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Thunderbolt Pose (vajrasana)

Seated posture that stretches your thighs, knees, ankles and feet.
 

Thunderbolt Pose (vajrasana) - Yoga Posture
Thunderbolt Pose (or vajrasana) is a simple seated pose that stretches your thighs, knees, ankles and feet. This pose also helps improve your seated posture. Thunderbolt Pose is considered one of the safer seated poses for people with back problems.
 
You may find this pose useful for meditation because you can easily keep your spine straight and your upper body relaxed. Thunderbolt Pose is a great alternative to Lotus Pose for meditation, especially if you find Lotus Pose too intense.
 
You can place a folded blanket under your hips if your knees feel strained or you find it difficult to sit on your heels due to tightness in your thighs. If you find kneeling on the floor uncomfortable, you can kneel on a folded blanket to pad your knees, shins and the top of your feet. Only remain in the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
 
Make sure you avoid the pose if you have an injury to your knees or ankles.
 
Steps:
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width apart and the top of your feet flat on the floor.
Exhale as you sit back onto your heels.
Place your hands on top of your thighs close to your knees, with your palms facing down.
Relax your shoulders and upper body, but keep your spine straight and tall.
Point the crown of your head toward the ceiling and gaze straight ahead.
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
(After performing Thunderbolt Pose, you should shake out your legs to help relieve your knees, ankles and feet.)
 
Modification 1:
If you feel any discomfort in your knees or you cannot sit on your heels, place a cushion or folded blanket between your hips and heels.
 
Modification 2:
You can stretch your arms and hands while performing Thunderbolt Pose. Perform Thunderbolt Pose, except raise both arms to shoulder height in front of you. Interlace your fingers and rotate your wrists so your palms face forward. Inhale as you raise your arms to face your palms toward the ceiling.
 
How can I stretch my feet more in Thunderbolt Pose?
Perform the pose as described in the steps above, except curl your toes under to rest the balls of your feet on the floor.
 
How can I even out the pressure on my feet in this pose?
You may feel more pressure on the inner top of your feet in this pose. To even out the pressure between the inner and outer top of your feet, gently press the outer edges of your feet toward the floor.
 
How can I modify Thunderbolt Pose to help relieve tension in my face?
You can perform Lion Pose to stretch your face and neck as you perform Thunderbolt Pose. To perform Lion Pose, open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out toward your chin and then exhale as you say "Haaaa". You should be careful performing Lion Pose if you have an injury to your face, neck or tongue.
 
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