Vajrasana, Diamond Pose to Improve Digestion
The Vajra, thunderbolt or diamond,
is said to be the weapon of Indra,
the king of Gods, as the mind is the King
of all the senses.
Vajra is also a major nadi in the body
which is connected to the urino- genital system,
and is responsible for regulating the sexual energy. Control of Vajra nadi leads to sublimation and control of sexual energy. The name Vajrasana is so derived.
Vajrasana, a simple meditative pose derives its name from the impact it has on the Vajra nadi located in the lower abdominal region of the body. Vajrasana is also known as the diamond pose and Adamant pose. It is called adamant pose because of two reasons: first because it helps to keep the practitioner securely fixed to the ground, and secondly because it contributes in some measure towards physical virility, or as strong as a diamond.
Though Vajrasana seems to be the easiest yoga posture to get into it does require a certain degree of flexibility of the knee joint and the muscles of the claves, thighs and the pelvis. Slipping into Vajrasana is easy but maintaining it for some time can be quite challenging. Vajrasana is used by Muslims and Zen Buddhists as position for prayer and meditation. Persons who have yet to master Padmasana for doing meditation, can sit in Vajrasana as it can help one sit for concentration for longer durations.
- Take the kneeling position on the mat, knees pressed onto the mat, the lower legs extended backwards with the shins resting on the mat, bi toes of both the feet touching each other, both the knees also in touch with each other with the thighs making a perfect right angle with the lower legs at the knee joint
- The soles of the feet must be facing upwards with their tops resting on the mat
- Exhaling, gently lower the buttocks onto the heels with the thighs resting on the respective calves
- Hold the upper body erect by placing the weight on the toes
- Incline forward and raise the body a bit, slightly lifting the pelvis
- As the pressure is lifted form the toes the feet may be allowed to spread out, pressed to the mat, folded under the buttocks, heels pointing out, and the big toes meeting each other behind the coccyx
- This way you are siting between the two heels on to the U shape provided by the insteps of the feet joined at the sides of the big toes
- Place the body weight upon the buttocks and fix them firmly within the cavity forms by the feet
- Hold the neck and the body erect, and the spine straight by lifting the head up and pressing the tail bone downwards
- Now place the hands upon their respective knees
- Keep the chin parallel to the floor, arms and shoulders relaxed, and abdomen relaxed but firm
- Close your eyes and take your attention on your breath, stay in the pose for a minimum duration of 5-10 minutes or long as possible and required
- The spiritual awareness while sitting in Vajrasana is must be kept on the Manipura Chakra
Diamond Pose – Alignment and Modifications
- Vajrasana like all other yoga postures must be done with proper attitude, alignment and action.
- While adjusting to sit erect avoid overarching the lumbar spine
- In case one experiences pain in the ankles, roll a soft blanket into a tube and place it under the shins, this will help do away with the pain
- In case one experiences the knee joint pain while doing Vajrasana, reduce the stress of flexion at the knee by placing a folded blanket or towel over the calves and under the thighs
- One can even hold a yoga block horizontally between the ankles, the feet grabbing it from the outside, this will take some body weight reducing the pain causing stress at the knees and the ankles
- If one experiences pain in the thighs while doing Vajrasana, slightly separate the knees to relieve the same
- Beginners may find sitting in Vajrasana for longer durations a but uncomfortable due to general stiffness of the sinews, and ligaments involved in it, in such situations one can simple release Vajrasana by straightening both the legs and shaking the ankles and the feet to release the stress, and then get back into the asana as prescribed, this practice will slowly help increase one’s staying time into the posture
Vajrasana – Variations
For any person, at any given point of time the flow of breath takes place only through any one of the nostrils. This variation of vajrasana will help the practitioner balance the flow of breath in both the nostrils, which is an indication of a calmer and steadier mind. Check for which nostril is predominant at the time of practicing this variation; If the left nostril is active place the left big toe in front of the right big toe and vice versa while sitting in Vajrasana. This will help balance the flow between both the nostrils (ida and pingala nadis) leading to tranquility of the mind.
Keeping the knees together separate the feet with the big toes some 25 cm apart and let the buttocks be placed on the mat while doing Vajrasana. This variation helps stimulate the Mooladhara Chakra.
Keeping the knees together separate the feet with the big toes some 25 cm apart. Place a rolled mat or blanket between the lower legs parallel to the shins. Sit on this blanket while doing Vajrasana. This variation also helps stimulate Mooladhara Chakra.
Once can cross the legs at the ankles and sit over this lock. The position of the hands in all the variations mentioned above can either be in prayer pose or the hands can be kept placed on the respective thighs.
Vajrasana Breathing and Time Limit
Vajrasana can be practice right after having the meals – the only asana to do so as all the other yoga postures ae done on an empty stomach – for up to a minimum of 5 minutes in order to benefit digestion. In case of a serious digestive disorder practice Vajrasana with abdominal breathing for 100 repetitions before and after having food.
When to Avoid Doing Diamond Pose ?
It is best to avoid doing Vajrasana in case the following conditions exist.
- Any knee problem or recent knee surgery
- Pregnant women must keep the knees apart in order to prevent putting pressure on the abdomen
- Abdominal ulcers, hernia, or any other issues with the intestines
- Any issues with the vertebral column especially with the lower spinal vertebrae like slipped disc
- Any stiffness in the ankles, knees and the feet
- Vajrasana cuts the flow of blood circulation and nervous impulses into the legs and redirects (enhances) it into the pelvic and lower abdominal region which strengthens the muscles of the pelvis
- It helps prevent hernia and relieve piles, some of the yoga techniques for treating hernia are done in Vajrasana
- It enhances the efficiency of the digestive system and helps relieve hyperacidity and peptic ulcers, and excessive gas, the traditional way of having Japanese tea is by sitting in Vajrasana
- As it reduces the flow of blood to the genitals and massages the nerve fibers which feed them, this helps in the treatment of dilated testicles and hydrocele in men
- It eases the labor pain during child birth and helps alleviate menstrual disorders in women
- It helps relieve sciatica pain and benefit the discomfort due to sacral infections, thus, the practitioner can sit longer for meditation
- Vajrasana helps relieve constipation and stimulate efficient absorption of nutrients in the body
- It strengthens the lower back and properly exercise the uterus and the liver
- It is a good stretch for the quadricep muscles of the thighs, it must always be included in the yoga techniques for benefiting the thighs
- Vajrasana is also good for healing hypertension
- It helps tranquilize the mind and keep it steady
- It helps relieve knee pain and is a a good technique to incorporate in the yoga regime for healthy knees
- It is a good yoga posture for heal back pain
- It strengthens the reproductive organs and is therapeutic in treating urogenital issues
- Vajrasana has also been found to help reduce obesity
- Practicing Vajrasana benefit by nerves located in the lower legs and the thighs
- As it increases the flexibility of the knee and ankle joints it benefits by helping to heal, prevent rheumatic diseases, It is alway taught as a part of yoga techniques for healing rheumatism to people who are unable to sit in Sukhasan or Padmasana as the result of this affliction
- As the head and the spine are kept vertically straight while doing Vajrasana it helps the free flow of the energy through the spine
- It acts as a base pose for many other yoga postures like Ustarasana and Balasana
- Practicing Vajrasana directs the flow of blood towards the upper body positively affecting the health of the lungs and the brain