Named after the lotus flower, the Padmasana position is a power yoga exercise designed to open the hips and create flexibility in the ankles and knees. Spiritually, the lotus position is calm, silent and prompts reflection. As a physical exercise, it stimulates the nerves in the legs and thighs and tones the abdominal organs, spine and upper back. Visually, the position symbolizes a triangle or pyramid that is believed to stimulate vital energy - knowledge, will and action - or even the mystical energy represented by the practice of power yoga. One of the best-known poses in yoga (we almost always find Buddha in this position) is actually aimed at advanced yogis and not suitable for beginners.
Method 1 of 3: Organizing the Meditation Space
Step 1. Choose a convenient time
Choose a time during the day when you can practice yoga without distractions or interruptions. Try to practice it always at the same time of day.
- As with any exercise, practicing yoga in the morning will keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
- Try not to make excuses for skipping practice. You only have to practice yoga for 15 to 20 minutes a day, so you can do it in the morning, before work, during lunch hours, or after returning home.
Step 2. Choose a comfortable location
It is best to opt for a quiet environment, whether inside or outside your home, but try to avoid interacting with people, pets or objects. In any case, any place where there is peace and tranquility will be suitable for your practice.
- It is important that the meditation space is clean, well ventilated, and large enough to open the yoga mat freely.
- Keep the temperature cool and comfortable.
- Consider lighting aromatherapy candles to further relax your mind and body.
Step 3. Wear appropriate clothing
Keep clothing as simple as possible. Since yoga is a stretching exercise, it's best to wear loose, comfortable clothing that gives your body the freedom to stretch and bend without restriction.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing that restricts movement.
- Take out jewelry and accessories as they will become a nuisance during your workout.
- Other equipment such as mats, balls, and other items can often be purchased at sporting goods stores, the Internet, or yoga supply stores.
Step 4. Be consistent
Make yoga practice an integral part of your daily schedule and lifestyle.
- Consistency will bring better results over time. Otherwise, it would be difficult to reach the full lotus position.
- Maintaining a consistent routine is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Method 2 of 3: Preparing your body
Step 1. Prepare your hips
The lotus position requires a lot of flexibility from the practitioner. If that's not your case, there are a number of less demanding options-angle twist stance, hero stance, and seated twist-that can be practiced before attempting the full lotus position.
- Sit cross-legged with your knees close to the floor to warm your lower body.
- Try moving your legs by bending your knees and bringing your feet together, then pulling them toward you while bringing your knees up and down for two minutes.
- Do some stretches with the cat pose: get onto your hands and knees, keeping them shoulder-width apart. Arch your back (like a cat) and hold this position while breathing deeply for two to three minutes.
- Take a few minutes from the child's position: Sit on your knees with the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Then spread your knees and lie down with your head on the floor. Place your hands on your head, palms facing down, or stretch them backwards at your sides with palms facing up.
Step 2. Avoid injuries
If you already have a chronic injury to your knee, ankle, hip, or other lower body, it is best to avoid the lotus position. It has a high risk of causing injuries due to the high demand for body flexibility.
- If you're a beginner, it's not a good idea to try to practice this position on your own. Hire a professional trainer or join a class until you've mastered it.
- If you have little flexibility, try an easier position, such as the half lotus, until you improve in this regard.
- It's essential to warm up, or you run the risk of wasting your muscles. Always do some body stretches to improve flexibility before trying more advanced yoga positions.
- Always remember to respect your body and know your own limits. Try to avoid rushing into learning a new position or going beyond what your body is capable of. This will only result in pain and suffering.
Step 3. Start with the half lotus position
This is an excellent start to mastering the full lotus position. The half lotus position is considered an intermediate yoga exercise.
- Start by sitting on the floor with your head and spine raised, shoulders back and chest forward. Keeping your legs stretched out in front of you with both hands, carefully bend your right leg to the knee and lift your right foot up, placing it on your left thigh. Keep the sole of your foot facing up while the other leg remains straight.
- Keep your balance as you will perform the same procedure with the other leg, now placing the left under the right. The base of the left foot should be under the right thigh.
- Breathe deeply. Then rest your arms on your knees with your palms facing up. Touch the thumb and forefinger of each hand to form the letter “o”, keeping the other fingers straight, and try to keep your forearms straight.
- In this position, try to let your whole body relax for at least a minute or two, if you can bear it.
- Finally, switch legs and repeat the exercise.
Method 3 of 3: Doing the full lotus position
Step 1. Do the lotus position
Depending on your age and ability, it may be important to see a doctor to examine any health concerns before performing more advanced and challenging yoga positions. The lotus position is classified as advanced, so it is essential that you stay within your own range of limits and capabilities.
- Sitting on the floor with your legs extended, keep your spine straight and your arms resting at your sides.
- Bend your right knee toward your chest and begin to rotate it outward from your hip so that the sole of your right foot is facing up. The top of the foot should rest over the crease of the hip.
- Now bend your left knee to cross your left ankle over your right calf. The sole of the left foot should also face up. The upper part of the left foot, likewise, should be resting on the crease of the hip.
- Bring your knees as close as possible. Move your torso toward the floor and sit upright. Press the outer edges of your feet into your thighs, lifting the outside of your ankles. This will relieve the pressure on your calves.
- Rest your hands on your knees with your palms facing up. Place them in the Gyan Mudra (Seal of Wisdom) position by joining the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Extend the other fingers, keeping them together. This will serve to calm you down as you pause for a few deep breaths.
- Once you are ready to finish, do the full lotus position slowly and very carefully, stretching both legs flat on the floor. As you get into the position, pause at each step for a few minutes to meditate.
Step 2. Consider making some modifications
If the full lotus position creates discomfort or if it's new to you, consider making some adjustments that make it safer without losing its effectiveness, until you manage to master it.
- A sheet is a good substitute for placing between the body and the floor. Fold a firm sheet and tuck it under each knee until you get more flexibility.
- If you find even the half-lotus position difficult to maintain for long periods of meditation, try doing the easy position, or Sukhasana, first.
- On the other hand, for a bigger challenge that requires additional strength, try doing the Scale pose, or Tolasana, pressing your palms into the floor beside your hips. Lift your buttocks and legs off the floor and let your body hang slightly.
- Other positions such as the head inversion (Sirsasana), the fish posture (Matsyasana) and the shoulder landing (Salamba Sarvangasana) can be done by holding the legs in the lotus position.
Step 3. Become aware of the present moment
If you are serious about yoga, the lotus position will likely be one of your main goals to be achieved. It will take time and dedication to do it perfectly, but remember that the goal is not to achieve full expression of the lotus position. In fact, the ultimate goal of yoga is to keep you aware of the present moment. It represents a patient practice and you must accept your own limits as you progress on your journey.