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Vajrasana pose is a simple sitting yoga pose. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word vajra, which means thunderbolt or diamond.

For this pose, you kneel and then sit back on your legs to take the weight off your knees. Breathing and meditative exercises are often done in this position, which is said to help your body become as strong as a diamond.

Keep reading to learn how to do Vajrasana pose and the many positive benefits it provides.

There have been a number of studies that indicate Vajrasana has positive health benefits, including:

  • A small 2010 study of 12 patients concluded that yogic procedures, including Vajrasana, helped reduce discomfort for people with lower back pain.
  • A 2011 article indicated that Vajrasana is one of the poses — along with Padmasana, Halasana, Shavasana, and Paschimottanasana — that is useful for hypertension.
  • A 2009 study of 30 men concluded that yoga training poses, including Vajrasana, may improve concentration-based performance.

Some benefits of Vajrasana also include:

  • aiding in digestion
  • relieving or preventing constipation
  • strengthening pelvic muscles

Although not supported by clinical trial data, proponents of yoga suggest that Vajrasana is one of the best poses for concentration and meditation. It offers other benefits, such as:

  • helping keep the mind calm and stable
  • curing digestive acidity and gas formation
  • helping to relieve knee pain
  • strengthening thigh muscles
  • helping to relieve back pain
  • strengthening sexual organs
  • helping in treatment of urinary problems
  • increasing blood circulation to the lower abdominal region
  • helping to reduce obesity
  • helping reduce menstrual cramps

You can get into the Vajrasana pose in six simple steps:

  1. Start by kneeling on the floor. Consider using a yoga mat for comfort.
  2. Pull your knees and ankles together and point your feet in line with your legs. The bottoms of your feet should face upward with your big toes touching.
  3. Exhale as you sit back on your legs. Your buttocks will rest on your heels and your thighs will rest on your calves.
  4. Put your hands on your thighs and adjust your pelvis slightly backward and forward until you’re comfortable.
  5. Breathe in and out slowly as you position yourself to sit up straight by straightening your spine. Use your head to pull your body upward and press your tailbone toward the floor.
  6. Straighten your head to gaze forward with your chin parallel to the floor. Position your hands palms down on your thighs with your arms relaxed.

If you find the Vajrasana pose uncomfortable, ask your yoga instructor to make sure that you’re doing it correctly. Some techniques you can use to ease discomfort include:

  • For ankle pain, consider putting a folded blanket or other uniform padding under your shins. Position the blanket so your toes hang off the back.
  • For knee pain, consider placing a rolled or folded blanket or towel across your calves and tucking it behind your knees.
  • For sitting discomfort, place a yoga block between your feet horizontally. By supporting some of your weight, this can take pressure off ankles and knees.

Before starting a yoga program, consult with a doctor. They can offer advice on how yoga will impact your current health and suggest ways to avoid potential problems.

Yoga practitioners suggest avoiding Vajrasana if you have:

  • a knee problem or have recently undergone knee surgery
  • a spinal cord condition, especially with the lower vertebrae
  • intestinal ulcers, a hernia, or any other intestinal problems such as an ulcer or hernia

If you’re pregnant, ask your doctor about Vajrasana. Some feel it should be avoided. Others feel it’s OK if you keep your knees apart to avoid stressing your abdomen. Your doctor is familiar with your situation and can give you a personalized recommendation.

A relatively simple kneeling pose, Vajrasana has a number of benefits, including helping with digestion, constipation, and hypertension.

Before you start a yoga program, check with your doctor. If you have certain conditions such as knee or spinal cord concerns or issues related to your large or small intestine, consider eliminating Vajrasana from your practice.