An Easy Guide to Supta Virasana, or Reclining Hero Pose

Supta Virasana, or Reclining Hero Pose, is a great way for beginners and advanced yogis to relax and unwind after a long day – alleviating stiffness and muscle aches. By increasing blood flow to the head, this pose is also beneficial for headaches, migraines, and even head colds.

Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana stretches the abdominal organs (improving digestion), urinary tract and pelvic area, the thighs, knees and ankles. 

This yoga pose is a good way to stretch out the legs and arches after a long day on your feet. 

This is also a great pose for joggers needing to relieve stiffness in their legs.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Supta Virasana, or Reclining Hero Pose, in easy steps

Step 1:

Start from Hero Pose (Virasana).

Step 2:

Unless you are very limber you should use a bolster - this will allow you to recline without compressing the lower back. Place the bolster in a vertical position behind you, as close in to your sit bones as possible.

Step 3:

Exhale and slowly lower your back onto your bolster or mat.

Step 4:

Lengthen the thighs towards the knees and the upper back/neck towards the top of the mat.

Step 5:

Lengthen your lower back and release it and the upper buttocks, spreading the flesh down toward the tailbone.  

Step 6:

Either release the arms down by the sides with the palms facing up or bring the arms alongside the ears and hold the elbows.

Step 7:

Keep your thighs parallel to each other, don't let your knees move out to the side.

Step 8:

Stay for 10 breaths initially, gradually working towards a few minutes.

Protect your knees and lower back when you come up by leading with the chest and pushing strongly into the hands.

Supta Virasana

Yoga pose category:  Lying face up

Level: 1

Don’t worry if you’re struggling - most yogis won’t be able to recline and stretch very far first time. To help you get to grips with this pose, try laying a blanket, cushion or yoga block underneath you, in the middle of the shoulders blades, so that as you recline, you will be supported, and won’t need to stretch as far. Keep practicing! With dedication, you will become more flexible, and ready to take on this pose without the extra support.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Supta - reclining

Vera - hero

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Supta Virasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:




High blood pressure




Flat feet




Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Supta Virasana if you have any of the following health conditions:

Back injury

Neck injury

Ankle injury

Knee injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.