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Vajrasana or Hero Pose
VAJ-RAHS-anna
Va to move ra radiant

Overview
Vajrasana helps you move your blood, and your energy, towards your upper body and head. In this way you can understand how it radiates energy into your mind for the practice of meditation.

Preparation and Pose Tips
Kneel with your legs together. Toes pointing out behind you with the big toes touching. Sit back onto your heels, which are separated slightly resting each one on your buttocks. Sit upright with your spine straight and head and eyes looking forward. Gently pull your shoulders back. Now put your hands onto your thighs with the palms down close to your knees. Breath slow, deep breaths.

A slight variation on this pose is to raise the feet up and sit back down with your toes pressing down into the floor. This is a great toe-foot opener. You can alternate between the two versions. Virasana (or Hero Pose) is similar to Vajrasana except your legs are at the side of your thighs so you can sit down on the ground.



Benefits
Obviously you stretch your knees, ankles and feet. Breathing in this position can induce relaxation and preparation for meditation. Supta Vajrasana can stretch out your spinalcoluman and lower back. Like other forward bends it can calm your nervous system.

Advanced or Partner
You can use this pose as a preparation for moving into Supta Vajrasana (forward bend). You inhale, extending your arms up past your ears and on an exhale reach forward and let your palms touch down to the ground.

Chakra
This pose can help bring energy to all the chakras.

Precautions
If you have knee problems be careful, possibly place a bolster or blocks under your hips to keep your body raised and prevent overextension of the knee. If you are pregnant it is best to keep your knees apart during vajrasana.

Timing
Advanced practicioners can sit in this pose for extended periods of time, over thirty minutes. It can be a nice pose to move directly into meditation or to engage in neck stretches. Beginners are usually advised to start with a few minutes or whatever feels right.

Recovery and Counterpose
Come up slowly, possibly move into a cat � cow sequence to further stretch out the spine.

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