta Virasana (reclining hero pose), Parivrtta Virasana (twist in hero pose), and Adho Mukha Virasana (downward-facing hero posture), each offering unique benefits.

To perform Virasana, kneel on the floor with your knees together and the tops of your feet flat on the ground. Slowly lower your buttocks to sit between your feet, keeping your spine straight. You can place a blanket or bolster under your hips if needed for support.

Virasana strengthens the spine, hips, pelvis, legs, thighs, ankles, and knees. It also promotes digestion, relieves acidity, and improves flexibility.

Yes, if you have knee or hip injuries, it is important to use props such as bolsters or folded blankets to support your knees or sit on a chair instead. Pregnant women should avoid deep knee bends in Virasana and can modify the posture by sitting on a bolster or cushion.

In Vajrasana, the body is kneeled down where both legs are aligned close to each other and thus hands are placed just above the feet, while, in Virasana, both legs are aligned at a certain distance, thus the hands kept on the thighs gets IN Between of Both The Feet..

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