The word padmasana literally translates to lotus posture, since when one sits in this pose it resembles a lotus. Padmasana is a cross-legged yoga posture which helps deepen meditation by calming the mind and alleviating various physical ailments. Experts say that the regular practice of this posture aids in the overall growth of the practitioner, just like a lotus.
Steps to do the pose:
Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs stretched out in front of you while keeping your spine erect. Now, bend your right knee and place it on the left thigh. Make sure that the sole of your feet point upward and your heel is close to your abdomen.
Repeat the same step with your other leg. Next, with both your legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on your knees in the mudra position (where your index finger and thumb are joint, with the other three fingers pointing straight out. Your palms should face upwards this is also known as the Chin mudra). Remember to keep your head straight and spine erect. Hold this posture and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.
If you have trouble overlapping both your legs and sitting in padmasana, you can try sitting in the ardha padmasana (half lotus) pose. To do this place any one leg on the opposite thigh, and bend the straightened leg at the knee. Continue doing so till you feel flexible enough to progress to padmasana.
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Tip: Do not do this pose if you have an ankle or knee injury.
Mudras in padmasana to deepen your meditation
Mudras stimulate the flow of energy into the body, and can have amazing effects when practiced with Padmasana. Every mudra differs from the other and provides different benefits. When sitting in Padmasana, you can deepen your meditation by incorporating either chin mudra, chinmayi mudra, adi mudra or bhrama mudra. Breathe for a few minutes while in the mudra and observe the flow of energy into your body.
Chinmayi mudra:This is a mudra where you curl your fingers into your palm, with the tips of the index finger and thumb touching each other. The important part here is that the inner surface of the middle finger touches the straight part of the index finger. This mudra is believed to provide life energy to the torso.
Adi Mudra: To do this mudra, all you have to do is curl your hand into a fist. Remember to wrap your fingers around your thumb. Place your hands with the palms facing downwards on your legs while in padmasana. This mudra is believed to increase the flow of oxygen to the lungs, calm the nervous system, increase vitality and helps the organs function optimally.
Bhrama mudra: This mudra is known as the gesture of all pervading consciousness. To do this mudra, curl the fingers of both your hands around your thumbs, so that it forms a fist. Now press the knuckles of both the hands together. While pressing gently place your hands in the centre of your abdomen just above your pubic bone. This mudra helps to increase the amount of oxygen taken in by the lungs.
Benefits of doing padmasana
Padmasana is known to improve digestion, since while doing this pose the organs in your stomach and abdomen are stimulated to produce enough enzymes to digest all the food you have eaten effectively. It also reduces muscular tension and brings blood pressure under control. It helps relax the mind and relieves menstrual discomfort. One of its most amazing benefits is that it helps ease the birthing process for pregnant ladies.
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