Reclining Hero Pose offers a wonderful opportunity for rest and relaxation in your yoga flow, as well as an opportunity to try something new or dive deeper into your practice. Being quite an advanced pose, it requires preparation and counter poses in order to to be practiced safely and avoid injury.
While it is important to continually develop your yoga practice, I suggest that Reclining Hero Pose is practiced primarily by intermediate or advanced students. Ideally, students will first master Hero Pose (the upright version) before diving deeper into the reclined variation.
As always, listen to your body, as it is your best teacher. If you experience any pain or discomfort, carefully exit the pose and take a moment to rest in Child’s Pose before continuing your practice.
Now it’s time to sit back and relax, literally. Let’s jump right in and explore a new level in your practice!
This pose is a runner’s dream! From your abs, to your hip flexors, down to your thighs, Reclining Hero Pose will be heaven for those large, tight quad muscles. Your feet will also experience sensation in this pose that can help to improve your arches.
For people who suffer from insomnia, digestive issues, and even high blood pressure, the benefits of Reclined Hero Pose are too many to count on two hands.
How to do Reclining Hero Pose
Begin in Hero Pose. You should be able to place your sitz bones on the ground between your feet, knees touching, with your shins and tops of your feet flat against the ground. Sit with a straight spine, take a deep inhale as you lengthen through the crown of your head.
Place your hands on the ground just behind your feet. Walk your hands back while reclining your torso until your elbows and forearms are resting on the ground. You may choose to stay here, allowing this to be the full extension of your pose. If so, stay here for three to five breaths, keeping your core strong and heart reaching towards the sky.
To continue, place the palms of your hands on your lower back. Use them to support your torso as you lower to the ground. Your shoulder blades, neck and head should rest comfortably on your mat. If your knees come slightly off of the ground, or spread apart, this is ok. Just be sure that your knees stay in line with your hips, never wider.
Once in Reclining Hero Pose, take a deep breath and release any tension you may be holding in your thighs or hips.
Keep your tailbone tucked under. Engage your core and knit your ribs together to keep them from spreading or popping up. Continue to spread in your collar bones, reaching your heart to the sky.
You may find it comfortable for your arms to lie beside your body, or lift them all the way overhead.
Remain here for three to five breaths. To exit the pose, draw your palms to your lower back and make your way back up to your elbows. Use the support of your elbows and core to lift your upper body until you are sitting in Hero Pose once more.
Tips and Modifications
Props will be your best friend in Reclining Hero Pose. If you cannot comfortably rest your upper back, neck and head on the ground, try using a blanket or bolster. Roll the blanket or place the bolster long ways underneath your torso to support your spine.
To counter Reclining Hero Pose, you will find your body craving Bound Angle or Lotus Pose.
If you are looking to add a new challenge or experience to your practice, Reclining Hero Pose just may be the perfect thing. You may not be Hercules or the Hulk, but one thing is for sure, this pose will definitely have you feeling like a hero in your own practice, revived and ready to master the rest of your flow.
I invite you to try this pose next time you step on the mat. Let me know how your body feels afterwards and share your tips below!