How to do Vajrasana
The below cues and yoga sequences added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Vajrasana depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.
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Piccola meditazione in Jala Mudra (mudra dell'acqua, pollice e mignolo uniti, punta del mignolo che preme sulla punta del pollice), gomiti appoggiati ... ...
Deep breathing for 10 seconds ...
This pose stretches the thighs, ankles, knees, and feet. It also improves posture and tones the pelvic muscles. ...
Nadis are energy channels that run throughout the body transporting prana (life force) energy to every cell in the body. They run parallel to the spin... ...
Hands to heart - Anjali Mudra. Stay for 3 breaths. ...
Come back to center. Release to sit on your heels. Hands to heart-Anjali. ...
A. To begin balancing and the activating the muladhara... Sit on your heels Rest hands on your knees Straight back C. Close your eyes and tak... ...
Full stretch with hands clasped overhead, look up. ...
Start the day with good, deep breathing. ...
A. Bring the body to rest in Vajrasana after Dolphin Pose and begin the breathing for around 4 rounds. B. Ensure the back is raised up and the spin... ...
Sit on heels Rest hands on your knees Straight back ...
Kneel down, stretching your lower legs backward and keeping them together. Your big toes should cross each other. Gently lower your body such that yo... ...
Start in a kneeling position - you can put a yoga block, stack of books, or firm cushions/blankets under your hips and between your feet for more supp... ...
Sit on your knees and heels again and relax IH/EH/IH ...
Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Vajrasana
As this pose is easy and can be practiced at any time of the day and by anyone, it has many benefits to the extent of healing ailments. This pose is used out of habit by yogis for meditative purposes. Let us go in detail with some of it’s benefits.
- Heals Body: The end of the spinal column (meru danda) is so beautifully placed on the heels giving the body a great looking posture and helps in transporting the prana smoothly to the entire body. This flow of prana is the first stage to heal the body from within.
- Increases Flexibility in Ankles: The ankles are bent so well giving room for greater flexibility right up to the tips of the toes.
- Improves Blood Circulation: The folding of the knees and the thighs stretches these muscles and improves blood circulation and improves flexibility.
- Strengthens Pelvic Muscles: In this pose as the spine is elevated and away from the floor, the flow of blood is altered along with the nervous impulses in the pelvic region and pelvic muscles are strengthened.
- Improves Digestion: As this is one of the few yoga poses which can be practiced even after a meal, it is considered as a good way to help in digestion and increases the efficiency of the digestive system.
- Stabilizes Mind and Body: In this pose it is said that the mind and the body become stabilized, hence is recommended for pranayama and meditation which later improves concentration an...
- Injured Ankles or Knees Ligaments: This pose can be hard on the knees and the ankles if one is not flexible with these muscles and joints. This pose should not be practiced if one is suffering from injured ligaments at the ankles or at the knees.
- Hernia or Ulcers: Those suffering from hernia or intestinal ulcers should take medical advice and guidance before practicing this and should perform this pose with a trained yoga teacher. The pressure on the anus in this pose may bring unwanted pressure to the intestine.
- Runners with Hamstring or Calf Injury: Runners should avoid this if they have injury in their hamstrings or the calves.
- Arthritis in Knees: Not to be practiced by people who have severe arthritis of the knees.
Vajrasana Variations: Below are some common variations of the yoga pose Vajrasana with base pose as Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana).
Hero Pose Cow Face Arms Vajrasana Gomukhasana
Thunderbolt Pose Reverse Prayer Arms Vajrasana Paschima Namaskarasana
Thunderbolt Pose Arms Rotation Vajrasana Arms Rotation
Thunderbolt Pose Head Back Vajrasana Head Back
Little Thunderbolt Pose Laghu Vajrasana
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The beautiful pose is explained below
- Sit down on a clean mat or on a blanket, stretching your legs out in front of you keeping the spine straight.
- Close your eyes and take a few breaths here and with every inhalation raise the body upwards and stretch the spine completely.
