Vajrāsana (Thunderbolt Pose)
- From a kneeling position, bring the feet together
- Drop the buttocks down onto the heels
- Keep the knees together
- Lengthen the spine
- Rest your hands on your thighs
- Stay for 5 – 10 breaths
Asana in Depth
Vajrāsana, also known as thunderbolt pose, is a common meditation posture. It is also used as a transition or rest pose after high intensity asanas. It is a great alternative to those who cannot sit cross legged as it requires less flexibility in the hips.
Start by kneeling on the floor. Draw the feet together, toes pointing back, and slowly sit the buttocks down onto the heels. Keep the knees together. Lengthen the spine upward and keep the chin parallel to the floor. Rest your hands on your thighs close to the knees, palms facing down. Breathe deeply and observe the movement of the breath. Keep the spine straight, yet refrain from tensing the back muscles. Allow the natural curve of the lower back to be there, without over extending it.
As a variation, you can also draw the palms together in anjali mudra at the heart centre, or raise the arms up over the head elongating the spine even further.
Vajrāsana is often done after eating as it is said to help with digestion. It enhances the digestive system and by keeping the body straight and still, it is an ideal position for the stomach to work. As this pose allows you to sit straight without much constraint, it is an ideal position to sit in for meditation.
The contra-indications for this pose are knee injuries. It may be painful for the knees to sit in vajrasana for extended periods of time. As an option, you can either place a blanket under the legs, or keep a folded blanket between the heels and the buttocks.
- Helps digestion
- Lengthens the spine
- Calms the mind
- Prepares for meditation
- Knee injuries
- Stretches spinal extensors