Little Thunderbolt Pose - Laghu Vajrasana


Little Thunderbolt Pose or Laghu Vajrasana (lah-guu vahj-RAHS-anna) is an advanced backbend that can promote increased flexibility of the spine while opening up the heart and chest to allow for deep breathing. The name comes from the Sanskrit laghu, meaning “small,” vajra, meaning “thunderbolt,” and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.”
Laghu Vajrasana or the little thunderbolt pose is a powerful posture that allows you to test the limits of your strength and your faith. You have to believe in yourself to do this pose.
This deep backbend brings energy, vitality, and circulation into the body. Laghu Vajrasana is part of the Ashtanga Yoga Second Series and is considered a gateway pose of strength. Not only does it tone the muscles of the back, but it gives you a powerful lift in the pelvis. Once you master it, you’ll be able to connect your legs deep into the center of your pelvic floor, giving you the strength to support yourself in deeper backbends.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Commence by assuming a kneeling position with your thighs perpendicular to the floor.
Step 2
Elevate your chest to elongate your spine as you transition into Camel Pose.
Step 3
Reach your hands back and grasp your ankles.
Step 4
Gently release your head backward.
Step 5
With a controlled motion derived from grounding through your legs, slowly drop your head back and gradually lower the crown of your head towards the ground, entering into a backbend.
Step 6
Maintain straight arms throughout the pose and keep a firm grip on your ankles.
Step 7
To exit the pose, activate your core muscles and lift yourself back up to the kneeling position.

Benefits and Contraindications


Helps to increase the strength of the legs and to increase spinal flexibility

Helps to enough sleep at night

Stretches the abdominal muscles

Helps the strong digestive system

Decrease urinary problems



Knee, neck, or low back injuries

High or low blood pressure


Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • If you find the pressure on your knees uncomfortable, you can place a cushion or blanket under your knees to provide extra support and padding.
  • You can use a bolster to support your back and make the pose more comfortable. Place the bolster behind you and sit on it with your legs in Laghu Vajrasana.
  • You could also try using a block under the head to decrease the distance that you have to lean back and come up from.

Useful Tips

  • Warm up your knees: It’s essential to warm up your knees before practicing Laghu Vajrasana. You can do this by gently massaging your knees with your hands or doing some knee-strengthening exercises.
  • Take it slow: Laghu Vajrasana can be a challenging pose, so it’s important to take it slow and listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard and stop if you feel any discomfort or pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone practice Laghu Vajrasana?

Laghu Vajrasana is generally safe for most people, but it may not be suitable for those with knee injuries or knee pain. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new yoga practice.

How long should I hold Laghu Vajrasana?

You can start by holding Laghu Vajrasana for 30 seconds to 1 minute and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the pose.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in Laghu Vajrasana?

Some common mistakes to avoid in Laghu Vajrasana include putting too much pressure on your knees, rounding your back, or lifting your heels off the ground. Make sure to keep your spine straight and engage your core muscles to maintain proper alignment.

Can Laghu Vajrasana help with digestion?

Laghu Vajrasana is believed to improve digestion by increasing blood flow to the abdominal area and stimulating the digestive organs. However, it’s important to practice Laghu Vajrasana on an empty stomach and avoid the pose if you have any digestive issues.

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.