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Yoga for beginners - Vajrasana Series 1

Kwench Yoga Challenge Vajrasana 1 is a 20 min follow along for beginners which will increase Sexual Control and overall stability of the mind.  

Vairagya or the emotional distance acquired over the Lust leads to Brahmacharya, a two-part Sanskrit word where ‘Brahman’ is Omnipresent Supreme Consciousness and ‘Char’ is the movement towards it.  

Brahmacharya, one the Yama’s of Ashtanga leads to preservation of Sexual Energy which sublimates into Veerya, energy of the highest order which furthers Spiritual progress on the path of Yoga. 

Vajra 

The Vajra or thunderbolt is the weapon of Lord Indra, the King of the Gods. In Sanskrit the term 'Vajra' relates to firm, determined & decisive Awareness.  The earliest mention of the vajra is in the Rigveda, part of the four Vedas. And according to the Puranas, the ‘Vajra’ is considered as one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. 
 
The use of the vajra as a symbolic and ritual tool spread from the Hindu religion to other Dharmic traditions of Buddhism and Jainism, first in India and then in other parts of Asia. 

Vajra in Yoga

In yogic context, Vajra refers to Vajra Nadi (Energy Channel), which governs the uro-genital system and is responsible for sexual behaviour. Asanas in this series help in control of the Vajra Nadi which sublimates sensual energy and channelise it towards activating higher brain centres.

The Vajra Nadi is major nadi situated within the Sushumna Nadi, the most important Nadi from the Yogic point of view. It begins at the base of the Spine where the Muladhara (Root Chakra) is situated.

All Yogic Practices are aimed to awaken the Energy situated in the Muladhara Chakra which travels upwards towards the higher Chakras as the practice deepens.

The asanas in Vajrasana series are also effective in the maintenance of digestive system and boost metabolism. They provide strength to muscles of abdomen, back & legs.

Vajra as a Metaphor

The use of Vajra, appears in Puranas where Lord Indra, a metaphor for the Mind, was driven crazy by a demon called Vritra – a metaphor for a negative Vritti – an unpious, aggressive  thought.   

The demon had a boon that he could be killed by any weapon made of metal or wood. In the battle with this demon, Lord Indra – the Mind approaches the triad of Consciousness - Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva who reveal that only a weapon made from the bones of Sage Dadichi could defeat this demon.  

Sage Dadichi – who is a metaphor for the body, gives up his life through practicing  the art of Yoga. With his bones, the weapon of Vajra – a metaphor for firm, determined and decisive Awareness is created by Mind which slays the demonic disturbing thought and reclaims its place as King of devaloka, the abode of the Divine.

Vajra - Symbolic use

Param Vir Chakra, India's highest war time military decoration has a motif of Vajra, the weapon of Indra created by the bones donated by sage Dadhichi, as a tribute to the Supreme sacrifice offered to Mother India.  




Instructions 

Vajrasana

The base position is the ‘ Thunderbolt posture known as Vajrasana in Sanskrit.

Kneel down with the lower legs stretched straight backwards and toes crossing each other.

Sit over the heels with your buttocks resting on the heels and thighs on the calf muscles.

Sit straight with the head facing forward and your hands on the knees. Close your eyes . Feel the sensation in your body.

Remember this pose as we will keep returning to it.

Vajrasana Indian Man Yoga


Breath Awareness

Now we will become aware of the breath.

Open your eyes.

Place your arms on the hips.

Inhale slowly but deeply and feel the breath reaching the lower part of the lungs.

Breathe 3 times.

Now raise your arms to the level of the chest with your palms facing downwards.

Inhale deeply feeling the breath reaching the middle of the lungs.

Breathe 3 times.

Now fold your arms behind the head so that the chest expands completely.

Inhale deeply and feel the breath filling up your entire lungs.

Breathe 3 times.


Marjariasana
 

The next movement is the Cat pose known as Marjariasana in Sanskrit where Marjari means cat and asana means posture.

While in Vajrasana, stand on the knees and lean in forward direction.

Place the hands flat on the floor with palms down and fingers facing forward.

Keep the hands in a line with the knees.

Keep the arms and thighs perpendicular to the floor. This is the starting position.

Exhale and lower the head while stretching the spine in the upward direction.

Leave the head between the arms facing the thighs.

Stress the arch of the spine and contract the abdomen.

Focus your vision on the navel

Now with a deep inhale raise the head.

Shift your vision from the navel to the tip of your nose.

Stress the spine in the downward direction, so that the back turns into a concave shape.

Now shift your vision from the tip of the nose to in-between the eyebrows.

Expand the abdomen as much as possible without force.

Fill the lungs with maximum air possible.

Exhale and lower the head while stretching the spine in the upward direction.

Shift your vision from in-between the eyebrows to the tip of the nose and then to the navel.

Then contract the expanded abdomen and pull in the buttocks.

Repeat 3 times.

This movement makes the spine more flexible and stretches the scapula to improve shoulder mobility and posture. 

Vyaghrasana

Vyaghrasana Tiger Pose Indian Man Yoga

 

The next movement is the Tiger Pose known as Vyaghrasana in Sanskrit.

While you are on your hands and knees, look to the front and relax the body.

Inhale, arch the back, and lift the right leg, stretching it to the back.

Looking up open the chest

Exhale, arch the back. Tuck the pelvis under.

Bringing the head down, bring the knee forward towards the nose.

Keep the right foot off the floor.

Inhale and repeat 3 times

Now repeat 3 times with the left leg.

This movement stretches the abdominal muscles, loosen the hips and tones.


Shashanka Bhujangasana

The next movement is the Striking Cobra Pose known as Shashanka Bhujangasana in Sanskrit.

