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 Asanas - Postures and Physical Culture
 Heartburn from heros pose?
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16 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2016 :  11:09:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hello AYP forum members,

I am confronted with a little problem and think it would be quite beneficial to ask more experienced practitioners of meditation/yoga. Perhaps you can guide me in the right direction. I definitely appreciate any input!

I've discovered the beauty of the meditation posture called "heroes pose" (sitting on my knees with two sitting blocks) as it helps me to reach a deep state of calmness. (Sometimes this state is so deep that something suddenly starts to magnificently change, I don't know how to describe this state, it feels as if something in my mind is pulled over. For lack of words I've termed this state "presence of God" or "accessing the subconscious." But I'm not really sure what it is. It simply feels wonderful.) In short, it's a wonderful pose in which I'm not confronted with feet that fall asleep or begin to hurt a little.

However, about 1.5 months after switching to the heroes pose I've noticed that my heart started to ache. At least, something in my upper left torso began to hurt, sometimes even expanding into the left arm. I wasn't aware that the meditation position was causing the issues, but became suspicious as my heart always hurt a little after meditating. A little later, I meditated, reached a deep state of meditation and the heart began to ache quite noticeably. Naturally, I immediately stopped the session and decided to switch to another position.

After switching to a position in which I just crossed my legs, the unusual sensation in my heart faded after some weeks.

Here are my questions:

Is there any way or trick that allows me to return to the heroes pose? It is my preferred position and I can concentrate in this position much better and much longer than in half-lotus position or sitting cross legged.

Do you have any idea what is causing such a heart ache? I'm 30 by the way. And I don't think it has anything to do with opening chakras. I think this feels different and is not painful.

I've read on the Internet that one should not go into the heroes pose if one has heart problems. But I don't have heart problems, I only get heart ache when I'm in heroes pose.

Thank you very much for your input, it is highly appreciated.

Greetings from Germany.


267 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2016 :  11:36:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the forums Student-of-life!

Great to hear of your meditation experiences.

Heroes pose tends to direct energies to the heart as well as to the third eye. So, you are more likely to feel all kinds of sensations in these areas if using this pose more than other poses. The improved concentration that you noticed in this posture is likely owing to the effects the pose has on ajna. Over time, you will be able to experience the same level of calm (concentration) in other poses as well.

You can balance out the effects by having a balanced (asana) practice, or as you already did, by meditating cross legged.

If you like to keep vajrasana as the principal one for your meditation practice, try doing some grounding poses after your practice, most standing poses would do well for this.

Are you experiencing the heart sensations only during your meditation practice or also at other times?

Edited by - Omsat on Jun 23 2016 11:48:05 AM
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3816 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2016 :  11:43:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Student-of-life,

There is no real reason why hero's pose should be giving you issues with your heart. It is more likely that entering deep states of meditation, is causing purification to happen in the heart region, and that is causing the pain.

There are two energy channels connected to the heart, which run down the arms to the hands. So purification in the heart area, can also be experienced in the arms and hands. When it is experienced in the hands it is felt as a "burning" or a "small flame" in the centre of the palms.

I have never heard that people with physical heart problems should avoid hero's pose. In fact I teach both hero, and reclining hero (supta virasana) in classes, and nobody has ever had an issue with their heart. There is no real reason why they should.

If the discomfort you are experiencing only happens when you meditate, it is unlikely to be caused by an illness, or medical condition. Things that happen, only during meditation, nearly always have spiritual causes.

I would say, that if the discomfort is too much, then self-pace your practice accordingly. I would not recommend changing postures often though, as every time we change to a different posture it will take a while for the body to become used to that new posture, and so it will disrupt the sadhana.

As things clear in your heart area, things will shift, and become lighter.

Sometimes this state is so deep that something suddenly starts to magnificently change, I don't know how to describe this state, it feels as if something in my mind is pulled over. For lack of words I've termed this state "presence of God" or "accessing the subconscious.

The state you describe here could also be called "samadhi".

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1794 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2016 :  1:52:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I use hero's pose exclusively (using a perineum ball at the root) for its comfort and stability, and have never had any issue such as yours. I agree with Christi, it's not the pose but the purification underway causing these symptoms. I would continue to test vajrasana if that is your preferred pose, self pacing as usual if necessary. Sounds as if your practice is delivering results


Edited by - Dogboy on Jun 23 2016 1:52:59 PM
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16 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2016 :  2:33:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for your fantastic replies! They are very helpful, indeed!

@Omsat: thank you very much for your response, it is really helpful! Itís fantastic that you write that I will be able to experience the same level of calm in other poses with practice. This gives me some great encouragement to keep practicing in other poses as well. And thanks for your suggestion of grounding poses. Iíve never heard about them, but I will read up and try to include them.

Regarding your question, I felt the heart sensations not only during practice, but also during the day. The heart ache was especially magnified when I was eating spicy foods (with chili powder or curcuma powder). Now the sensation returns approximately half an hour after sitting in the heroes pose, which is why I switched to crosslegged sitting. I'm meditating crosslegged for three or four weeks now and the heart ache is gone. This is all very new to me and it is great to find some excellent teachers, guides and companions along the way.

@Christi: thank you so much for this great response. Iíve never known about this purification process in the heart region, so thank you very much. This greatly helps me to reduce my fears about it. Fantastic! And thank you very much for helping me to find a word for this state. I will definitely look Samadhi up on the Internet tomorrow.

@Dogboy: thank you for encouraging me to keep practicing. Now that I know that it may be the purification process I can continue practicing in heroes pose with a lot more confidence.

Edited by - Student-of-life on Jun 23 2016 2:45:31 PM
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267 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2016 :  5:10:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
You're most welcome.

It's good to hear the answers gave you re-assurance and that your heart ache has gone already.

I would agree with Christi and Dogboy that what you experienced is nothing to worry about - purification symptoms. They can manifest both during and outside of the meditation practice. In case you ever experience somewhat hindering symptoms in your daily activities, it is advised to self-pace your practice, which you already did spontaneously.

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171 Posts

Posted - May 17 2017 :  07:42:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
student-of-life, are you still experiencing this pain?
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