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Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

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What is Padmasana (Lotus Pose)?

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana, also known as the Lotus pose, is a cross-legged yoga posture that helps deepen meditation by soothing the mind and treating various physical and mental illnesses. Regular practice of this position contributes to the total blossoming of the practitioner like that of a lotus, hence the name is Padmasana. In Tibetan, Chinese, and Buddhist culture, the Padmasana pose is also known as Vajra Pose.

Overview

Padmasana is a Sanskrit word that combines 'Padma,' which means 'Lotus,' and 'Asana,' which means 'Pose.' Each foot is placed on the opposite thigh in this ancient Indian cross-legged seated meditation and pranayama pose.


In Hindu, Jain, Tantra, and Buddhist traditions, it is a pre-hatha yoga asana that is often used for meditation. The Lotus Pose, according to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika of the 15th century, removes all ailments and causes changes in metabolic structure and brain patterns, resulting in whole system equilibrium.


Lotus is a metaphor for purity, rebirth, strength, spirituality, creativity, and progress toward perfection and enlightenment. In Mythology, several references and connotations emphasize the significance of the lotus as a sacred flower. 


The lotus blooming from a murky pond symbolizes light coming from the darkness - removing the veil of ignorance or avidya in humanity.


According to the Bhagavad Gita, humans should be like the lotus, working without attachment, dedicating their actions to God, and remaining sin-free like water on a lotus petal. 


Sanskrit Name: पद्मासन          Pronunciation: Pa-dah-maa-sun-aa


Pose Type: Seated                Also known as: Lotus Pose or Cross-Legged Sitting


Strengthens: Spine, Neck, and Mind                   


Stretches: Knees and Ankles

Health Benefits of Padmasana 

  • Enhances digestion.

  • Opens the pelvic muscles. 

  • Reduces menstrual cramps.

  • Relieves mental stress and tension.

  • Knee and ankle joints are strengthened.

  • Improves posture and strengthens the spine.

  • Strengthens and opens the vagina for childbirth.

  • It helps you become more observant and mindful.


When to Avoid Performing Padmasana


  • Avoid during back pain.

  • Avoid if you are a sciatic patient.

  • Avoid if you had a severe injury or surgery recently.

How to do Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

The ankles and knees are the targeted parts of the body that gets stiff or tight in Lotus Pose or Padmasana, so working on stretching the ankles and enhancing the flexibility of the knees is essential via the practice of other preparatory yoga positions. 


Practice the following positions before moving on to Padmasana practice:

Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Padmasana


1. Sukhasana (Easy Seated Pose) - Easy seated stance (Sukhasana) is an excellent indicator of whether you are ready for the lotus pose or not, and it is an excellent preparation posture. 


Before attempting the lotus position, if an easy sitting posture is already uncomfortable on the knees or hips, include it into your everyday practice until it is less demanding.



Sukhasana (Easy Seated Pose)


Bury the femur bones into the floor to start your practice. As the crown of the head elevates towards the sky, let the ankles cross and the spine extend. 


The pelvis is neutral, and the abdominal button is engaged. Take a deep breath and see if your knees can finally come closer to the floor. Repeat by reversing which ankle is on top and hold for several breaths.


2. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose) - To begin, take the staff position. Bring your knees closer to you while maintaining your feet firmly planted on the ground. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly, allowing your soles to touch. 

Allow your heels to get as close to the pelvis as they can without putting pressure on your knees. Hold the feet with your hands around and press the outer borders of your feet firmly into the floor. 


Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose)


Allow the knees to sink in while maintaining the pelvis lightly in a neutral position. Avoid straining or applying pressure to the knees. There's no need to flap the knees; merely hold for ten or fifteen breaths to soften the leg muscles.


3. Virasana (Hero Pose) - Hero's pose prepares the body for lotus by stretching the thighs, knees, and ankles, which are another essential prerequisite of the lotus position.


Virasana (Hero Pose)


Kneel on the floor with your knees together and a bit wider than hip-distance apart (can place a blanket underneath your knees if you need more support). 


The thighs are parallel to the ground, the tailbone is stretching toward the earth, and the crown of the head is rising. Place your feet between your legs and take a seat. Place a block or a cushion beneath the buttocks if they cannot reach the floor.


Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Padmasana


The steps for obtaining a Lotus position can be found below:


Step 1: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out, and your spine straightened and relaxed.


Step 2: While bending the right leg from the knee, place the right foot at the root over the left thigh, the heel towards the lower abdomen or the navel.


Step 3: Inhale and bend the left knee, then place the left foot at the base of the right thigh, with the heel placed near the left side of the lower abdomen or the navel. Here exhale completely.


Step 4: The soles of one's feet should be turned up, with one foot's ankle piled on top of the other.


Padmasana (Lotus Pose)


Step 5: Stretch the fingers out while touching the index finger and thumb together with the arms on the knees. The palms should face up and be positioned at the top of the knee cap.


Step 6: From the bottom of the neck, the spine should be straight and upright.


Step 7: To strengthen the legs uniformly around the ankles and knees, one might practice alternating leg postures.


Breath Awareness: Follow a steady pace while breathing continuously. Make sure to inhale deeply and exhale twice the size you inhale. 


Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold the lotus pose for 1 minute.


Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold for as long as you wish to meditate in the lotus pose. 


Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind

The knee joints are essential, and we want to avoid any pain or strain there. In Padmasana (Lotus Pose), the following are a few ways to keep your knee joints safe. 


  • However, Padmasana has a considerable level of knee rotation. Thus, it is essential to remember that we do not want to rotate our knees (or ankles) for safety reasons.


