Hero Pose
March 29, 2015
King Pigeon Pose
March 29, 2015

Heron Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

Sanskrit

Krounchasana
(crown-CHAHS-anah)
krouncha = heron

BENEFITS

  • Increases strength and flexibility in the leg joints and muscles
  • Tones the core
  • Stimulates the digestive system
  • Stretches the front of the ankles and hamstrings

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Knee, hip, or ankle injuries
  • Low back pathologies
  • Menstruation

HOW TO

  1. Kneel down on your left leg, and extend your right leg in front of you.
  2. Inhale, lift out of the torso while firming the abdominals, and lengthen the spine.
  3. Exhale and sit back toward your left heel, settling onto your sitting bones. Make sure your left foot is on the outside of your left hip.
  4. Bend the right knee and draw the heel in toward your sitting bones. Clasp your hands under the right foot. Inhale and begin to extend the knee, lifting the foot toward the sky.
  5. As you exhale, work toward keeping firm abdominals and draw the leg closer to the torso.
  6. Hold this pose for 5-10 slow breaths.
  7. To exit, inhale and draw the abdominals in for support. Exhale and slowly lower the lifted leg. Placing your hands on the floor, roll slightly to your right sitting bone and sweep your left leg around to meet the right. Follow with Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend). Then set up on the opposite side and repeat.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Use a block or bolster for support under the sitting bones.
  • Loop a strap around the foot of the extended leg instead of holding it with your hand.
  • Feel free to come in and out of the pose.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the upper and lower spine lifted through the torso and firm your abdominals.
  • Draw the entire leg toward the torso, hollowing out the belly, on every exhale.
  • If you feel knee pain or strain at any time, immediately release from the posture.
  • Be cautious of your low spine and avoid rounding.

VARIATIONS

  • Revolve the posture by grabbing the outside of your right foot with your left hand, and placing your right hand on the floor behind you for support. Lengthen the spine on an inhale and slowly twist on your exhale.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Pain/ strain in the hamstrings or knees
  • Rounding of the back and chest