- Now inhale and bring the right leg bent and the knee placing the right foot close to the right buttocks and exhale.
- Inhale and raise the buttocks off the floor and place the right foot below the buttocks and sit on the right foot exhaling completely.
- Inhale and bring the left foot below the left side of the buttocks bending the knee and place it close enough to touch the right toe with the left toe exhaling completely.
- With both feet below the buttocks, with toes touching close to each other and heels apart place the spine straight and raise the body sitting on the gap between the heels and on the ankles.
- Inhale here and place the palms on the thighs just before the knee and exhale closing the eyes.
- Be seated here for about 8 breaths to begin with, and slowly take the mind to raising the spine as the inhalation happens allowing for the prana to flow easily.
- Ensure the body weight is not totally on the heels and the ankles as that could make the pose uncomfortable.
- To release this pose, remove the hands from the thighs and return them to the sides of the hips on the floor.
- Inhale and lift the body tilting it to the left side and release the right leg and bring it stretched out in front of you and exhale.
- Inhale and release the left leg tilting the body towards the right a bit and exhale stretching the leg out in front of you.
- Stretching both the legs out you could loosen the leg by shaking the ankles or rotating them clockwise and anticlockwise. Relax and repeat the pose again.
This pose, as much as it looks easy, works hard on the heels, ankles and the knees and hence needs the right kind of support to take the yoga pose to a comfortable position. Some tips are given below keeping the joints of the legs in mind.
- Blanket below Knees: If the knees pose problems at the time of resting the body on the feet, then using blanket underneath the knees could be a good option.
- Blanket above Feet: If the ankles feel sore when bringing the body down or when seated for more than a few seconds, then a great option would be to place a blanket just above the feet and sit on the blanket or place a cushion below the feet.
- Cushion under Buttocks: If the lower back is not strong yet and feels hard on the feet, then placing a cushion on the feet and sitting on this cushion will give back the needed support.
- If one is suffering from piles and it hurts while sitting in this pose, one could place a cushion below the buttocks for better comfort.
- Wall as Support: If one loses balance while closing eyes then one could use the wall having it as a support for the upper back and back of the head or one could place the hands down besides on the floor.
- If the hip weight is more and feels heavy on the heels and ankles, then one can first practice taking the weight on one foot at a time with a blanket placed below the foot. Practice this for a few weeks alternating the foot and then slowly go into the pose with blanket support.
- If one has a tendency to get cramps on any one leg then make sure that leg is opened well with certain stretches or yoga poses before moving into the practice of Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
- Block between the Knees: If the knees cannot be placed close together then keep a block between the knees to make sure that they don’t go beyond a certain distance. First get the practice of constantly pushing the block with both the knees to work on opening the muscles around the knees.
- Block between the feet: If one feels the hips are not straight on the heels and the body is tilting on one side of the hip, then place a block in between the feet for a few days to practice and then go into the original pose.
Vajrasana Yoga Sequence Preparatory Poses
Even if Vajrasana is considered as an easy pose, there are times when the stiffness of the ankles or the knees will make the yoga pose uncomfortable. Hence it is required to open the muscles well in order to go into the pose without any difficulty. Some of these essential poses in the form of a sequence are mentioned below.
- Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar): The overall opening of the body would help before the practice of Vajrasana. Here with these 12 steps of Surya Namaskar, the muscles from the neck and shoulders to the hip and the entire leg are opened up completely. Here with proper breathing the leg muscles including the ankles get enough blood flow to make the Vajrasana pose fairly easy. If Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) is practiced to go into meditation, then certainly Surya Namaskar will help in also regulating the prana in the body.
- Eagle Pose (Garudasana): This yoga pose is the best way to open up the ankles by twisting them behind your lower legs. In this pose, with feet together, lift the left leg in front of you and bring the left foot by placing the toes behind the right ankle locked behind, simultaneously placing the left thigh over the right thigh. The interlocking of the ankle behind the leg and the interlocking of the thighs should help in improving the flexibility of the legs thus making Vajrasana easier. Relax and repeat it with the other leg and continue holding this pose for a few breaths alternating the feet.
