Set up your props and ENJOY reclining hero's pose
Reclining Hero's Pose is a wonderful opener for the front of the ankles, the quads and the lower belly. Since its such a great opener, it's also often not terribly comfortable for those that need it most. Here is an uber-propped version for those of you that need a little help getting there. You can use these props working with either the yin (passive) version of the pose or the more active version that asks you to squeeze your knees toward one another and point your tail toward your knees. Either way you choose to do the pose, know that this is not a pose in which you want to approach pain; your knees especially aren't the most stable joints so you want to be gentle with yourself. If your lower joints are healthy and open, you may choose to eliminate any props you don't find necessary.
There is a little engineering involved in setting up a pose with alot props. Make sure you have everything you need within arms reach before you start. And trust me, its all a lot more stable than it looks :-)
In the first photo, you can see most of the props that you may need.
The rolled blanket under the ankles supports your ankles so that they do not have to bend as much under your body weight.
The rolled washcothes behind the knees helps to keep a little more space in the knee joint and reduce pressure there. When I don't have the rolls, I will often just pull my pantleg up behind my knee for a similar effect.
The block is placed between the feet to support your bottom. The taller the block, the less pressure on your knees and ankles as you sit back. This block is the trickiest placement in our set up. Remember that it may move as you shift your bodyweight, so it can be helpful to place it at an angle in anticipation.
Lastly, stack your bolsters behind you where they will be supporting your back. Check out the last photo to see and alternate bolster and block placement that will give you a little more height for your back; thus lessing the stress on your quads.