Lotus pose is an advanced hip opener and basic meditation posture with several benefits:
- Opens the hips and creates a sense of balance
- Assists elimination
- Builds strength and flexibility in the ankle joints
- Amplifies the flow of Prana
- Those with pain or tightness in the knee, ankle or hip joints should not perform this pose or should use modifications
- Lotus is considered an advanced posture and should be worked up to slowly. Easy Pose is a good alternative.
- Use a foam block under the seat for extra height in the hips.
- Stop after step two for Half Lotus.
- Use Easy Pose if Lotus pose is unavailable to you.
Padmasana = pod-MAHS-anna
- Open and prepare the hips for Lotus in stages. Perform other hip openers before Lotus, such as Double Pigeon Pose, Pigeon Pose or Butterfly Pose. Begin in a seated cross-legged posture with the right leg crossed in front of the left. Your hips should be higher than your knees. Use a foam block to elevate the hips slightly if needed.
- Using your hands for assistance, draw the right foot up onto the left thigh, with the heel touching the hip joint. Turn the sole of the foot up and lengthen through the ankle.
- If comfortable in Half Lotus, come into full Lotus by bringing the left foot up onto the right thigh with the heel touching the hip joint and the sole of the foot turned up.
- Press both ankles firmly down into the thighs and energetically extend from the base of the perineum up the length of the spine.
- Place your hands on your knees, or find Jnana Mudra with the tops of the thumbs touching the index fingers and the other three fingers extended.
- Stay here for an extended period of time, using the pose for meditation. If you experience any sharp or numbing sensations in the legs, hips, ankles or knees at any stage of the pose, exit immediately. Remember to practice both sides in Lotus, alternating between the lead leg each time you come in to the pose.