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose): Here sit on the mat and bring the feet in Namaste in front of you bending the knees. Taking the body upwards and stretching the spine place the entire hip on the floor and holding on to the feet, start rocking the knees up and down. This motion helps in opening the knees and the entire legs. This yoga pose will help in reducing cramps at the time of practice of Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose). One could also use the hands to open the feet by pushing them out while having them placed in Namaste. This would help in flexing the feet and ankle muscles and joints.
Vajrasana Yoga Sequence Relaxing Follow-up Poses
Vajrasana in most cases, is treated as a relaxing yoga pose after certain rounds of difficult yoga poses as this is considered as a good pose to bring balance and calmness to the entire body and mind. Hence after the practice of Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana) it is always better to go into Dandasana (Staff Pose) and then Savasana (Corpse Pose) to release the stress around the back, legs and the hips.
Vajrasana Yoga Sequence Level Up Follow-up Poses
Once Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) is comfortable for the practitioner, he/she can move up to the next level of yoga poses that are explained below.
- Couch Pose (Paryankasana): Moving from the simple Vajrasana, bend the body backwards a bit and place the elbows on the floor behind you. Inhale and slowly bend the back backwards and reach for the floor with the crown of the head and exhale completely. Remove the arms and place them behind your head on the floor interlocking the arms. This pose is one step ahead from the simple Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose) as this pose will bring more stretch to the ankles and the knees.
- Bhekasana (Frog Pose II): With the improving of the flexibility of the legs mainly at the knees, the next yoga pose (asana) to practice can be Frog Pose II. Here going on the tummy with legs stretched out completely take a few breaths. Then inhale and bring both the legs bent at the knees and try to place the feet close to the hips using both the hands and exhale completely. Pressing the feet close to the floor improves the flexibility of the ankles and the knees. Stretch would also be felt at the hips and thighs.
- Laghu Vajrasana (Little Thunderbolt Pose): Here in this yoga pose, more stress in on the lower and the middle back as the back bends backwards putting pressure on the middle back. Here seated in Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose), slowly take the body up away from the heels and lifting the back of the thighs and the lower back, try and take the upper back and the neck bending them completely backwards to reach for the floor with the crown of the head. This asana needs guidance and proper practice to master it well. Inhale and slowly raise the back and take it backwards and exhale once in this yoga pose. With every exhalation stretch the body upwards and head downwards. A lot of pressure will also be felt at the thighs and the knees so to support the knees one could use blankets.
Vajrasana Breath Awareness
While in Vajrasana it is necessary to breathe taking the mind to the Mooladhara Chakra and expand the spine upwards to the maximum keeping the shoulders, neck, head and hip in alignment. Slowly with practice this pose should focus on the Anahata and Ajna Chakra with deep breathing. Inhale expand the spine and exhale contract the spine without loosing the posture.
Vajrasana Yoga Sequences
- Yoga Sequence For Digestion
- Yoga Sequence For Back Pain
- Yoga Sequence For Weight Loss
- Yoga Sequence For Perimenopause And Menopause
- Heart Opening Yoga Sequence With Backbends
- Yoga Sequence For Root Muladhara Chakra
- Peak Pose Yoga Sequence One Legged King Pigeon Pose
- Morning Yoga Sequence
- Peak Pose Yoga Sequence Bharadvajasana
- Hot Yoga Sequence
- Peak Pose Yoga Sequence Urdhva Dhanurasana Sirsasana
- Yoga Sequence For Stomach And Spleen
- Sup Yoga Sequence
- Yoga For Third Eye Chakra
- Yoga For Thighs And Feet
- Yoga For Tight Hamstrings
Vajrasana Titles in English and Sanskrit
Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Vajrasana:
- Thunderbolt Pose
- Adamantine Pose
- Diamond Pose