Ever wondered why zen masters sit on their knees? Karate and other martial arts masters also to sit in that “uncomfortable” position- the ‘vajrasana’. Vajrasana is a kneeling pose; vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning diamond or thunderbolt. Asana means pose. This diamond pose is also called Adamantine Pose.
Usually, breathing exercises like Pranayama, Kapalabhati, and Anulon Vilom are done sitting in this position. Many masters also prefer this position for meditation.
This is how you do it..
Kneel down, stretching your lower legs backwards and keeping them together. Your big toes should touch each other.
- Gently lower your body such that your buttocks are resting on your heels and your thighs on your calf muscles.
- Place your hands on your knees, and set your gaze forward with your head absolutely straight.
- Turn your attention to your breathing. Be fully aware of how you breathe and carefully observe as you inhale and exhale.
- You could close your eyes to concentrate on your breathing and to calm your mind.
As a beginner, when you assume this position, it is likely that your legs will pain. If this happens, all you need to do is undo the asana, and stretch your legs forward. You can try to stay in vajrasana for a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes and extend the time as per your comfort.
Work slowly and gradually on bettering the strength of the lower back muscles before you go deeper into the pose or increasing the duration. Once the lower back is strengthened, the strain on the breath is decreased. Also, do not push yourself more than your body can take, the benefits of the pose are minimized.
This asana is one of the few asanas which can and should be practised post a meal since it promotes proper digestion.
While this is one of the easiest and safest asanas to practice, however, keep the following in mind:
- Do not practice this asana if you have a knee problem or have undergone surgery in your knees recently; Or if you have intestinal ulcers, hernia, or any other problems related to the large or small intestine. If you are very keen, seek advice from your doctor/ yoga practitioner.
- If you are pregnant, keep your knees slightly apart to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen.
- If you are suffering from any spinal column ailments on the lower vertebrae, it is best to avoid this pose.
Practice this asana because
- It improves digestion. It regulates blood circulation in the lower pelvic region. Sitting on your legs reduces the blood flow in the legs and increases it in the digestive area, therefore increasing the efficiency of the digestive system. Better digestion prevents GERD- Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease and acidity.
- With the regular practice of vajrasan one can get relief from constipation and flatulence.
- It strengthens the back and relieves patients suffering from lower back problems and sciatica.
- It strengthens the pelvic muscles too. It positively impacts the urinary and reproductive systems.
According to Ayurveda, one of the major nerves in the human body is also named Vajra Nadi (Nadi means nerve). Vajra Nadi is connected with the genitourinary system which is responsible for regulating sexual energy in human body. Hence practising this yoga pose for an extended duration of time may make a person control his/her sexual energy for spiritual aims.
- It strengthens muscles and nerves almost curing varicose pains.
- It helps to ease out labour pains and also reduces menstrual cramps. It is a safe asana to perform during pregnancy.
- This asana is one of the best ones to assume when you wish to go into a meditative state since it is an upright pose.
- According to Ayurvedic Sciences, there are marm points in our body. These points impact different parts of the body when we assume different positions. While sitting in vajrasana, katikatarun marm is stimulated. This impacts the spine and stomach releasing the pain in the spine and improves digestion.
Make a habit to practice this asana at least post your meals and become ‘diamond’ strong!