Diamond pose: a precious tool for all dancers
- Veena Basavarajaiah, Bangalore
April 11, 2011
Vajrasana or the diamond pose is a simple stance where the knees are bent and you are sitting on your folded legs with an erect back. Vajrasana has a unique quality of being an active and a relaxing stretch. It can be done immediately after eating, during periods, pregnancy and even while one is suffering from abdominal ailments. It is ideal for meditation as it increases the blood circulation to the brain, improves back alignment, allows effective breathing and is beneficial after shirshasana (headstands ) and other inversions.
Here are a few variations of the stretch that can be part of the warm up regime. While sitting on bent knees with feet pointed will stretch your thighs and metatarsals, sitting with flexed feet for a few minutes would strengthen your ankles and Achilles tendon. Balasana or the child's pose is where you lower your body from the diamond pose and stretch forward to stretch your waist and back.
This pose is recommended before and after training, rehearsal or performance. It is very comfortable to cool down in this stance as it relaxes the knees, thighs, calves, ankles and feet effectively. People suffering from stiff knees should do it more often as this pose releases tension, increases blood circulation and lubricates the knee joint.
When a dancer is feeling heavy after a meal and is left with very left time before a training schedule, Vajrasana might just be the answer to speed up digestion and feel lighter. Dance teachers who invariably end up sitting in classes while playing nattuvangam can alternate between Padmasana and Vajrasana to keep their legs active and strong.
This asana should not be done on a cold/ hard floor as it could seriously affect the knees and feet, especially if done on a cold surface after a lot of dancing.
Due care must be taken while getting in and out of the stance as the feet might feel a bit numb after sustaining the pose for a long duration. Engaging your centre is a must while getting into the pose and one has to wait till the blood circulation returns to normal before moving on to other activities. It strengthens all the joints of the lower extremities and should be avoided in cases of serious injuries, fractures or joint ailments.
Veena Basavarajaiah is a Bangalore based solo dancer and choreographer who is trained in Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu, Ballet and Contemporary dance. She has worked with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Angika Dance Company, Attakkalari, Kalari Academy, Gati Forum, Nritarutya, Natyantharanga & Yana Lewis Dance Co. She has performed on various platforms across India, UK and Europe. She is the recipient of Special Mention Young Achievers Award in 2007 and also a paneled artist of the Indian council for Cultural relations.
April 14, 2011
Dear Veena Basavarajiah,
It is nice to read articles related to dancer's health am thankful to Narthaki for having started this column which was really needed.
We, the dancers, in India don't take much care of our health and specially warming up sessions r often not done in many dance classes where as abroad the dancer first prepares herself to dance.
Thank you for writing such informative articles on health issues for dancers. The latest on Vajrasana is really helpful for all the dancers. Many times we face the problems mentioned by you, so it is good to know that Vajrasana has so many benefits.