Reclined Thunderbolt Pose - Supta Vajrasana


Reclined Thunderbolt Pose or Supta Vajrasana comes from the Sanskrit language where ‘Supta’ means relined or sleeping, ‘Vajra’ means thunderbolt, and ‘Asana’ means pose. People also use terms like Sleeping Thunderbolt Pose and Supine Thunderbolt Pose.
Supta Vajrasana is actually an advanced form of Vajrasana that you do while lying down.
In this pose, the yogi begins in Vajrasana then holds the feet and places the elbows on the floor as the torso bends backward until the arms, back, and head rest on the floor. The pose is held for 30 seconds.
The mental health benefits of Supta Vajrasana include helping to treat anger and other negative emotions, calming the mind, and improving focus.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Sit in Vajrasana, the Thunderbolt pose also called the kneeling pose. In this pose, the knees are kept close together, legs bent and buttocks resting on the lower legs and heels. The toes are crossed and touching each other.
Step 2
Once the vajrasana position is taken, slowly bend backwards, supporting the body weight using your arms and elbows, till the back of the head touches the ground.
Step 3
Now arch the back and rest the hands (palms) on the thighs. The elbows will continue to rest on the ground to support the weight of chest and abdomen.
Step 4
Breathe normally and deeply in a rhythmic manner.
Step 5
Close the eyes and relax all the muscles of the body.
Step 6
Remain in this position, as long as it is comfortable.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthen the sacral region and brings flexibility to the back

Strengthen the lung muscles

It relieves constipation

It strengthens the thigh muscles

Stretches the abdominal and thoracic muscles.

Thereby helping those with asthma and bronchitis.



Lower back pain

Knee injury, and degenerated discs

Cervical spondylosis and Osteoarthritis

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Place a bolster or folded blanket behind your back to support your spine and hips.
  • You can also use blocks or blankets under your knees to reduce the strain on your knees and thighs.

Useful Tips

  • Maintain the proper alignment throughout the posture, ensure the hips lie directly in between side heels.
  • Keep your ankles straight with the toes pointing backward.
  • Do not let your knees to lift off the floor.
  • If you feel pain while holding the pose correct the posture depth.
  • It might be difficult to sit on your heels initially, but, neither push yourself nor quit. Just perform it within your capacity and slowly work your way into it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Supta Vajrasana and Supta Virasana?

In Vajrayana the lower legs and heels lie directly under the thigs and buttocks respectively, in Supta Vajrasana also lower legs and heels remain directly below the buttocks. Whereas, in Supta Virasana lower legs need to be spread adjacent to the buttocks so side heels touch the buttocks only.

What other therapeutic effect does Supta Vajrasana have?

Apart from the ones mentioned above, Supta Vajrasana also helps in:

Preventing cholesterol
Reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases
Improving kidney and liver functions
Regulating functions of adrenal glands
Boosting confidence and self-awareness

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.