Fixed Firm Pose (Supta-Vajrasana)
Knees and fixed firm pose
This yoga blog is about fixed firm pose and therefore also about the knees. Maybe fixed firm posture does not look so impressive, but it provides great benefits. A common misunderstanding is that you cannot practice this yoga pose if you have troubled knees. Actually, it's then exactly the perfect posture for you to create more balance in your body. I have had a knee injury myself. In combination with practice and lots of patience, this posture helped me cure this injury. In this blog, I guide you through this posture, step-by-step. And since it is also nice to know where you are doing it for, I will also provide an overview of some of the benefits of practicing this posture.
The most important thing for this posture is that the knees are complex joints and it is ESSENTIAL that the knees stay on the floor and don’t hurt throughout the entire posture to prevent a wrong kind of pressure in the knees. You can always go less deep in the posture. Also check the additional recommendations and video how to do this in a safe way.
In order to receive maximum benefits, stay in that part of the posture where you can still keep your face relaxed, with a normal breath in and out by the nose and don’t feel any (sharp) pain.
Benefits fixed firm pose
- Rebuilds the flexibility of the knees and ankles (by helping to flush knees and ankles of calcium deposits, scar tissue and arthritic starts)
- Stretches ankles, knees, quadriceps, hips, spleen (good for the immune system), lower back, lymph glands in arm pits and diaphragm.
- Stimulates lymphatic system, adrenal glands, kidneys, liver, pancreas and digestive system
- Improves circulation to kidneys, liver, pancreas and bowels
- Could help with sciatica, gout, varicose veins, menstrual pain, asthma and respiratory conditions
- Helps to activate kundalini energy.
Fixed firm pose breakdown
- Sit down with your knees and feet together.
- Place your hands next to your knees and put some bodyweight into your hands and move the feet hip with apart: just enough that your feet still touching with the sides of your hips:
- Feet point straight back;
- Top of feet towards the floor to keep your ankle joint healthy;
- Heels against hips (like hugging the hips);
- Eventually with sit bones on the floor.
- If you feel your knees or ankles in fixed firm pose, you can spread your knees apart. Maximum hip width. Make sure your feet keep pointing straight back with the top of the feet towards the floor and your heels touching your hips.
- KEEP YOUR KNEES ON THE FLOOR DURING THE WHOLE POSTURE
- Only* if you sit on the floor with your sit bones, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, stay up with your upper body and concentrate on your breathing. This is than your maximum expression of yoga posture for today. * If you have been working on a fixed firm pose for some years now (and several times a week), with your sit bones almost on the floor but without progress for a long time, your yoga teacher may instruct you to continue to go with the next step. If you are in doubt, ask your yoga teacher for advice as (s)he is able to take other factors into account with regard to your situation.
- If your sit bones are on the floor, your knees feel okay and if you can keep your feet in the same position, put your hands on your foot soles, with your thumbs on the inside.
- Bring your upper body to the floor, step-by-step: first right elbow à than left elbow à top of your head à back of the head à shoulders à upper body on the floor.
- If you feel your knees or if they get off the floor, then bring your knees apart. Maximum hip width. If you still feel your knees or when they get off the floor, go a little less deep into the posture: go back as many steps as needed. Be okay with where you are today.
- Put your arms over your head and grab your elbows over your head and pull them towards the floor.
- Bring your chin to your chest: throat lock "jalandhara bandha".
- Lift your chest up: create a backward bend from your hips to your shoulders.
- If your knees feel good and stay on the floor, you can bring them slowly closer together.
- Relax your face. Breathe slowly in and out by the nose. Stay here for a few breaths.
- To get out of posture:
- Put your hands on your foot soles (thumbs on the inside);
- Push your elbows towards the floor (possibly one by one) and lift your chest up to slowly bring your upper up. Head comes up last.
- Place your hands next to your knees. Put some bodyweight into your hands. Bring your hips up/forward (until your hips and knees have a 90° angle) to come out of the posture.
If your knees or ankles bother you in fixed firm pose
- While keeping your feet in the same position (pointing straight back with a top of the feet on the floor), bring your knees apart maximum hip width. Maximum hip width helps to keep your feet and ankles in the right position.
- Pain in the ankles? Although it feels counterintuitive, by pressing the top of the feet towards the floor, you keep your ankle joint in the right position. Because that also affects the line towards your knees, it could also help to reduce the pressure on your knees. Make sure you keep your knees on the floor.
- If you still feel (sharp) pain in your knees, bring your hips up & forward while keeping your feet in the same position. Put your hands between your knees, put more bodyweight into your hands and bring your hips up while walking your hands forward just as much until you feel no pain in your knees anymore. You stay at the point just before it would hurt. With time and practice, your sit bones will come more and more towards the floor. Have patience and allow yourself some time. This part of the posture is very good to create more flexibility in the ankles, knees and hips, so exactly what you need at the moment.
- Cramp is not an unusual thing is this posture since you are stretching the front sides of your legs as well. Pay additional attention to your breathing (in and out by the nose), which helps the circulation (of oxygen) to the muscles and joints.
Are you up for more challenge in fixed firm?
- If your knees feel good (and stay on the floor), you can slowly bring the inside of the knees more together.
- If you already have a deep backbend practice and your back muscles are strong, you can bring down two elbows at the same time (instead of one by one). You don’t want to fall back, but only do this if you can do this with control (to keep signaling to your nervous system that everything is okay). Otherwise, stay with going back one elbow at the time.
- When you grab your elbows over your head, you can bring the fingers toward the upper arms, creating more stretching at the armpits. Also check the videos for the difference, since it’s a subtle difference.
- Work on your backbend in the posture. For example, could you distribute your backbend evenly from your hips to shoulders? You can also bring your elbows towards your armpits (of course still on the floor) to work on your backbend.
Relaxation and patience in Fixed Firm
In fixed firm pose it is also especially important that you apply the technique precisely by placing your feet as accurately as possible. And once you put yourself in the right position for you, you do not have to do that much anymore.
Pushing even has a counterfeit effect. The most active part of your efforts can be practicing your patience…. Let the posture itself do the work by using the gravity of your body. Of course, this can require lots of patience. And a certain degree of surrendering to the process. Acceptance of where you are right now. And being able to relax there. With this posture you are both training your mindset as your body, which also affect each other.
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