Fixed Firm – Supta Vajrasana
This posture can be particularly challenging for athletes and those suffering from knee injuries. Fixed Firm is one of the best for your knees.
In the beginning, it may be enough that you are on your knees, not yet going back all the way. In this first stage, it’s very important to feel OK with where you are. Know that you are increasing the flexibility in your knees and ankles so that you ARE able to move to the next stage, leaning back on one elbow then the next, then eventually head on the floor and arms over the head.
For every body, the following applies:
ALWAYS maintain correct alignment, heels touching with the hips. This will ensure the ligaments of the knees and ankles are stretched evenly building balanced flexibility. Your hips may be on the floor, or they may not.
DO NOT compensate in the posture by changing the position of your feet. Your ankles should be straight, toes pointing to the back wall. If toes turn in a little naturally that’s acceptable.
DO correct the depth of the posture if you feel pain: less is more. Learn to recognise whether pain is actually tightness or genuine pain. Take it easy in the beginning, your goal is not to get into the full expression any which way, your goal is to heal your body.
Bikram says ALWAYS keep your knees on the floor.
Emmy, Bikram’s most senior teacher, says that even if you are experiencing pain in the pose, set up with your knees together and your heels touching your hips to ensure proper alignment. Once you have the alignment, then separate the knees as much as you need. In Bikram’s words, one knee in Japan and one in Australia is fine, but the heels must be touching the hips.
Jodie: When I first started doing this posture I used to get horrendous lower back pain, it went when I came out. After a few months the pain went as my back flexibility and strength increased.
MacKechnie: I started Bikram yoga only able to stand on my knees in fixed firm. I was very very stiff around my left knee because of knee surgery 2 years before. So for months I stood like a meerkat while it seemed that the whole room was chilling in the full pose. Little by little I went back and it was probably 6 months before I was able to get my head down on the floor. This posture really did fix my knee. No pain there now despite being warned by the orthopaedic surgeon I would almost certainly have arthritis in the left knee by now (17 years since the operation).
- Rebuilds flexibility of knees and ankles
- Helps with digestion problems including indigestion, gas, constipation
- Helps boost the immune system through stimulation of the spleen
- Extends the hip flexor muscles
- Helps stimulate the lymphatic system, particularly the lymph glands of the arm-pit
- Good for asthma and respiratory conditions
- Stimulates adrenal glands through creating pressure and compression in the lower back
- Stretches the muscles of the thighs, abdomen and pelvis
- Improves circulation to kidneys, liver, pancreas and bowels
- Helps reduce calcium deposits, scar tissue in knees and ankles
- Helps to alleviate menstrual pain
- Helps with sciatica, gout and varicose veins by improving circulatory system
This posture also teaches patience!