Virasana (hero's pose) is a fantastic seated posture for beginners because it fosters a tall, upright spine for pranayama and meditation. However, it requires flexibility in the quadriceps and the ankle dorsiflexors, and if these muscles are tight then a student might experience pain in their knees and/or feet. To accommodate tightness in the quadriceps, all that is really needed is to decrease the amount of knee flexion by sitting on a block or two placed between the feet. However, accommodating tightness in the ankle dorsiflexors requires a bit more finesse.
In this post, we'll review the muscles that plantarflex and dorsiflex the ankles and go over a few modification that will accommodate tight dorsiflexors. We've also included a video from one of the recent ASFYT-3 classes where we offer a strategy that might help prevent cramping when coming into the pose, as well as how to fold the blankets for our favorite modification.