Vajrasana, also known as the Thunderbolt Pose or Diamond Pose, is derived from the Sanskrit word Vajra, a weapon and asana meaning posture or seat. The name denotes a medieval meditation seat, but later its usage changed over a period of time as Yoga evolved. The 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika called it as Siddhasana.The 17th century Gheranda Samhita 2 describes what Light on Yoga calls Viras
In this asana, practitioner sits on the heels with the calves beneath the thighs. There is a four finger gap between the kneecaps, and the first toe of both the feet touch each other and back has to be completely straight. Many of the breathing and meditative exercises are often done in this position.
Getting into the Asana
- Sit on the Yoga mat. Start by kneeling on the floor. Or first sit in a relaxed position with both your legs straight. Bend one leg and sit on it and as you balance then bend the other leg and sit comfortably on it.
- Pull your knees and ankles together and point your feet in line with your legs. The bottoms of your feet should face upward with your big toes touching.
- Exhale as you sit back on your legs. Your buttocks will rest on your heels and your thighs will rest on your calves.
- Put your hands on your thighs and adjust your pelvis slightly backward and forward until you’re comfortable.
Slowly close your eyes and do Prandharna. Breathe in and out slowly as you position yourself to sit up straight by straightening your spine. Use your head to pull your body upward and press your tailbone toward the floor. Straighten your head to gaze forward with your chin parallel to the floor. Position your hands palms down on your thighs with your arms relaxed.
Initially, you might experience some ankle pain. Or consider using a rolled or folded blanket or other uniform padding under your shins. If you have knee pain, sitting discomfort, place a yoga block between your feet horizontally. By supporting some of your weight, this can take pressure off ankles and knees.
You should avoid Vajrasana, if you have any a knee problem or have recently undergone knee surgery. A spinal cord condition, especially with the lower vertebrae or intestinal ulcers or hernia. If you’re pregnant, ask your doctor about Vajrasana. Some feel it should be avoided.
Benefits of Vajrasana: This is the only asana which is recommended post meals. It aids in digestion and prevents constipation. Vajrasana strengthens pelvic muscles helping keep the mind calm and stable. It can also cure you from digestive acidity. To some extent it can relieve knee pain but you are above 50 and have never exercised before or new to Yoga.
It’s better to find out if you have sprained ligaments, meniscus tears, tendinitis, arthritis or a dislocated knee. Then it is better to consult your doctor or Physiotherapist before you practise the asana. If you have a back problem and cannot keep your spine straight for long, take the support of the wall.
Vajrasana strengthens the thigh muscles and aids in treatment of urinary problems, along with increasing blood circulation in the lower abdominal region.