People crave peace of mind amidst all the hustle and bustle they encounter daily. Yoga, a spiritual disciple, can help you achieve harmony between mind and body. Many different yoga asanas can be done to achieve this state of mind. One simple and easy pose is the Padmasana. Also called the lotus pose, it relieves the pent-up stress hormones and rejuvenates you. Want to know more about this lotus yoga pose? Read on!
What is Padmasana?
Padmasana yoga or the lotus yoga pose is a posture followed during meditation. It is a cross-legged posture that reduces many physical ailments and calms the mind. When this yoga pose is done, it is believed that the practitioner blossoms like a lotus and hence it is called Padmasana. Here the Padma in Sanskrit means Lotus, and Asana means pose or posture. In Buddhism, the Lotus pose is known as the Vajra Position.
How to do Padmasana?
The lotus position for beginners may be difficult as the legs should be locked together. But after a few days of practice, you can master the pose. For the benefit of those starting, here is a step-by-step guide on doing padmasana for beginners.
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you and the heels touching the floor. Place the hands by your sides while keeping the spine erect.
- Slowly move your legs a little wider while keeping the heels on the ground.
- Bend one of your knees and place it on the opposite thigh by using the hands to get the feet towards you. Ensure that the sole of your feet is pointed upwards and the heel as close as possible to the abdomen.
- Do the same on the other leg so that both the legs are locked in a criss-cross. Make sure to keep the spine erect and the head straight. These are the basic steps of padmasana. Take deep breaths and stay in this pose for 2 to 3 minutes.
Variations and Modifications
If the padmasana yoga steps are too difficult for you to do, you can do a beginner version of this pose, the Ardha Padmasana or the half lotus. Start with Sukhasana, and when you are comfortable with this pose, you can work your way up to do the Half Lotus. This pose has fewer steps of padmasana. To do this:
- Start in Sukhasana to do this variation of padmasana for beginners, and using your hands, bring the right foot on top of the left calf with the sole facing upwards.
- Place the right foot so that it is high on the left thigh. The idea is to make the right foot settle into the left hip crease.
- The left knee is kept bent to comfortably place the left hand on the floor.
- Keep the spine erect, the shoulders away from the ears, and the head looking straight ahead. Allow the hands to rest on the thighs with the palms facing upwards.
- Stay in this position for up to 10 breaths.
- Do the same on the other leg and so that both sides of the hips are flexed.
There are different types of padmasana groups, and it is based on whether it is for meditation or strength. The key element of the padmasana yoga steps is that it is not for muscular stretch, and it is best not to push yourself and hurt your knees. Start with some dynamic movements to warm up, and then proceed if you are a beginner. The different types of padmasana groups are a progression on the padmasana pose. The intermediate and advanced poses are the Ardha Baddha Padma Vrikshasana, Ardha Baddha Padmatonasana, Kukkutasana, etc. Check out any online yoga classes to know more about these.
Lotus yoga position is one of the necessary poses for meditation and provides significant benefits. Some of the padmasana benefits:
- Boosts energy levels: Staying in a lotus position for 30 minutes can enhance the rate of blood flow, make space for positive energy by removing unwanted thoughts, improve the metabolic rate, and increase both internal and external energy levels.
- Removes mental stress: The padmasana pose relaxes the body and the mind, thus reducing the tension in the tight muscles and accumulated stress. Deep breathing during this pose frees up the mind and fills you with positive energy. This relaxes the overthinking brain.
- Increases digestive power: Padmasana steps, when done in a slow and controlled manner, give a gentle massage to the abdomen, thus aiding in better digestion. Also, it redirects the blood to the abdomen, which is another reason for boosting the digestive power. The padmasana asana reduces digestive issues like loose motion, constipation, etc.
- Good for women: The lotus sitting position enhances the stability and strength of the pelvic muscles. So it is a good pose for pregnant women as it eases pain and makes childbirth smooth. Women who have menstrual cramps also benefit greatly from the padmasana asana as it massages the abdomen and reduces cramps.
- Increases ankle and knee strength: The lotus sitting position stretches and extends the knees and the ankle joints. When practised continuously, it gives endurance and strength to the knees and ankle joints. It also improves the flexibility of the joints and bones, making daily activities easy.
- Improves posture: The lotus position for beginners and advanced practitioners is done with an erect spine. Staying in this position for a longer duration improves flexibility and posture. It also reduces the risk of lower backaches if performed regularly.
- Increases concentration: The padmasana yoga being a meditative pose, increases the concentration power. Deep breathing enhances alertness and makes you more conscious and aware.
- Boosts respiration: The padmasana yoga pose improves lung capacity by opening the lungs. This means you can intake more oxygen, and due to that, there is more blood flow to the vessels increasing the blood circulation. This reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- Better sleep: This simple pose can not only beat stress and anxiety; it also gives you a good night’s sleep without any break. It is also helpful in fighting sleep disorders like insomnia.
Contraindications of the Padmasana (Lotus Position)
- Not to be done if there is any form of Ankle or knee injury.
- Avoid if there is any form of injury in the calf.
- Do not practice this asana if you have a leg sprain.
- Avoid practicing the yoga pose in case of back problems.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana
- Janu Shirasasana
- Cow Face Pose with Eagle Arms (Gomukhasana and Garudasana)
- Upavistha Konasana
The Padmasana yoga pose is meditative, energising, and grounding posture with great symbolism. A lotus grows in mud but grows to become a beautiful flower. Similarly, when a person starts yoga, they are deeply rooted in the mundane work, but they bloom with newfound physical and mental energy as they continue with the practice. So get started on this workout at home, at the office, or any other calm place to the extent your body can, and don’t worry about achieving the perfect pose.
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