Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Supported Hero)

by Restorative Yoga Poses on February 28, 2011

Also known as Salamba Balasana, (Supported Child’s Pose)

Benefits:
This is a deeply relaxing pose that aims to quiet the mind and calm the body. It gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, and helps to relieve some types of back and neck pain.

Props:
Bolster or Thick Towel Roll

Technique:
1) Come into a kneeling position on your mat with the bolster of towel roll positioned between your knees.
2) Sit onto your shins and then on an exhale slowly lay your torso down over the bolster
3) Arms can be either in front or positioned to the sides of the body.

4) The head should be turned in one direction and then switched to the opposite direction half way through the hold.
5) Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes and breath deeply as you fully relax into the pose.
6) To release from the pose gently push off the bolster with arms at either side and remain sitting for a few breathes before moving on.

Variation:
A blanket may be positioned between the calves and hips for more support. A towel roll under the ankles can reduce pressure to the ankle joint. Also, some students enjoy a sandbag placed over the hips to increase the feeling of being grounded, safe, and secure. If the back is sore, increase the height of the bolster or towel roll supporting the body.

Breath:
Draw the breath deeply into the middle and upper back as if you are inflating a balloon. Observe how the back creates a dome towards the ceiling as you infuse your lungs with rejuvenating oxygen. Allow the muscles of your face to relax and your eyes to soften.

Contraindications:
Pregnancy, diarrhea

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