Yoga on the move: Fitness

Vajrasana: The easy route to digestion

The mind is bound to wander. So when that happens, keep bringing your attention back to what you need to focus on. Photo: R. Ravindran  

When I first started doing yoga, I used to cringe whenever I heard my teacher use the word ‘discipline’. It always conjured up memories of kneeling outside the classroom for forgetting to do homework or for making mistakes and standing outside the classroom for talking.

I had come to associate the word with punishment for not doing what I was told to do. When I started teaching yoga, I realised that I had to relearn and redefine the word for myself, so that I could help my students receive the true benefit of infusing discipline into their practice. Discipline, in its purest form, is simply remembering what you want every day and in every moment. It is teaching the mind to focus on your goals, your dreams, your happiness and the present moment.

In yoga, the practice of learning to focus is called Abhyasa or the attitude of persistent effort to attain stability in your practice. Practising any posture persistently is the most effective method of exercising the most important part of all – the mind.

Training the mind to keep coming back to the present moment instead of running away from the discomfort is a yogic exercise by itself. 

Take the thunderbolt pose for example. By improving blood flow to the digestive system, it practically eliminates disorders like constipation. But learning to sit in it consistently is a challenge for those who are unwilling to invest their mind in it too.

Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

You will need a yoga mat and a couple of thick pillows.

Come onto all fours on your yoga mat.

Place one of the pillows underneath your ankles.

Place the other one on top of your calf muscles.

Sit back on your heels.

Place your hands on your knees, relax your shoulders and let your elbows bend naturally.

Close your eyes and bring your awareness to the rhythm of your breath.

Focus on your entire pelvic space and lowest parts of your abdomen and back.

The mind is bound to wander. So when that happens, keep bringing your attention back to what you need to focus on.

You can stay in this posture either for 50 deep breaths or for five minutes. Slowly increase the duration over a period of time.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 11:34:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/how-to-do-vajrasana-or-the-thunderbolt-pose/article7433953.ece

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