Vajrasana – The Thunderbolt Pose
Vajrasana or the kneeling yoga pose is also called the diamond pose or the thunderbolt pose. The name comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Vajra’ which can mean thunderbolt or diamond.
Normally, Asanas should be performed on an empty stomach. But, Vajrasana is one of the few exceptions. This asana can be done immediately after the meal. In fact, Vajrasana is most effective after the meal and aids in proper digestion.
How to do Vajrasana (The Thunderbolt Pose) ?
- Stand on the knees with the lower legs together and stretched backwards, the two big toes crossing each other.
- Lower your body and sit on your heels. Your buttocks will be resting on the heels and the thighs on the calf muscles.
- Keep your hands on your knees and keep the head straight.
- Concentrate on the breath and observe the process of inhalation and exhalation.
- One may close the eyes, to get good concentration and to calm the mind.
- Remain in this position for at least 5 – 10 minutes. In the initial stages, there may be pain in the legs when you sit in this position. When that happens, undo the asana and stretch your legs. Massage the ankles, knees and calf muscles with your hand. With practice one can go up to 30 minutes in this position.
- Do not do Vajrasana if you have a knee problem; or if had a recent knee surgery, as it may put additional strain on the knee. Also, pregnant women should try this asana only with their knees apart in order to avoid stress on the abdomen.
Benefits of Vajrasana (The Thunderbolt Pose)
- Vajrasana modifies the blood flow in the lower pelvic region. The blood flow to the legs is reduced and the blood flow to the digestive organs is increased. This increases the efficiency of the digestive system and helps those with weak digestion to digest a full meal easily.
- It helps to prevent acidity and ulcers by improving the digestion.
- Vajrasana is a good meditative pose for those suffering from sciatica and severe lower back problems.
- Slow and rhythmic breathing in this position can induce a meditative state.
- There is a popular variation of Vajrasana called Supta Vajrasana. This asana is performed by first sitting in Vajrasana. Then, bend backwards and place the forearm and elbows on the floor. Further, arch you spine and neck backwards till the crown of the head touches the ground. Breathe normally and remain in this position for as long as you are comfortable. This asana strengthens the muscles in back, neck and chest regions. It expands the chest and is good for lung problems.