Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana): How to Do, Benefits & Precautions

thunderbolt pose - vajrasana
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Sanskrit PronunciationVajrasana (vahj-rah-suh-nuh)
MeaningVajra – Firm or diamond-like
Asana – Pose
Pose TypeSitting
Pose LevelBeginner, sit 1 to 2 minutes
Beneficial InDigestion, strengthening ankles, and lower back
Known asThunderbolt Pose, Diamond Pose, Adamant Pose & Kneeling Pose

A very common pose of hatha yoga, Vajrasana is actually a meditative asana for better firmness in posture. It’s also used as sitting pose in many pranayama breathing exercises.

Vajrasana: Thunderbolt Pose

Vajrasana is an easy, beginner level sitting pose, in which we kneel and balance our body on lower knees, shins, and feet. This asana smoothens the whole body, especially the lower body, in such a way that, a deep sensation of relief and calmness arises in the body.

Holding this asana stretches the following muscles of your body.

  • Ankles and feet.
  • Quadriceps and shins.
  • Knees and thighs.
  • Lower back, waist, and hips.

Vajrasana is an excellent exercise to improve body posture. Additionally, it tones your glutes and pelvis muscle. It is often performed for meditational purposes.

The reason behind naming it Vajrasana is related to the Vajra Nadi. This Nadi is the first subtle layer within Sushumna Nadi, that helps to activate the Kundalini energy through the chakras system. Vajrasana is said to stimulate and control Vajra Nadi, therefore we call it Vajrasana.

Also, Vajra is a divine and powerful weapon of ‘Indra – lord of Gods’. As the regular practice of this asana makes us strong and overwhelming as Vajra, so we can relate this asana with Vajra.

The special thing about Vajrasana is, you can do this asana even after having a meal. Rather, it is mostly performed after having a meal. Also, it is very soothing and you don’t need any yoga set up for it, so you can do it anytime anywhere.

How to Do Thunderbolt Pose

Thunderbolt Pose is pretty easy to perform. To enter the pose, you just have to kneel and sit on the heels of your feet.

Here is the step by step process to perform Vajrasana easily.

Step 1

Roll out your yoga mat and kneel down, keeping your knees close. Then stretch your legs backward and press the front feet towards the floor. Your soles should be facing upwards. Cross your big toes with each other, while maintaining a little gap between your heels.

Here you will form a ‘V’ like structure with your feet.

Step 2

Inhale and lower your hips. Place your sitting bones on the top of your heels. Support your sitting bones firmly with the crossed big toes and heels and spread your weight evenly on your heels, shins, and feet.

Your soles should be outwards facing while keeping the front feet as flat as possible to the floor. Keep in mind, there should be no gap between your both thighs.

Step 3

Now, place your hands on the respective legs and cover the knees with palms. Relax your both hands. You can face the palms up or down, that totally depends on your comfort.

Step 4

Keep your spine straight or a little bit arched. You can either gaze forwards or keep your eyes closed, whichever suits you the best.

The whole thing is your body should be relaxed. You have to attain a stage where your body is totally relaxed.

Now, hold the same position and inhale & exhale deeply, keeping your focus on the Third Eye Chakra. If you are a beginner, holding the position for 2-5 minutes is a good start. After some practice, try to stretch it up to 10-15 minutes or as long as needed.

Step 5

When you are done, exhale and lift your arms off the legs. With the support of your hands, tilt towards and release your right leg. Then, do the same with the left leg. Release both legs and bring them in front of you and relax.

Preparatory Poses

  • Ardha Shalabhasana
  • Shalabhasana

Follow-up Poses

Benefits of Thunderbolt Pose

The simple-looking Thunderbolt Pose comes with a lot of benefits to the body, especially to the digestive system. It increases the digestive function of the body, resulting in proper and soothing digestion.

This is why Vajrasana and a similar-looking asana Virasana are the only asanas, that we can perform after having a meal. Here are some benefits of Vajrasana.

  • By regular practice of Vajrasana, you can eliminate the whole problem of indigestion. With time, you will see visible results, not only with your digestions but also with your metabolism and overall abdominal functions.
  • The sensations we feel while performing this asana are directly related to the flow of blood in our body. Thunderbolt Pose improves the blood circulation in the body.
  • Thunderbolt Pose stretches your ankles, feet, and knees very gently. This asana decreases the stiffness of these parts and makes them more flexible.
  • Vajrasana creates a firm base for the lower back, providing it more stability. It makes the lower spine more healthy and mobile.
  • This asana is a good meditative pose. When you perform Vajrasana in conjunction with Pranayama, it soothes your mind & nerves and makes you more concentrated, creative & peace-minded.
  • Thunderbolt pose massages your pelvis region and stimulates all the organs of this area for a better work function. Also, it strengthens the pelvis muscles & organs.
  • As Vajrasana hits directly that point where Vajra Nadi starts (Pelvis), it stimulates the Vajra Nadi, which is very important in Kundalini’s awakening. Performing it regularly with Pranayama and chanting helps you in awakening Kundalini and circulating it through Nadis.

Beginner Tips

In the beginning, everything seems hard, as so Vajrasana. Therefore here are some tips and modifications that will help you to perform Thunderbolt Pose easily.

  • Place a folded blanket under your knees. This will give you additional support. Also, your knees will get a firm base and there will not be any thrust on your knees.
  • Roll a towel or blanket and place it under your ankles. In the beginning, your ankles might be stiffy, so holding this asana can be a little painful. A folded blanket or towel under your ankle will provide support to the ankles and thus, you can solve this problem.
  • If you feel hard to sit on your feet due to weak lower back, you can place a soft pillow under your hips for better comfort.
  • Taking support of the wall is a good idea. This will give additional support to your back and help you to stay in the pose for a longer duration.

Note- Thunderbolt Pose puts a lot of pressure on your knees, ankles, hips, and thighs. So, for preventing the injury, perform it under the guidance of a Yoga Teacher.

Precautions and Contraindications

  • Do not tuck your toes on the floor, just cross the big toes and set them free.
  • Do not go hard on your body. Stretch and stay on the pose according to your body limits.
  • In the beginning, do not rush to get in the pose. Many performers have stiffness on their feet and ankles in the beginning. So, performing this asana in a hurry can cause harm to your ankles.
  • This pose puts a lot of pressure on your knees. So if you are having any problems like arthritis or any other knee injury, do not perform Vajrasana.
  • Thunderbolt pose puts pressure on anus and intestines, which is not a good sign for patients of hernia or ulcer. So, patients of hernia or ulcer should stay away from this asana.
  • People with recent or deep injury on ankles, hamstrings, calves, shins, or knee ligaments should not practice this asana. Practicing this asana in such conditions can show an inverse effect on your injury.

 Thunderbolt Pose FAQs

  1. I am practicing Thunderbolt Pose as a part of meditation. Should I keep my arms resting on my thighs or keep them in the required position?

    While practicing Vajrasana/Thunderbolt Pose as a part of meditation, it is not compulsory to put your arms on your thighs and cover your knee caps. You should get your hands in the Dhyan mudra for meditation.

  2. I am a beginner in Vajrasana. Whenever I try to do this asana, I feel pain on my ankles in no time. What should I do?

    At the beginning of Vajrasana, you are likely to feel pain in your ankles very quickly. It happens almost with everyone, so you don't need to panic. Just release the legs, wait for a few seconds and try again. Additionally, you can massage your ankles to avoid pain.

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