Thunderbolt pose

Vajrasana

Categories:
Hip opener, Relax

The thunderbolt pose stretches and strengthens the thighs, lower back and legs. It increases the circulation around the digestive area, facilitating digestion.

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Step by step explanation

The thunderbolt pose can be done by:

  1. Come onto your hands and knees.
  2. From here bring the knees together and lift your upper body so that your hips are above your knees. Bring your thumbs towards the top of your calf muscles at the back of the knee and use your thumbs to rotate your calf muscles outwards. Then lower your hips down to sit on your heels.
  3. Hold an upright position with your torso and allow your sitting bones to drop down heavily on your heels. If the full pose feels too intense, you can lift the hips a little by sitting on a cushion.
  4. Rest your hands on your thighs and keep lifting the insides of your knees up and grounding the tops of the toes down. Activate your abdominal muscles and draw the shoulders down while you open the front of your chest and lift it slightly up towards your chin.
  5. Stay in this pose for at least five breaths or maybe a little longer. Keep the gaze of your eyes looking softly down.
  6. To release the pose, lift your hips up and come back to your hands and knees. Here you can press the palms of the hands into the ground and one at a time extend each leg out away from you. Then come back to a sitting position with the legs outstretched.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe.

  • Do not perform this pose if you have ankle or knee injuries.
  • Watch out when you have rigid ankles or knees. With rigid ankles place a pillow or rolled-up towel underneath your feet and shins. With rigid knees place a pillow or rolled-up towel on top of your ankles, underneath your sitting bones.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • You can make the pose easier for the knees and ankles by using a cushion or rolled-up towel. Either placing it underneath your ankles and shins to soften the ankles or underneath the sitting bones to soften the knees.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses