What is Adhomukha Virasana (Downward facing hero pose)
This asana is a variation of the classic pose, Virasana.
Vira means “hero” or “warrior” in Sanskrit, adho indicates “downward,” and mukha means “face.”
This is a very restful asana to practice since it pacifies the frontal brain, reducing stress, soothing the eyes and nerves, and calming the mind.
It also helps to rejuvenate you after a tiring day.
Benefits of Adhomukha Virasana
- Relieves breathlessness, dizziness, fatigue, and headaches
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Stretches and tones the spine, relieving pain in the back and neck
- Reduces acidity and flatulence
- Alleviates menstrual pain and depression associated with menstruation
Contraindications and Cautions
Do not practice this asana if you are incontinent.
If you have a migraine or a stress-related headache, wrap a crepe bandage around your eyes and forehead.
How to do Adhomukha Virasana (Step by Step Instructions)
PROPS A Bolster and two Blankets
- The bolster supports the head and eases stiffness in the back.
- A blanket supports the chest, while the second blanket under the thighs relieves painful ankles.
- If you have a migraine, or a stress-related headache, wrap a crepe bandage around your eyes.
- Place a bolster on the floor and put a rolled blanket on it.
- Kneel with the bolster between your knees.
- Place the second blanket across your calves and heels.
- Lower your buttocks onto the blanket.
- Place both palms on your knees, your feet close together.
- Imagine you are pulling your kidneys into your body.
- Pause for 30 seconds.
- Move the bolster toward you.
- The front end should be in between your knees.
- Draw the bolster closer to your body so that it is just below your abdomen.
- Position the rolled blanket on the bolster so that you can rest your face on it.
- Now exhale, and move your torso forward.
- Stretch your arms out fully and place your hands on the floor, on either side of the far end of the bolster.
- Lower your chest to the bolster.
- Stretch your arms forward, extend the nape of your neck, and rest your forehead and face on the blanket.
- Push your thighs down, and lower your buttocks toward the floor.
- Keep your abdomen soft.
- Open your armpits and extend your sternum.
- Push your chest forward, broadening your ribs.
- In order to relax your body, increase the forward stretch of your torso and spine on the bolster.
- Make sure your buttocks rest on the other blanket.
- Stay in the pose for 30-60 seconds.
VARIATION 1 Two Bolsters
PROPS TWO BOLSTERS AND TWO BLANKETS.
The bolsters help those with stiff backs to hold the pose easily.
The added height makes it easier to lower the chest.
Getting into the Pose
- Place two bolsters in front of you and then follow Step 1 of the main asana.
- Now move the bolsters toward you.
- The front end of the lower bolster should be between your knees.
- Draw the 2 bolsters closer to your body, so that the end of the top bolster touches your abdomen.
- Place the rolled blanket on the far edge of the top bolster.
- Now follow Steps 2 and 3 of the main asana.