Supta Vajrasana (Reclining Thunderbolt Pose) registers as 12* on the scale of difficulty. Iyengar introduce the pose by explaining that, “This is a difficult asana and requires great practice.”
To set up for this pose, begin in Baddha Padmasana, then lift your thighs up and rest the backs of your arms on the ground behind you. Keep your fingers clasping your toes and release your legs back down toward the floor.
As you can see, I can’t maintain the bind and also rest my legs back down on the ground. But, just as in Baddha Padmasana, it’s important not to get too caught up in the bind. As Iyengar said, the full pose may only come to you after great practice. In the meantime, as you explore the asana, enjoy the benefits of the pose: the opening of your hips and your chest, the stretch of your neck (and the resulting positive impact on your thyroid glands).
Iyengar says, “Once this pose is mastered, Matsyasana will appear to be child’s play.” But, perhaps we can adopt a different perspective. May all the poses be child’s play – the exploration of the asanas from your own starting point, the wonderous beauty of the body, and the bliss of letting your heart guide your practice.