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Supta Vajrasana


Supta Vajrasana is a moderate-level supine yoga posture that gives many benefits to the performer. As the name suggests, it belongs to the group Thunderbolt Pose. Also, it resembles Fish Pose except for the position of the legs.

We could not find any documentation for this pose in classic yoga texts.

In this article, we discuss the meaning, steps, precautions, and benefits of Supta Vajrasana.

Supta Vajrasana Information

Pose NameSupta Vajrasana
Sanskrit Nameसुप्त वज्रासन
IASTsupta vajrāsana
English NameSleeping Thunderbolt Pose
Reclined Thunderbolt Pose
Supine Thunderbolt Pose
GroupThunderbolt Pose
TypeReclined Pose
Supta Vajrasana Information

Supta Vajrasana Meaning

In Sanskrit, सुप्त (Supta) means to sleep or supine or reclined. It is interesting to note the etymological intimacy of the Sanskrit word Supta with the English Word Supine. The word supine comes from the Latin Word supinus meaning lying on the back. Both Supta and Supine might have come from the same common root.

Vajra means thunderbolt and Asana is a yoga pose. Hence, it gets the name Supine Thunderbolt Pose or Sleeping Thunderbolt Pose, or Reclined Thunderbolt Pose.

Vajra also is the name of a Nadi that controls the activities of the sexual organs. Therefore this yoga pose enables the performer to get mastery in sexual activities.

Supta Vajrasana Practice Procedure

Before taking up the practice of Reclined Thunderbolt Pose, one should know the safety and precautionary measures, preparatory poses, various steps involved, and follow-up poses.

Safety and Precautions

Persons with lower back pain, sacral issues, knee injury, and degenerated discs should avoid this yoga pose.

Also, the people who are suffering from Cervical spondylosis and Osteoarthritis should avoid this posture.

Furthermore, this pose is not for pregnant people.

Supta Vajrasana Preparatory Poses

Before learning Reclined Thunderbolt Pose, One should get mastery over Thunderbolt Pose first.

Moreover, the practice of Matsyasana also aids in the process of perfecting the Reclined Thunderbolt Pose.

Supta Vajrasana Steps

Step 1

Sit in Vajrasana. Bend back with the support of an elbow first and follow the other elbow next. In this position, the elbows should support the body.

Step 2

Now bring back the head to the floor releasing the support of elbows. Then lie on your back. Subsequently, place the palms on the thighs.

Step 3

Next, bring the top of the head towards the floor by making an arch on your back. Check the knees are still touching the floor.

Step 4

Place the hands on the thighs. Breathe normally. Keep the position as long as it is comfortable.


Initially, 30 seconds to one minute is enough. One may extend the duration to five minutes. The duration should be increased gradually and one should not feel any discomfort in the final position.

Pose Sequence

It is a very good counterpose for Shoulder Stand. After the practice of Should Stand, one must perform Fish Pose. If for any reason one could not practice Fish Pose, then this pose will come in handy. Moreover, this pose is a good counterpose for all forwarding bending yoga postures.

After performing this posture, Corpse Pose may be performed.

Supta Vajrasana Vs. Supta Virasana

Except for the position of the lower legs, the two are pretty much the same. In Reclined Thunderbolt, we are using lower legs under the thighs and buttocks; whereas, in Reclined Hero Pose, the lower legs are placed adjacent to the thighs and buttocks. One should master the Reclined Thunderbolt first before learning Reclined Hero Pose. The latter one is comparatively harder to master.

Important Tip

One should release the pose in reverse order from Step 4 to Step 1. The earlier release of the knees in the lying position may harm the knee joints.

Beginners may use bolsters under the back and head. However, the upper back and neck should make an arc.


This pose has one variation called Eka Pada Supta Vajrasana or Single Leg Reclined Pose. In this variation, one leg is put under the body and another leg is stretched out.

Supta Vajrasana Benefits

By the practice of this pose, One reaps all the benefits of Vajrasana and also the benefits specific to this pose. Let us have a look at the important benefits.

  • Reclined Thunderbolt Pose stretches and massages the abdominal region. Therefore, it improves the digestive system and removes constipation.
  • This pose expands the upper chest region which envisages the increased oxygen flow into the respiratory system. So it is good for Asthma and respiratory disorders.
  • It stretches the lower spine that tones the spinal nerves and muscles in the region.
  • Thigh muscles are stretched and toned. This improves the flexibility of the upper legs.
  • Supta Vajrasana activates the Vajra Nadi and thereby it diverts the sexual energy for spiritual progress.

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