Supta Vajrasana (Reclined Thunderbolt Pose), procedure and benefits

In Sanskrit, supta (सुप्त) means ‘reclined‘, Vajra means ‘thunderbolt‘ and asana means ‘posture’. This is mainly useful in improving the digestive system and boosting our stamina.
Supta Vajrasana
Although there are 14 variations in this supta vajrasana, practicing one and mastering it is enough to tone your body.

Supta Virasana is a reclined version of Vajrasana where the upper body reclines backwards, so that the back rests on the floor. The arms rest on the floor to either side of the trunk, with the palms facing up.
Its is also known as ‘Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)‘ and has minor variations like Eka Pada Supta Vajrasana (One-Legged Reclining Fixed Firm Pose) or Ardha Supta Vajrasana (Half Reclined Fixed Firm Pose) involves one leg folded under the body while the other is being streched.
It is also practice in combination with ‘Pavan Muktasana‘ for improving the complete digestive system and intenstines.

Steps to practice Supta Vajrasana

  • Sit in vajrasana. Placing the palms on the floor beside the buttocks, fingers pointing to the front
  • Slowly bend back, placing the right forearm and the elbow on the ground and then the left.
  • Bring the crown of the head to the ground while arching the back. Place the hands on the thighs.
  • Try to keep the lower legs in contact with the floor. If necessary, separate the knees.
  • Make sure that you are not overstraining the muscles and ligaments of the legs.
  • Close the eyes and relax the body. Breathe deeply and slowly in the final position.
  • Release in the reverse order, breathing in and taking the support of the elbows and the arms raise the head above the ground.
  • Then shift the body weight on the left arm and elbow by sliding the body, then slowly coming to the starting position.
  • Never leave the final position by straightening the legs first; It may dislocate the knee joints.

Breathing: Deep, slow and soundless breath.
Concentration: On the lower back, abdomen or breath.
Repeat the above process for 3-5 times and increase it to 8-10 times as you master it.

Health Benefits of Supta Vajrasana

  • It massages the abdominal organs alleviating digestive ailments and constipation.
  • It tones the spinal nerves, makes the back flexible and realigns rounded shoulders. The nerves in the neck, the thyroid and parathyroid glands are particularly stimulated.
  • The ribcage is stretched and expanded fully, which helps to fill the lungs to its piaximum capacity and bringing more oxygen into the system.
  • It enhances courage and confidence level in the personality.
  • It is beneficial for those suffering from asthma, bronchitis and other lung ailments.
  • It loosens up the legs and strengthens them in preparation for sitting in meditation asanas.
  • It enhances creativity and intelligence as it increases the circulation in the brain.
  • This asana stretches the back muscles and separates the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing pressure on the discs.
  • Often nerve connections emanating from the spinal cord are squeezed by these discs, giving rise to various forms of backache. This posture helps to relieve this problem and encourages the discs to resume their correct position.
  • It regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands.
  • It tones the pelvic muscles and the sciatic nerves and is beneficial for women who have an underdeveloped pelvis.
  • It helps to alleviate disorders of both the male and female reproductive organs.
  • Regular practice relieves constipation.
  • It helps to eliminate anger, aggression and relax the mind, similar to Shashankasana (Rabbit Pose)

Precautions : Should not practice in case of very high blood pressure, slipped disc or those who suffer from vertigo.
Pregnant women or undergoing mestruation cycle or if having knee injuries or surgery, should avoid supta vajrasana.