Vajrasana is one of the best Yoga poses recommended for improving digestion, strengthening back and leg muscles. The name is derived from Sanskrit words “vajra” meaning “thunderbolt” or “firmness”. This pose is used during pranayama, kapalabhati, and anulom vilom.
When to do this pose
Generally, the Yoga asanas are done on empty stomach, however, Vajrasana is one exception. It can be done both on empty stomach and after a meal. It is more effective after a meal.
How to do the Vajrasana
Step 2: The soles of the feet are under the buttocks on both sides of the anus.
Step 3: The toes are interlocked and the calves touch the thighs.
Step 4: Keep the knees together and heels apart, positioning the heels at the sides of the hips. Place the palms on the knees, palms facing downward.
Step 5: Place the palms on the knees, palms facing downward.
Step 6: The front part of each leg from the toes to the knee should touch the ground. Keep the trunk, neck, and head in one vertically straight line.
Step 7: Keep the trunk, neck, and head in one vertically straight line.
Step 8: You may close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.
Step 9: Hold on to this pose initially for a minimum of 2 minutes. Gradually you may increase it to as long as you feel comfortable (experienced people sit in this pose for 20 to 30 minutes). Currently, I sit on this pose for 10 minutes after meals and experience the benefits in digestion.
Cautions to be noted
Though this asana is generally safe, listed below are few points of caution to be noted before doing this asana.
- Persons who recently underwent a knee surgery or are suffering from knee pain should avoid this asana.
- Pregnant women are recommended to keep their knees slightly apart while practicing this asana, in order to avoid putting pressure on the abdomen.
- Persons suffering from lower back pain, hernia or any intestinal problems should practice under the guidance of a Yoga Teacher.
Beginners are advised to practice this pose on soft and cushion surface. They may experience pain initially on the ankles and the feet. In such a case, you should come out of the pose and stretch their legs forward and roll the legs from side to side. With time, as you practice you will be able to hold on to this pose for a longer duration.
Benefits of Vajrasana
- One of the primary benefits of Vajrasana is improved digestion resulting in eliminating constipation.
- It helps in strengthening the back muscles.
- Improves blood circulation through out the body.
- Helps in combating and preventing acidity.
- If you have a habit of sitting (on the floor) in a bending position, practicing this asana regularly will help in straightening your sitting position.
The Yogic Science Behind Vajrasana
The vajra nadi* flows from the kanda* (bulb) at the muladhara. It is a nadi inside the sushumna*. The vajrasana stimulates the flow of prana* through the vajra. The manipura chakra controls the legs. The pressure on the knees, ankles, the upper sides of the feet and the soles exerts a feedback effect on the manipura that takes care of the digestive organs and digestion, the locomotive limbs and the visual organs.
Nadi – The network of supersensible psychic channels in the subtle body, through which prana flows.
Vajra Nadi – A nadi originating from the kanda of muladhara and flowing inside the sushumna and outside the citra*.
Citra – The subtle tubular structure for the brahma-nadi; the innermost tubular structure inside the sushumna;
Kanda – Bulb; source.
Sushumna – The central vertical psychic channel, starting from the muladhara and ending in the sahasrara. Its base orifice is the brahmadvara and terminal orifice is the brahmarandhra.
Brahmadvara – The opening gateway to the central sushumna nadi in the muladhara chakra.
Brahmarandhra – The terminal orifice of the brahma-nadi at the sahasrara in the head.
Brahmanadi – The central, vertical, hollow passage in the core of the sushumna. It is the core channel for the ascent and descent of Kundalini.
Prana – The evolvent of heat, all forms of energy and the four fundamental forces.
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