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Supta Virasana an ideal stretching exercise

by Vidula

You can use the yoga practice to balance the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, relieve associated back pain, and set the stage for safe practice of intermediate poses like backbends. Most problems with the hip flexors, however, don't originate in a lack of strength but in a lack of flexibility. If the hip is constantly kept in a flexed position—like sitting—for hours every day, day after day, the hip flexors will shorten and shrink, limiting your ability to fully extend (straighten) the hip. For people in a sedentary society, daily hip flexor stretches are very important.

One such yoga posture is Supta Virasana. Supta means supine (lying down) and vira means hero, hence also called “the Lying Hero” pose. Doing this asana flexes the hip.

Begin by sitting in Virasana, the hero posture. Kneel on the floor with your knees together. Take your feet apart so your heels are just outside of your hips. The tops of your feet should be on the floor with the outer edges of your feet parallel. Using your hands roll your calf muscles out to the sides and very slowly lower your buttocks towards the floor. If you are unable to sit on the floor between your heels place some support between your buttocks and the floor.

Pull yourself over your sitting bones up and back behind you bringing your pelvic bones to their upright position. Place your hands on your thighs, lift your chest and roll your shoulders back and down. You are now in Virasana, the sitting hero posture. Hold this posture for one minute.
Take both hands to the floor behind you, and supporting yourself with your arms, lower your torso to 45 degrees. Lift your buttocks away from the floor and push your tailbone towards your knees. Slowly lie down on the floor.

Once you are supported adequately in the posture, relax into the posture. Keep your thighs together and take the full support of the floor. If you are able to lie down on the floor without the use of any support, take your arms over your head and down onto the floor behind you. Extend your arms.
After lying down for one minute using your hands for support, push yourself up.

Doing this asana flexes the hip.

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