By Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast, Yogaratna

At first, I valued this pose for its efficiency.  Your sacrum, waist and ribcage area of your spine all get a deep release at the same time.  Now I’ve learned to savor the true power of Virasana (Hero Pose) with Seated Side Stretch (SSS).

Virasana SSS opens me inward to exuberance!  On my upper arm side, the whole side of my torso lengthens and expands.  While extending my straight-elbow arm diagonally, I ease my navel inward.  Then my torso extends on both sides.  The sense of lengthening and expansion is delicious.

Moving in gradually gives me a sweet transition from computer work — from “busy mind” to minding my body.  Sitting in the middle of my blanket stack, I soften both legs.  One at a time, I lift them into the crossed-leg alignment.  Relaxing my legs, I can more easily line my knees up.  Pausing with my hands resting on my knees, I settle into easy breathing and inner awareness.  I drop down from a hectic day into the eternal peace of my own Self.

Then I silently coach myself with tips.  “Use elbow muscles” to keep your upraised arm straight.  “Align your upper arm parallel to your spine line.”  I feel both sides of my torso as well as my upraised arm lengthen more.

After moving out of the first side, I pause to sit, resting with my stacked hands again on my knees.  My mind settles down and inward.  I sink into noticing my body inside more deeply.  I feel the ongoing changes.  

The feeling of warm upliftment continues.  A sense of renewal spreads all the way up to the side of my face.  It’s a delicious interval.

For my other side, I repeat the step-by-step process of moving in, staying in and moving out.  The luxurious openings unfold on my second side.  Yumm…

2 thoughts on “Exuberance!

  1. Mukti

    Yum is right! Thank you for this beautiful, detailed description of the pose and your experience of the pose, Matrikaa. Virasana SSS is one of my favorites. I will more consciously feel why next time I am in the pose🤗

  2. Anna VR

    What an interesting and inspiring post, Matrikaa! Thanks for the reminder of the Hero pose, I should practice it more often.


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