Energy expenditure and ventilatory responses during Virasana

Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.

1993 Jan;37(1):45-50.

 Rai L, Ram K.

Department of Physiology, Central Research Institute for Yoga, New Delhi.

 

 

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Energy expenditure and ventilatory responses to yogic standing posture of Virasana were studied on 10 healthy men (25-37 years of age).

The results of various responses respectively to the horizontal supine, Chair-sitting and Virasana were:

Minute Ventilation (VE) 7.64, 8.61 and 18.67 L/min; Respiratory Frequency (FR) 15.71, 15.70 and 21.45 Breath/min; Tidal Volume (VT) 0.496, 0.544 and 0.827 L/min; Oxygen consumption (VO2) 0.127, 0.234 and 0.573 L/min; Carbondioxide Elimination (VCO2) 0.127, 0.134 and 0.420 L/min; Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER) 0.58, 0.57 and 0.69; Heart Frequency (FH) 65.2, 74.5 and 104.4 beats/min; Oxygen Pulse (O2P) 3.32, 3.17 and 5.45 ml/beat; Ventilatory Equivalent (VE-EQ) 36.78, 37.12 and 33.85; Multiple of Resting VO2 (METS) 0.96, 1.05 and 2.53 and Metabolic Cost (MC) 1.04, 1.13 and 2.76 Cal/min. Virasana posture was characterised by higher VE, FR, VT, VO2, VCO2, FH and O2P with lesser VE-EQ. The observations suggest that Virasana induces temporarily a hypermetabolic state characterised by enhanced sympathetic nervous system activity which gets inhibited during the adoption of resting supine shavasana posture.

 

 

 

 

Virasana – Hero Yoga Posture

Virasana – Hero Yoga Posture

In Sanskrit word vira means hero, brave or eminent man, or warrior. The way a brave man takes position while attacking his enemy, the similar position is formed in this asana, hence it is called as Vira Asana or The Hero Posture.

Position of readiness

Sit on floor in an easy way with straight spin. Look forward. Breathe normally.

Steps

Fold one leg at the knee and bring the heels behind the hips. The toes of this leg should fall on the ground. The heel is up, touching the hip. There is nobody weight on the folded leg, all the weight of the body is on the floor.

Now fold the other leg at the knee and bring this foot on the thigh of the folded leg. Let the knee of this leg fall on the floor and let its sole rest on the thigh of other leg.

Stretch both the hands on their respective sides and then bring the wrist on the head. Then join the palms and the fingers of both hands close together. Keep the wrist on the top of the head and keep the finger straight upwards.  Then try to straighten the elbows on their respective sides as much as is comfortably possible.

Now straighten the spine, the neck and the head. Keep sight to the front.

Keep the palm and the finger together. Elbows should be straight and tight. Keep breathing normal way.

This is Vera asana. Stay in this position 6 to 8 seconds.

Now unfold the palms and bring down the hand. Then lift the upper foot by hand and bringing it down to the floor. Then pull back the other folded leg and bringing it to an easy pose. Now rest to five seconds. This asana is to be repeated for the alternate leg also.

Benefits

The legs, the waist, the spinal column and the neck get exercised leading to improved blood circulation in joints. The spinal column becomes. It also promotes the functioning of digestive organs.

It has also symbolic value. It is believed that those practice Vera Asana, develops courage and bravery.

Note

The vira-asana is an alternative to the padma-asana, siddha-asana, as well as other seated postures, for mediation and pranayama.

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