First Weeks Flow
Sit in Vajrasana (read below benefits) breathe length into the spine - align the ribs over the hips, lower belly drawn inward.
1. INHALE - Place hands in anjali-mudra
2. EXHALE - interlace hands, turn palms, extend arms forward while curing entire spine backward drawing abdomen inward.
3. INHALE - raise them overhead, interlace fingers, turn palms, extend sides of torso, raise rib cage and increase space through abdomen.
4. EXHALE - Draw arms behind interlace hands, roll shoulders up and back down, INHALE and arch further back through neck.
5. EXHALE - Fold forward to Balasana
Vajrasana - Thunderbolt Pose
Meaning: Thunderbolt Pose
Alters the flow of blood and nervous impulses in the pelvic region and strengthens the pelvic muscles. Increases efficiency of the entire digestive system. It aids in digestion immediately after eating. This is the only asana that can be practiced after a meal, ideally for ten minutes. It is an important meditation posture because the body becomes upright and straight with no effort. The mind and body becomes stabilized and hence it is one of the recommended asanas for pranayam, concentration and meditation. Stimulates the vajra nadi and redirects sexual energy. - The special fold of the legs forms a bandha. This bandha controls the blood circulation from the waist downwards which is the reason this asana is recommended after Shirshasan. It also means that there is increased blood circulation in the abdominal area.
- Begin kneeling on the floor with your hips and buttocks lifted off of your legs. Place a folded blanket beneath your knees, shins, and feet if you need the extra padding to feel more comfortable. Your inner knees should be together, and your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor.
- Un-tuck your toes and press the tops of your feet firmly and evenly along the floor.
- With an exhalation, come to a sitting position on your heels. Rest your buttocks on the soles of your feet.
- Keep your feet directly in line with your shins. Do not let your feet splay open or turn inward. Your feet and thighs should be touching throughout the pose.
- Sit up straight and draw your should blades firmly against your back ribs. Widen across your collarbones and drop your shoulders away from your ears. Sit up tall and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Balance your head and spine over your pelvis.
- Lay your hands on your thighs, palms down. Let your arms relax. Gaze forward with soft eyes.
- Hold the pose for up to one minute, or for the duration of your meditation or pranayama practice.
- To release the pose, press your palms firmly on the floor and lift your buttocks. Cross your ankles and shins beneath your body, and then extend your legs straight out in front of you in Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana).
Modifications & Variations
Practicing Thunderbolt Pose will increase flexibility in your ankles, feet, and knees, while also improving posture. Remember to take the pose slowly, use props if needed, and make whatever modifications you need to avoid injuring your joints. Try these simple changes to find a variation of the pose that works best for you:
- If it is difficult for you to sit all the way down on your heels, place a firm pillow or folded blanket between your buttocks and heels. Sitting with your hips raised will reduce stress and discomfort in your knees, hips, and back. It will also bring your spine into correct alignment, which will help you avoid injury and stay in the position for much longer periods.
- If your feet cramp or if the pose is difficult on your ankles, place a blanket or rolled towel beneath each ankle before coming fully into the pose.
- If you are practicing a mudra as part of your meditation, you can bring your hands into the correct position instead of resting them on your thighs.
- To stretch the soles of the feet, tuck your toes. Press evenly through each toe as you rest your weight on your heels.
- To stretch your arms and torso in the pose, reach your arms forward until they are parallel to the floor. Turn your palms face down and hook your thumbs. With an inhalation, extend your arms over your head until they are in line with your body with your palms facing forward. Soften your shoulders. Exhale to lower your arms and release. Change the hook of your thumbs and repeat.
Sukasana - Seated Pose
- Open your hips.
- Lengthens your spine.
- Promotes groundedness and inner calm.
- Amplifies the state of serenity, tranquility, and eliminates anxiety.
- Relieves physical and mental exhaustion and tiredness.
Variations: This pose is very similar to Accomplished pose, Siddhasana.
Sukhasana Set It Up:
1. Sit on 2 folded blankets with your legs extended in front of you.
2. Bend your knees, and cross your right shin in front of your left shin.
3. Move the knees closer together until your feet are directly underneath them.
4. Slide the flesh of the buttocks outward so you can sit directly on your sitting bones.
5. Press your palms together at the center of your chest.
Refine: When you cross your legs, look again and make sure you are crossing at the center of the shins. The cross should be in line with your pubic bone, navel, and sternum. Bring the palms together at your chest, and broaden your collarbones. Roll the upper arms away from the chest while dropping the elbows and the inner shoulder blades. Move the upper spine inward as you lift and stretch the abdomen. This strong action of the chest, arms, and shoulders directs the spine toward the center of the body. Extend the spine from the base toward the crown of your head while keeping the neck long and soft.
Finish:Take some deeper breaths in and out. Steady breathing will allow your body to remain firm and relaxed. Direct your attention to the movement of your breath expanding in your entire rib cage. Soften your eyes and relax your jaw and facial muscles. Repeat the pose, changing the cross of your legs.
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