  • The hip joint is the only joint that rotates, and it can only rotate when the knee is flexed. To avoid knee strain and pain while practicing yoga, two factors must be considered:


  • Knowing how joints are designed to move on a basic level.


  • The ability to tell the distinction between discomfort, pain, and stress.


  • Is it better to flex or not to flex the feet? - The anatomical make-up of each individual is unique. In this posture, however, bending the ankle joints is safer because it activates the muscles that tighten the tibia toward the knee, minimizing rotation of the leg joint.


When it comes to placement of the foot, the outside edge of the ankle should sit near to the lower abdomen and pelvic muscles. During Padmasana, one should not feel any stretch or unnecessary flex in the ankles if the pose is done correctly.


Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Padmasana

Here are a few counter yoga poses you can perform in a yoga flow, as you move towards relaxing after cross-legged sitting:


1. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose): Relax the body by bringing the legs spread out in front of you and taking a few breaths here while maintaining the spine straight, especially after a long practice of Lotus Posture (Padmasana) or Meditating or performing Pranayama in this pose. 


Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)


Inhale and lift your entire body forward and forward, bringing your chest close to your thighs and resting your face on your knees. This position will assist in circulating circulation back to the legs by relaxing the entire spine and hips.



2. Savasana (Corpse Pose): If Padmasana is being practiced as part of a yoga session to develop flexibility, relaxing the body in Savasana is recommended. 


However, if Lotus Pose (Padmasana) is used as a meditation pose and the practitioner has been in Meditation for more than an hour, the practitioner should not relax in Savasana. The fact that one can sit in Lotus Pose (Padmasana) allows the body to relax as a result of Meditation. 


Savasana (Corpse Pose)


Suppose the various Pranayamas are practiced in Lotus Pose (Padmasana). In that case, the session can end by lying down in Savasana and reciting the OM Mantra for roughly 12 rounds to return the energy to the body.

Padmasana Modifications and Props

Here are a few other modifications to make Padmasana practice easier:


  • Half Lotus Pose. One could begin by sitting in a one-legged lotus pose and progress to full Lotus Pose with practice.

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  • Blocks Beneath Knees. Putting pressure on the ankles without practice might be unpleasant. As a result, placing blocks beneath the knees and keeping the knee lifted to support the ankle might be used as a support.

  • Sit on a Cushion or Blanket. Sitting on a soft cushion or a thick blanket to support your buttocks will be beneficial if your spine isn't quite ready.


  • Sit on a Soft Surface. Start by doing this on a mattress or a sofa to support the spine and legs until they become more flexible.

Padmasana Variations to Consider

One can consider practicing any of the below-listed variations for Padmasana (Lotus Position) depending on your body's needs and capabilities. 


1. Seated Mountain Pose in Cross-Legged Sitting: Seated Mountain Pose is a practice that helps you feel more stable and strong like a mountain, with your legs crossed in a lotus pose. 


Seated Mountain Pose in Cross-Legged Sitting


The upper body is stretched upwards with the arms elevated over the head in Namaste hands formation, while the sitting legs are grounded, grounding the sacrum downwards.


2. Half Lotus Pose Variation Hands Behind Head Side Bend: This variation of the Lotus Half Pose Hands Behind Head Side Bend is a warm-up yoga pose that helps the body prepare for more challenging yoga poses and yoga flows by activating one's arms, shoulder, chest, upper back, side abs, knees, and Psoas muscles. 


Half Lotus Pose Variation Hands Behind Head Side Bend


3. Lotus Pose Forward Bend: Raise both the arms upwards as one is seated in a cross-legged sitting pose. Hold the arms upwards, feeling a slight stretch in your shoulders and traps. 

Lotus Pose Forward Bend

Now, engage your core and drop your upper body onto the ground by arching your back. Here one will start to feel a deeper stretch in your glutes, knees, chest, arms, and shoulders as you go down. 

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Level-Up Poses After Padmasana for Advanced Yogis

Once you have mastered the lotus stance with all its variations, you’re ready to perform the following successor poses next.


Level-Up Pose 1 - Baddha Padmasana (Bound Lotus Pose)

Level-Up Pose 2 - Matsyasana Variation Lotus (Fish Pose Variation Lotus)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Level-Up Pose 4 - Gupta Padmasana (Hidden Lotus Pose) 

Level-Up Pose 5 -  Padangustha Padma Utkatasana (Half Lotus Tip Toe Pose)

Level-Up Pose 6 - Urdhva Padmasana  (Upward Lotus Pose)


Bound Lotus Pose

Bound Lotus Pose


Matsyasana Variation Lotus (Fish Pose Variation Lotus)

Fish Pose


Tolasana (Scale Pose)

Tolasana 


Gupta Padmasana (Hidden Lotus Pose)

Gupta Padmasana 


Padangustha Padma Utkatasana (Half Lotus Tip Toe Pose)

 Padangustha Padma Utkatasana

Urdhva Padmasana  (Upward Lotus Pose)

Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose)


Similar Seated Poses like Padmasana

Here is a list of some seated yoga poses, which are similar to Padmasana practice. Take a look below: 


  1. Virasana (Hero Pose)

  2. Dandasana (Staff Pose)

  3. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

  4. Paschimottanasana (The Forward Bend)

  5. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)

Frequently Asked Questions about Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

What is the lotus position?

How to perform lotus position yoga?

What are the benefits of cross legged pose?

What is lotus pose yoga good for?

Is sitting in a lotus position good for flexibility?

What are the different variations in lotus pose?

Should you meditate in lotus pose?

What are Zen poses?

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Bina
Great 😊

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Jennifer
Great class! Good stretching! Feel great afterward...Read more

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