Classic Yoga

The Online Resource of Yoga

Supta Vajrasana


Supta Vajrasana is a moderate-level supine yoga posture. As the name suggests, it belongs to the group Thunderbolt Pose. Also, it resembles the Fish Pose except for the position of the legs. It is a traditional yoga pose. However, the classic yoga texts did not mention this pose. The absence of evidence does not diminish its efficacy or value in modern yoga practices.

It offers many health benefits. Additionally, it helps in the spiritual path of the performer.

This article discusses 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
Supine Thunderbolt Pose Information

Supta Vajrasana Meaning

The Sanskrit term Supta ( सुप्त ) unfolds its meaning as to sleep, supine, or reclined. It is interesting to note the resemblance between Supta and the English word Supine. The English word Supine traces its roots to the Latin word supinus, meaning the act of lying on the back. Both Supta and Supine share a common linguistic ancestry.

The term Vajra ( वज्र ) translates to thunderbolt. Likewise, the term Asana denotes posture. Consequently, the pose earns its name as Supine Thunderbolt, Sleeping Thunderbolt, or Reclined Thunderbolt Pose. This indicates the practitioner’s reclined stance that resembles a thunderbolt’s powerful impact.

Moreover, the term ‘Vajra’ bears extra layers of meaning. In the yogic context, it is also the name of a Nadi, a channel through which energy flows in the subtle body. This specific subtle nerve is believed to govern the activities of the sexual organs. So, the practice of this Pose helps control sexual activities. This suggests a deeper connection between yogic postures and the body’s subtle energies.

As people engage in the Supine Thunderbolt Pose, they embark on a journey that extends beyond the physical realm. It reflects the subtle interplay between language, culture, and the ancient wisdom found in yoga. This invites us to delve into the layers of meaning of each pose.

Supta Vajrasana Practice Procedure

Before taking up the practice, one should know the safety measures, steps involved, and pose sequences.

Safety and Precautions

People having specific health conditions should exercise caution. Also, they should refrain from practicing the Supta Vajrasana, as it may worsen certain issues and pose potential risks.

Lower Back Pain

Firstly, those experiencing lower back pain should avoid this practice. This reclined position could strain your back. Also, it may potentially intensify discomfort or aggravate existing issues. Similarly, people with a history of sacral issues should skip this pose.

Knee Related Issues

If someone has a knee injury or has undergone knee surgery, the Supine Thunderbolt may not be suitable. The posture involves a degree of knee bending. Because of this, persons with knee-related concerns may find this position uneasy. This might hinder their progress towards recovery.

Degenerated Discs

Furthermore, people with degenerated discs in the spine should approach this pose with caution. Indeed, they should avoid it altogether. The reclined position might exert pressure on the spine. This may potentially cause discomfort or worsen existing disc issues.

Cervical Spondylosis and Osteoarthritis

It is not suitable for people with a health condition affecting the neck’s vertebrae. Likewise, osteoarthritis, mostly in the spine or knees, is a condition where caution is advised. The pose may strain the affected areas, worsen pain, and likely hinder the healing process.


Pregnant persons are also advised to refrain from this yoga posture. There are two reasons for this. One reason is the reclined position. The other reason is that it creates pressure on the abdominal region. For these reasons, it may not be conducive to the comfort and safety of both the mother and the fetus.

In essence, people with health concerns must prioritize their well-being and seek expert advice. A cautious approach ensures that they can reap the benefits without compromising their health or worsening existing conditions.

Supta Vajrasana Preparatory Poses

Embarking on the journey of mastering the Reclined Thunderbolt Pose involves a structured course. The basic poses pave the way for the more complex postures. Before taking the Reclined Thunderbolt Pose for practice, people should attain proficiency in the Thunderbolt Pose itself.

Also, the Thunderbolt Pose serves as the basis for the reclined variation. Mastering the Thunderbolt Pose entails developing strength and resilience in the thighs, knees, and ankles, which are key parts of the Reclined Thunderbolt Pose.

The upright nature of Thunderbolt also helps the alignment of the spine. This becomes a basic element crucial for progressing to more advanced yoga poses.

Besides, the practice of the Fish Pose proves to be a valuable addition in perfecting the Reclined Thunderbolt Pose. The Fish Pose involves a gentle backbend, toning the chest, throat, and abdomen. This pose improves the pliability of the spine. Also, it aids in opening the chest and shoulders. These preparatory benefits directly enhance the readiness for the reclined variation.

As with any yoga practice, it is better to engage in these poses under the guidance of a yoga instructor. Their expertise can provide valuable insights, adjustments, and revisions tailored to personal needs.

Supta Vajrasana Steps

Step 1: Initiating the Pose

Begin in Thunderbolt Pose. Gently lean backward, using one elbow for support, then the other. Also, ensure the elbows form a stable foundation, providing key support for the body in this initial pose stage.

Step 2: Transition to Supine Pose

Lower the head to the floor, releasing elbow support. Then, change to a supine position on your back. Place your palms on the thighs, making a grounding connection with the lower body.

Step 3: Creating the Arch

Gradually arch your back, bringing the top of your head toward the floor. Maintain a gentle curve, ensuring the knees remain in contact with the floor. This phase makes a point of the extension of the spine.

Step 4: Establishing Stability

Place your hands on the thighs, breathing naturally. Maintain the posture as long as it feels pleasant, aiding stability and mindfulness. This final step allows for a serene inclusion of the pose’s benefits into your practice.


