We all know that we should not do any exercise or Yoga immediately after having food. But there is one asana (yoga pose) which you can do after having food, and it will actually help your digestion! Vajrasana.
Vajrasana is a simple and very effective asana. It is the only asana which you can do after having your meal. This asana has a wide range of benefits from making your body internally strong to getting into the ultimate meditative state.
Meaning of Vajrasana:
Word Vajrasana is a combination of two words, Vajra and Asana. Vajra means thunderbolt or diamond. The word asana translates as ‘pose’. According to Hindu puranas / ancient scriptures, vajra was described as the weapon of Indra (the King of Gods) and it is considered as the strongest among all other weapons. Vajra had both, the indestructible nature of a diamond and the irresistible force of a thunderbolt.
Like vajra, the Vajrasana makes our body strong internally. Regular practice of this asana improves our immunity and we become less susceptible to various diseases.
Benefits of Vajrasana:
1. Improves Digestive Health:
Vajrasana alters the blood flow in the lower pelvic region. The blood flow to the legs is reduced and the blood flow to the digestive organs is increased. This increases the efficiency of the digestive system and helps those with weak digestion to digest a meal easily. Regular practice strengthens the digestive system and keeps acidity, indigestion, bloating, constipation at bay.
2. Better blood circulation:
Vajrasana helps better blood circulation in the body. It modifies the blood flow by reducing the blood flow in lower portion, especially in the legs and increasing blood flow to the upper parts of the body including digestive organs, heart, lungs and brain.
3. Makes lower body flexible:
It strengthens the sexual organs, tones lower body muscles (hips, thighs, calves), cures joint pains, urinary problems, etc.
4. Helps in weight loss:
Losing weight becomes possible with regular practice of Vajrasana. You will see reduction in your belly fat after a few weeks of regular practice of Vajrasana.
5. Helps meditation:
In Vajrasana the body becomes upright and straight with no effort. Slow and rhythmic breathing in this position can help you go into the meditative state very easily.
This is the only asana you can do immediately after meal, ideally you should do this asana everyday for 10 minutes after lunch or dinner. Doing so regularly will give you all the above benefits.
Initially, one may find it difficult to withstand the pose due to the intense stretch it gives to your legs and thighs but with time you may even go on till 20 minutes at a stretch.
Steps to do Vajrasana:
step 1: Come to sitting position
Step 2: Bend your left leg and bring the foot to the left buttock.
Do the same with your right leg, then balance on your toes as shown in the above picture.
This is called as Utkatasana.
Step 3: Shift the weight forward, straighten out the toes, and bring your knees to the ground.
Step 4: Keeping toes together, part just your heels apart and sit between your heels. Place the palms of your hands on the knees or near your pelvis region on one another as shown in the figure. Maintain the asana, breathing normally.
How to release (get out of) the Vajrasana:
To release the asana, remove the hands from the knees and return them to your sides. Go back to balancing on your toes (as in step 2 mentioned above). Straighten the left leg first then Straighten the right leg and lower the buttocks to the ground returning to sitting position (as in step 1 mentioned above).
“Remember: releasing the pose is as important as going into the pose.”
Precautions to be taken:
- Beginners can take support of a pillow or rolled cloth below the ankle and knee if you find it hard to stretch. It takes the pressure off the feet and ankles.
- Do not do Vajrasana if you have a knee problem; or if had a recent knee surgery, as it may put additional strain on the knee. Also, pregnant women should try this asana only with their knees apart in order to avoid stress on the abdomen.
- Always practice new asana in presence of the instructor.
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