Start in Vajrasana. Rest your buttocks on the heels.

Relax your torso forward over the thighs.

Separate your knees a little and stretch your arms in front of you. This is base position.

Now, without moving the position of the hands, inhale deeply and slowly move the chest forward.

The nose and chest should just brush the surface of the floor as the body moves forward

Move the chest further forward and then upward, as the arms straighten.
Lower the pelvis to the floor.

Push the hips as near to the floor giving maximum stretch to the lower back.

In the final position, the arms should be straight, the back arched and the head raised.

The navel does not touch the floor.

Hold this position for a few seconds, retaining the breath.

Exhale.

Slowly raise the buttocks and move backwards reversing the movement.

Return to base position.

Maintain the hand position throughout the movement.

This movement will help to get rid of Spine stiffness and back pain.

The next movement is the Camel Pose known as Ushtrasana in Sanskrit.

To achieve this pose we will perform a few preparatory movements.


Simhasana

Simhasana Lion Pose Indian Man Yoga



Sit in Vajrasana. Separate your knees and feet about hips width apart.

Extend your arms.

Cross them over the head such that your right palm touches the left shoulder and left palm touches the right.

With an Inhale, gently push the arms with the back of the head and expand the chest.

Feel the stretch from the base of your spine.

Now Exhale.

Lean forward and place your palms on the floor between the knees, with the fingers pointing towards the body.

Inhale, straighten the arms fully and arch the back.

Rest the body on the straight arms.

Tilt the head back so that there is a comfortable amount of tension in the neck.

Keep your vision in-between your eyebrows.

The mouth should be closed.

This is the Lion Pose known as 'Simhasana in Sanskrit.


Ardha Ushtrasana

Ardha Ushtrasana Half Camel Pose Indian Man Yoga


Now slowly stand on your knees

Keep your knees aligned with the shoulders.

The soles of feet should face the ceiling

Place your hands on the hips.

Inhale.

Roll your shoulders backwards stretching your chest.

Bringing the elbows closer together slide the fingers on to your sacrum facing upwards.

Exhale and squeeze your abs.

Now Squeezing the buttocks, push your tailbone towards the navel.

Now inhale and drop your head back as far as possible and hold.

Feel the stretch from the top of your chest down to the navel, all way to the quads.

Exhale to slowly stand on the knees.

This is the first variation of the Half Camel Pose known as Ardha Ushtrasana in Sanskrit.

Now lean forward and place your elbows on the floor.

Now stretch your right hand forward and then the left.

Look ahead placing your chin on the floor and open the chest.

Stress the back as much as you can all the way to the tail bone.

Hold and feel the stretch in back of your neck , Traps, Deltoids , Scapula and the Spine.

Now return back to place the palms on the floor

Exhale and lower the head while stretching the spine in the upward direction.

Leave the head between the arms facing the thighs.

Stress the arch of the spine and contract the abdomen.

Focus your vision on the navel

This will rest your spine.


Ushtrasana

Ushtrasana Camel Pose Indian Man Yoga

Now rise up on your knee with the arm to the sides of your body.

Raise your arms to shoulder level.

Now place your left hand on the left heel.

Drop your head slightly back with the your vision on the raised hand.

Breathe normally in this position.

Inhale and bring the left arm back to shoulder level.

Now place your right hand on the right heel.

Maintain your vision at the raised hand. Hold.

Now inhale and place your left hand on the left heel as well.

Drop your head slightly back.

Squeeze the buttocks and push the hips towards the navel.

Hold. Breathe normally.

Feel the stretch in the shoulders, chest, abdomen all the way down to the quads.

This is the Camel Pose known as ‘Ushtrasana in Sanskrit.

Now slowly bring back your arms releasing the stretch

And sit back on your heels.

Bring your knees together.

Bending through your lower back slowly place your head on the floor.

Now extend your arms forward and relax.

This movement helps is relieving back pain while increasing strength and flexibility.


Supta Vajrasana 

Supta Vajrasana Sleeping Thunderbolt India Man Yoga


'The next movement is the Sleeping Thunderbolt known as Supta Vajrasana in Sanskrit. This is an advanced recline pose.

Progress slowly without over-straining the muscles.

Sit comfortably in Vajrasana.

Now spread your knees apart.

Now rise up on your knees and spread the toes apart.

Now with your hands rotate both your calf muscles externally.

Now sit down in between the toes.

You will feel the stretch in your thighs.

Make sure that you are not overstraining the muscles and ligaments of the legs.

Slowly bend back, putting the forearm and the elbow on the floor.

Slowly bring down your head to the ground while arching the back.

Place your hands on the thighs.

Try to keep the lower legs connected with the ground.

If necessary, separate the knees further.

Close your eyes and relax the body.

Supta Vajrasana Sleeping Thunderbolt Pose Indian Man Yoga

Inhale slowly and deeply.

If you are comfortable, raise your arms and fold them behind your head.

This will stretch the upper body.

Stay in this position and relax

Focus your attention on the breath.

Now release the arms and hold the shin.

Shift the weight of the upper body on the elbows.

Raise the head and arch your back to place the top of the head on the floor.

Place your arms back on the thighs. Relax in this position.

Now hold your shin and with the help of the elbows return back to Vajrasana.

Never leave the ultimate position by straightening the legs first; it’s going to dislocate the knee joints.

This movement increases flexibility of the legs and strengthens them for meditative postures.

It stretches the ribcage and helps the lungs to fill up to maximum capacity. It helps to get rid of respiratory disorders.

'Now bend forwards and place your head on the floor.

Fold your arms in front of your head and relax.

That completes the sequence for today.