4. Yoga Practice

Vajrasana – Thunderbolt Pose & Virasana – Hero Pose – The difference between the 2 Asanas.

09/05/2014

VAJRASANA – THUNDERBOLT POSE.

  • Begin by placing yourself on the hands and knees with the knees & feet together
  • Move back and sit on the heels of the feet with the hands resting on thighs or by placing the back of the right hand inside the palm of the left hand
  • Be conscious of the position of the tailbone – drop the tailbone down by pressing the sit bones onto the heels of the feet – this will release any overarch in the lower back and straighten the back from the tailbone through to the crown of the head
  • Close the eyes and be consciously aware of the breath
  • Stay for as long as is comfortable

 

Counterpose / Pratikryasana:

  • Release from sitting position and bring hands to mat
  • Stretch right leg out, toes on the floor for at least 5 breaths or longer then release
  • Repeat the same with the left leg – Ideal for beginners
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog for intermediate to advanced practitioners

Benefits:

  • Stretches the top of the feet
  • Beneficial for those who have flat feet as it helps to lift the arches of the feet
  • Stretches the thighs
  • A Meditative pose for advanced practitioners
  • One of very few asanas that can be practiced after a meal
  • A calming and therapeutic pose 

Cautions and Modifications:

  • People who have had serious knee injuries or operations who cannot flex the knee backward must avoid this pose
  • For stiff knees one can place a folded blanket or rolled up hand towel under the knees
  • Initially this pose is generally most uncomfortable for the top of the feet, this discomfort will go away with regular practice of the pose – for further comfort one can also place a blanket under the top of the feet
  • If blankets do not suffice then one can use a wooden meditation bench to sit in Vajrasana Vajrasana on bench

 Virasana with blanket

VIRASANA – HERO POSE. 

  • Begin by placing yourself on the hands and knees with the knees together
  • Separate the feet wide apart
  • Slowly move backwards and sit IN BETWEEN THE FEET
  • The top of the feet will be on the mat on either side of the hips
  • Place the hands on the thighs or place the back of the right hand inside the palm of the left hand
  • Be conscious of the position of the tailbone – drop the tailbone down by pressing the sit bones onto the mat thereby sitting tall and creating space between the vertebrae
  • Stay for 5 – 8 breaths as a beginner and for as long as is comfortable as a more advanced practitioner

Virasana Profile

Counterpose / Pratikryasana:

  • Release from sitting position and bring hands to mat
  • Stretch right leg out, toes on the floor for at least 5 breaths or longer then release
  • Repeat the same with the left leg

Benefits:

  • Stretches the top of the feet
  • Beneficial for those who have flat feet as it helps to lift the arches of the feet
  • Stretches the thighs
  • A Meditative pose for advanced practitioners
  • A calming and therapeutic pose

Cautions and Modifications:

  • People who have had serious knee injuries or operations who cannot flex the knee backward must avoid this pose
  • For stiff knees one can place a folded blanket or rolled up hand towel under the knees
  • For those who have extremely stiff knees or very tight hips one can place one or two or as many blocks or blankets as needed between the feet to sit on

Virasana with support

Therefore the MAIN DIFFERENCE between the two asanas is that in Vajrasana – Thunderbolt one sits on the heels of the feet and in Virasana – Hero Pose one sits in between the feet.

Wishing you awareness and healing in your practice! 

Yours in Yoga,

 Juanita.

Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed several Yoga Teacher Training Courses and has been teaching Yoga since 2007. jcaprari@mweb.co.za or visit the website www.yogawithjuanita.com or www.facebook.com/yogawithjuanita