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Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose): Benefits, Variations & Modifications

Vajrasana, also known as the Thunderbolt Pose. This pose not only enhances physical well-being but also deepens your spiritual connection. So, let's delve into the incredible journey of Vajrasana!

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Vajrasana, derived from Sanskrit, combines two words: "Vajra" meaning thunderbolt, and "Asana" meaning pose. It symbolizes the thunderbolt's unwavering strength and stability. Vajrasana, in essence, brings you a powerful grounding experience, enabling you to tap into your inner resilience. The Sanskrit pronunciation of Vajrasana is "vahj-rah-suh-nuh." Anatomy of Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose): Vajrasana primarily engages the lower body, working wonders for your knees, ankles, and thighs. This seated pose promotes proper digestion, stimulates the pelvic region and stretches the muscles of the feet. It also enhances blood circulation, providing a rejuvenating effect to the entire body.

How to Perform Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

  1. Start by kneeling on the floor, keeping your knees close together.

  2. Gently lower your buttocks onto your heels, ensuring that your big toes touch each other.

  3. Place your palms on your knees, facing downward.

  4. Keep your spine erect and relax your shoulders.

  5. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, finding a comfortable rhythm.

  6. Hold this position for a few minutes, gradually increasing the duration over time.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

When to Do It

Vajrasana is a versatile pose that can be practiced at any time of the day. However, it is particularly beneficial after meals as it aids digestion and reduces bloating. Aim for a gap of 15-20 minutes after a meal before practicing Vajrasana.

Preparatory Poses

To prepare your body for Vajrasana, consider practicing the following poses:

  1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)

  2. Balasana (Child's Pose)

  3. Virasana (Hero Pose)

Follow-up Poses

To deepen your yoga practice after Vajrasana, you can try the following poses:

  1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

  2. Uttanasana (Forward Fold)

  3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)


Vajrasana is closely connected to the Muladhara Chakra, also known as the Root Chakra. By practicing this pose, you activate and balance the energy flow in this chakra, fostering a sense of stability and security within yourself.

Root Chakra (Muladhara Chakra)

Mantra for this Pose

While practicing Vajrasana, you can enhance your experience by chanting the following mantra: "Om Muladharaaya Namaha" - which translates to "I honor the Root Chakra."

Alignment Cues

To align your body correctly in Vajrasana, keep these cues in mind:

  1. Ensure that your spine remains straight throughout the pose.

  2. Relax your shoulders and open your chest.

  3. Keep your gaze soft and your chin parallel to the floor.

Duration of Hold

For beginners, start with holding Vajrasana for about 5 minutes and gradually increase the duration to 15-20 minutes as your body adjusts and becomes more comfortable in the pose. Drishti: The recommended focal point, or drishti, for Vajrasana, is to keep your gaze soft and directed inward, allowing your attention to settle within yourself.

Physical and Spiritual Awareness

Vajrasana cultivates both physical and spiritual awareness. As you settle into the pose, pay attention to the sensations in your body, the rise and fall of your breath, and the stillness of your mind. This pose serves as a gateway to inner exploration and self-awareness.

Beginners' Tips

For beginners, Vajrasana may feel challenged initially. Here are a few tips to make your practice more comfortable:

  1. Place a folded blanket or cushion between your buttocks and heels to ease pressure on the knees.

  2. Gradually increase the duration of the pose, allowing your body to adapt to the posture over time.

  3. If you experience discomfort or pain, ease out of the pose and consult a qualified yoga instructor.

Who Should Not Do It

Although Vajrasana offers numerous benefits, certain individuals should avoid practicing this pose:

  1. Pregnant women, especially in the later stages of pregnancy, should refrain from practicing Vajrasana.

  2. Individuals with knee or ankle injuries or chronic pain should consult a healthcare professional before attempting this pose.

Who Should Do It

Vajrasana is suitable for most individuals, regardless of age or fitness level. It is particularly beneficial for those seeking stability, improved digestion, and a calmer mind. If you are looking to strengthen your core and enhance your spiritual practice, Vajrasana is a wonderful addition to your routine.

Benefits of Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

  1. Improved digestion and metabolism.

  2. Reduced bloating and acidity.

  3. Relief from digestive disorders like constipation and indigestion.

  4. Strengthened pelvic muscles.

  5. Alleviation of menstrual discomfort.

  6. Enhanced blood circulation.

  7. Improved posture and spinal alignment.

  8. Deepened concentration and focus.

  9. Increased grounding and stability.

  10. Calming effect on the mind, reducing anxiety and stress.

Variations of Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Thunderbolt Pose)

Supta Vajrasana, also known as the Reclining Thunderbolt Pose, is a variation of Vajrasana where you recline backward, supporting your weight on your forearms and elbows. The pose offers a deep stretch to the thighs, hips, and lower back, promoting relaxation and opening up the chest.

Supta Vajrasana primarily targets the quadriceps, hip flexors, and deep hip rotators. It also stretches the psoas muscles, which can become tight due to prolonged sitting. The pose opens the chest, shoulders, and throat region, allowing for improved posture and better breathing.

Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Thunderbolt Pose)

How to Perform Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Thunderbolt Pose)

  1. Begin by sitting in Vajrasana, with your knees together and buttocks resting on your heels.

  2. Slowly lower your upper body backward, supporting your weight on your forearms and elbows.

  3. As you recline, keep your chest lifted and open, ensuring that your spine remains straight.

  4. If comfortable, you can slowly release your arms to the sides, palms facing up, to deepen the stretch and relaxation.

  5. Close your eyes, relax your facial muscles, and focus on deep, steady breaths.

  6. Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes or as long as feels comfortable.

  7. To release the pose, engage your core, and use your arms to slowly lift yourself back up to a seated position.

Ardha Vajrasana (Half Thunderbolt Pose)

Meaning: Ardha Vajrasana, also known as Half Thunderbolt Pose, is a seated pose that combines elements of Vajrasana and a forward fold. In this pose, you sit on one heel while keeping the other leg extended forward, creating a deep stretch in the hips and thighs.

Anatomy of the Pose: Ardha Vajrasana primarily targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip flexors. It also engages the muscles of the core, promoting stability and balance. The pose helps to release tension in the hips and improve flexibility in the legs.

Ardha Vajrasana (Half Thunderbolt Pose)

How to Perform Ardha Vajrasana (Half Thunderbolt Pose)

  1. Start by sitting in Vajrasana, with your knees close together and buttocks resting on your heels.

  2. Shift your weight onto your right heel while extending your left leg forward.

  3. Keep your left foot flexed, toes pointing up.

  4. As you extend your leg, maintain an upright posture, lengthening your spine.

  5. If comfortable, you can gently fold forward from the hips, reaching your hands towards your extended foot.

  6. Maintain a relaxed neck and shoulders, and keep your gaze forward or down towards your extended leg.

  7. Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  8. To release the pose, slowly sit back up, return your left leg to a kneeling position, and switch sides.

Parivrtta Vajrasana (Revolved Thunderbolt Pose)

Parivrtta Vajrasana, also known as the Revolved Thunderbolt Pose, is a seated twist that brings a sense of detoxification and rejuvenation to the body. This pose combines the grounding stability of Vajrasana with the twisting action, creating a gentle massage for the abdominal organs and spine.

Parivrtta Vajrasana primarily targets the muscles of the core, including the obliques and deep abdominal muscles. It also stretches the back muscles, opens the chest, and improves spinal mobility. The twist in this pose stimulates digestion and enhances the detoxification process.

Parivrtta Vajrasana (Revolved Thunderbolt Pose)

How to Perform Parivrtta Vajrasana (Revolved Thunderbolt Pose)

  1. Begin by sitting in Vajrasana, with your knees together and buttocks resting on your heels.

  2. Place your palms on your thighs, grounding yourself and maintaining stability.

  3. Inhale deeply, lengthening your spine, and exhale to initiate the twist.

  4. As you exhale, gently rotate your torso to the right, allowing your left hand to rest on your right thigh and your right hand to support your twist by placing it behind your back.

  5. Keep your chin parallel to the floor and your gaze soft.

  6. Maintain the twist for a few breaths, feeling the gentle compression in the abdomen and the opening in the chest.

  7. To release the twist, inhale and slowly return to the center, and then repeat the same steps on the other side, twisting to the left.

  8. Continue alternating sides, maintaining a smooth and steady breath throughout the practice.

  9. Remember to listen to your body and avoid forcing the twist. Gradually increase the intensity of the twist as your body becomes more comfortable and flexible in the pose.

Modifications for Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

If you find it challenging to sit directly on your heels, try these modifications

  1. Place a folded blanket or cushion between your buttocks and heels for added support and comfort.

  2. Sit on a yoga block or bolster to reduce strain on the knees and ankles.

Common Mistakes

  1. Slouching or rounding the spine.

  2. Holding tension in the shoulders and neck.

  3. Forcing the body into the pose without proper alignment.

  4. Holding the breath instead of maintaining a steady, relaxed breath.

Safety and Precautions

To ensure the safe and enjoyable practice of Vajrasana, keep the following precautions in mind:

  1. Avoid sudden or forceful movements while transitioning in and out of the pose.

  2. Listen to your body and modify the pose as needed to avoid pain or discomfort.

  3. If you have any pre-existing conditions or concerns, consult a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional before practicing Vajrasana.

Additional Preparation Tips

To enhance your experience of Vajrasana, consider the following tips:

  1. Face the east or north direction while practicing this pose, as these directions are said to have a positive energy flow.

  2. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows for unrestricted movement.

  3. Choose a quiet and clean space for your practice, free from distractions.

  4. Incorporate essential oils or fragrances known for their calming properties, such as lavender or sandalwood.

  5. Play soft instrumental or meditation music to create a serene ambiance.

Vajrasana, the Thunderbolt Pose, is a remarkable asana that brings stability, strength, and tranquility into your life. Through this pose, you connect with your inner power and cultivate a deep sense of grounding. By embracing Vajrasana and making it a part of your yoga practice, you embark on a journey of self-discovery, physical well-being, and spiritual growth. So, roll out your mat, find your thunderbolt, and embrace the transformative energy of Vajrasana!

Happy yoga-ing, everyone!


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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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