Pose of the Week: Virasana

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 10:14

This week’s pose is Virasana. Vira means hero and asana means posture or pose. So it’s hero pose. As you can see by the photos it is a seated kneeling pose, so how does this posture represent a hero?

BKS Iyengar in Virasana in Light on Yoga (1966)
Vira not only refers to a hero but also a warrior. We  have looked at warrior poses in Virabhadrasana 1, 2, and 3. (Virabhadrasana 1, Virabhadrasana 2, Virabhadrasana 3); Virabhadra being the name of the warrior. We are familiar with the common link between being a fighter and hero.
George Feuerstein in The History of Yoga says that Vira is an important Tantric concept, referring to the spiritual practitioner who animates the heroic disposition (bhava). He explains the term vira as follows: “on the account of being free from passion, intoxication, affliction, anger, jealousy and delusion… is to be called a hero.” (p.394)
10am Saturday morning Led Practice students in Virasana

The purpose of yoga is to the still the fluctuations of consciousness; this is Sutra 1.2 in The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. We develop skills to help us reach this spiritually enlightened state. The Sutras give us the method in which to develop this. Sutra 1.23 refers to ishvara pranidhana. This is the supreme or personal state of God. This god can be seen within and/or on the outside. It is an infinite, communal life force that is present in all beings and all aspects of the universe. Pranidhana means to dedicate, devote, or surrender. This state of surrender helps us to let go of the individual ego.
So the kneeling position of Virasana implies this aspect of surrender. It is this seated pose commonly used in pranayama and meditation. It requires stillness in order for us to explore what happens on the inside. 
The spiritual journey is obstructed by our selfish desires and personal dramas. When we resolve our attachment to our egos then can be freed from the stress, self-doubt and negative karma. It is not easy. You need to be a fighter, a warrior and hopefully one day victorious over the limited idea of who we are, find the space to experience our true self and discover that boundless joy and surrender to the higher self.
10am Saturday morning Led Practice class, teacher trainee Tanya and Lina in Virasana
See you on the mat :)
Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher
Yoga Path
Learn more about your yoga - become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher
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