While the concept of Padmasana may seem simple, it is considered an intermediate to advanced pose and may not be comfortable for beginners. In basic terms, Lotus Pose is sitting cross-legged with the spine vertically straight, making it ideal for meditation and concentration. In the Hindu iconography, Goddess Lakshmi divinely seats herself on an open lotus. Even Lord Ganesha and Lord Vishnu are occasionally shown seated on the lotus. When we speak of Buddhism, it is said that wherever Buddha set foot, a lotus bloomed.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Avoid practicing this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to the knees, ankles, or hips. Lotus Pose requires a great deal of flexibility and self-awareness to be performed correctly. Do not attempt to learn Lotus Pose on your own without the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable instructor.
How To Do The Padmasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- Sit on a flat surface on the ground with your spine erect and your legs stretched out.
- Gently bend the right knee, and use your hands to place it on your left thigh. Your soles must point upward, and the heels must be close to your abdomen.
- Do the same with the other leg.
- Now that both your legs are crossed, and your feet are comfortably placed on the opposite thighs, model your hands into a mudra of your choice and place it in position. Typically, the hands are placed on the knees.
- Remember that your head must be straight and the spine erect at all times.
- Breathe long and deep. Hold the position for a few minutes. Release.
- Repeat the pose with the other leg on top.
Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Do not attempt learning Lotus Pose on your own. It’s best to learn the pose from a qualified and knowledgeable instructor who can provide you with guidance on the alignment before practicing it alone.
- Beginners and those with less flexibility should first attempt Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana) before trying the full version of the pose.
- Only practice this pose if you can sit comfortably in Half Lotus with your back straight and away from a wall. If that is not possible, continue to practice Half Lotus with your back against a wall until you have built up enough strength to sit away from the wall with your spine straight.
During the cradle warm-up the outer ankle is often overstretched. Push through the inner edge of the foot against the upper arm to equalize the two ankles. Then when you bring the foot across into the opposite groin, see that you maintain this even stretch of the inner and outer ankles.
Modifications & Variations
Make whatever modifications you need to feel safe, supported, and steady in the pose. Here are a few suggestions:
- If your knees don’t rest on the floor, support each knee with a folded, firm blanket.
- If you are not yet able to perform Lotus Pose, practice Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana) until you have gained the flexibility and strength to sit comfortably in the pose. If Half Lotus is difficult, try Easy Pose (Sukhasana) first.
- For a greater challenge, those with more strength can come into Scale Pose (Tolasana): Press your palms into the floor alongside your hips. Lift your buttocks and legs off the floor and allow your body to swing slightly.
- For a deep stretch to the upper body, those with more flexibility can come into Bound Lotus Pose (Baddha Padmasana): From the full expression of Lotus Pose, reach both arms behind your back, clasping your toes with your fingers. To deepen the stretch even further, fold forward.
- Various poses can be done with the legs in Lotus Pose, including Headstand (Sirsasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), and Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana).
Benefits Of The Padmasana
- This asana relaxes the mind and calms the brain.
- It activates the spine, the pelvis, the abdomen, and the bladder.
- The knees and ankles get a good stretch.
- Menstrual issues and sciatica are dealt with if this asana is practiced regularly.
- If this asana is practiced through pregnancy, it makes birthing easier.
- This asana opens up the hips, making them more flexible.
- This asana helps awaken the Chakras and also makes you more aware of things.
- Your posture is sure to improve with regular practice of the Padmasana.
- Energy levels are restored with the practice of this asana.
Although Lotus Pose may look like the “perfect” yoga pose, it can take time to achieve the position, let alone feel comfortable in it. Be patient and take your time. It might take months, or even years, to achieve the full expression of the pose. And so what? Remember that achieving a pose is not the goal of yoga. Staying aware of the present moment is the heart of yoga. Learn to accept your current circumstances, instead of always trying to be somewhere — or someone — else.