The Health Benefits of Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
CNY Healing Arts encourages you to put this pose to the test. 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.
The religious correlation between Padmasana and Buddhism is rather significant. In Sanskrit, Padmasana is derived from the words padma (meaning lotus) and sana (meaning seat or throne). Interestingly, the lotus, a sacred aquatic plant, is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols and one of Buddhism’s most recognized motifs. Every important Buddhist diety is pictured either sitting on a lotus or holding one in their hand. Buddha himself has even been shown standing with each foot on a separate lotus. Traditional Hindu texts claim that Padmasana destroys all disease and awakens kundalini (a dormant energy residing at the base of the spine that can be awakened through meditation and yoga).
Getting into Lotus Pose:
With palms down, sit on the floor with legs stretched straight out in front of you. Bend the right knee and bring the lower leg up into a cradle. The outer side of the foot should settle in the crook of the left elbow, while the knee should settle in the crook of the right elbow. Clasp hands outside the shin and hold this posture for a few moments.
To lengthen the spine, lift the front torso towards the inner right leg, but try not to round the lower back. Explore the full range of motion of the hip joint by gently rocking the leg back and forth. Repeat this process with the opposite leg.
Come back to sitting with the legs stretched out in front of you. Now, bend the right knee and bring the right ankle to the left hip crease, allowing the right foot to face upwards. Settle the foot into the hip crease. Repeat this process with the left leg and right hip crease.
Remember not to cross your legs the same way every time your try this pose. Make sure to alternate bringing your right and left legs in first. If you are a novice at yoga, try coming into half lotus before attempting full lotus, this means only coming into one side of the pose at a time. Consistent practice of this pose throughout pregnancy is said to help ease the pains of childbirth.
Benefits of Lotus Pose:
- Opens up the hips
- Stretches the ankles and knees
- Calms the brain
- Increases awareness and attentiveness
- Keeps the spine straight
- Helps develop good posture
- Eases menstrual discomfort and sciatica
- Helps keeps joints and ligaments flexible
- Stimulates the spine, pelvis, abdomen, and bladder
- Restores energy levels
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