How to Do Heron Pose in Yoga (Guide to Krounchasana)

Heron pose is a grounding pose that requires you to be strong in your roots while maintaining height.

A more advanced version of this pose includes bringing your chin or forehead to touch your leg. For heron pose, the only requirement is to lift your leg straight up from the floor and maintain a straight spine.

“Heron pose is a truly beautiful asana that allows you to connect deeply to your entire body,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “Make sure that this pose feels good for you by adding any props and making any adjustments that you think will help you.”

Heron Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Krounchasana
Pose Type: Seated Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Intermediate pose
Targets: Hamstrings, knees, hips, quads, glutes, core, lower back
Benefits: Heron pose is a great way to work on alignment. It improves flexibility in the lower body and can help to reduce back pain while bringing attention to deep breathing.
Preparatory Poses: Hero pose, head-to-knee forward bend pose

How to Do Heron Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Sit on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot to rest on your mat on the outside of your right hip.
  3. Engage your core as you lift your left leg straight up and away from the floor.
  4. Use your hands to support the weight of your leg.
  5. Walk your hands up your leg to hold onto the sole of your foot.
  6. Maintain a straight spine.
  7. Bring your knee closer to your forehead without comprising the length of your spine.

Beginner’s Tip

Bring a block beneath the sit bones to decrease the pressure in your bent knee when practicing heron pose.

If you feel as though you can’t keep a straight spine in this pose, add more height beneath the glutes using blocks or focus first on increasing the flexibility of your hamstrings.

Contraindications

  • This pose engages the entire body – if you have pain or injury anywhere, it’s probably best that you avoid this pose.
  • Ensure that you have a strong connection to your body and breath before practicing this pose. It will improve your alignment and make breathing here more comfortable.

Variation

A variation of this pose that will work all the same muscle groups but may be more accessible is to keep your extended leg resting on the mat instead of lifting it. You might also like to bring a block or two beneath the sit bones here.

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