The length of time for this practice depends on personal comfort and skill level. The beginners should start with shorter durations. Gradually they can increase the time as their pliancy improves. Initially, aim for 20-30 seconds and then progress to longer periods.

You mustn’t feel any discomfort in the final position. Gradually extend the duration by consistent practice to fully experience the advantages of this reclined yoga posture.

Pose Sequence and Counterposes

The Supine Thunderbolt is a counterpose to the Shoulder Stand. Because it offers a gentle release for the neck and spine. Next to the Shoulder Stand, the Fish Pose is ideal. Yet, the Supine Thunderbolt provides a viable choice.

In addition, it serves as an effective counterpose for forward-bending yoga poses. After the sequence, concluding with the Corpse Pose boosts the overall recharging effect. This thoughtfully crafted sequence offers a harmonious flow. Also, it addresses various muscle groups and ensures a well-rounded yoga practice.

Supta Vajrasana vs Supta Virasana: A Comparative Insight

Both poses share similarities. The primary difference lies in the position of the lower legs. In Reclined Thunderbolt, the lower legs are tucked under the thighs and buttocks. But, in the latter, they are placed adjacent to the thighs and buttocks.

It is advisable to master the Reclined Thunderbolt first. Then, you can take the Reclined Hero Pose. The former serves as a basic step. Also, this allows people to familiarize themselves with the posture. It cultivates the needful strength and pliancy.

Changing to the Reclined Thunderbolt from the Reclined Hero Pose provides a logical course. Because the latter is considered rather tough. The difference in lower leg placement adds a layer of difficulty. Also, it demands a higher level of mastery and body awareness.

Besides, patience and a step-by-step approach ensure a safe journey toward mastering reclined variations.

Important Tip

It is crucial to release the pose in reverse order, moving from Step 4 back to Step 1. Early releasing of the knees while still in the lying position may likely harm the knee joints. A controlled release ensures a safe transition. This guards against needless strain.

For beginners, including bolsters under the back and head provides added support. Despite using bolsters, it’s vital to maintain the natural curvature of the upper back and neck. This allows for a gentle and helpful stretch. This safety measure ensures a gradual and safe course. Also, it provides a positive experience for both beginners and adept.


Eka Pada Supta Vajrasana (the Single Leg Reclined Pose) is a notable variation. This version involves a special leg placement. Here, one leg is placed beneath the body, contributing to the foundational support. And the other leg extends outward, highlighting unevenness.

In this variation, the extended leg intensifies the stretch and engagement. This provides a targeted focus on the lower body and hip flexors. This variation adds diversity to the practice. Also, it offers people the space to explore uneven balance and pliancy.

It is crucial to approach this variation mindfully and adapt it to personal comfort and ability. Including this variation into one’s practice allows for an advanced exploration of the original pose. Moreover, it provides new spheres of resilience, strength, and balance.

Supta Vajrasana Benefits

By regular practice, one reaps two-fold benefits. One is the benefits of practicing Thunderbolt Pose. The second one is the benefits specific to this pose. Let us have a look at the key benefits.

Improves Digestive System and Removes Constipation

Reclined Thunderbolt stretches and tones the abdominal region. Also, it acts as a gentle massage for the internal organs. This contributes to the enhancement of the digestive system. Moreover, it promotes optimal organ function. It is very especially in relieving constipation by encouraging the smooth flow of digestive processes. This practice provides pliability and circulation in the abdominal area.

Helps in Conditions like Asthma and breathing disorders

The expansive nature of this practice extends to the upper chest region. This facilitates a broader and deeper breath. This expansion enhances oxygen flow into the system. Hence, this is very beneficial for people dealing with asthma and lung disorders. It creates a helpful environment for improved lung capacity and function.

Regular practice strengthens the lung muscles. Also, it provides a mindful connection to breathing. Reclined Thunderbolt Pose promotes lung health and overall vitality.

Improves Spine Health

It offers a targeted stretch to the lower spine. This creates a beneficial impact on spinal health. This deliberate elongation helps alleviate tension. Moreover, this promotes resilience in the lower back. At the same time, the pose engages and tones the spinal nerves and muscles in the targeted region. This enhances overall strength and vitality.

By including Reclined Thunderbolt in the regular yoga practice, people can cultivate a supple and healthy lower spine. This provides a sense of balance and well-being throughout the entire spine.

Improves the Pliancy of the Upper Legs

Engaging in this pose extends beyond the spine. It benefits the thighs by actively stretching and toning the linked muscles. The engagement of the thigh muscles promotes increased strength. Also, it contributes notably to boosting pliancy in the upper legs.

The pose’s dynamic nature encourages a balance between strength and suppleness. This provides an improved range of motion and overall pliancy in the thigh region. Regular practice of Reclined Thunderbolt Pose is crucial for a well-rounded fitness routine, providing valuable benefits. This promotes muscular health and supports the body’s functional mobility

Aids in Spiritual Progress

As we have already seen, it activates the Vajra Nadi. This activation serves to channel and redirect sexual energy towards spiritual progress. By engaging the subtle nerve, this practice aims to harness and transmute the vital energy for spiritual growth. This inclusion of physical and spiritual dimensions underscores the holistic nature of yoga. It provides a harmonious balance between the material and spiritual aspects of human existence.


Sutpta Vajrasana is one of the yoga poses that you should include in your practice. It boosts physical health by improving resilience and Strength. Also, it helps in spiritual progress. Hence, include this practice in your routine for better health and harmony. However, people having spine and knee issues should exercise caution.

Related Posts

Classic Yoga