Padmasana can be a little difficult to perform, but if done correctly, you can reap its benefits. Here are some of the benefits of padmasana.
Padmasana or the lotus pose is an ancient practice that involves a person sitting in a cross-legged posture with his or her feet placed on the opposite thighs. Beginners may find it difficult, as the legs need to be locked together. Even though it looks simple, you need to practice a lot. After practicing, you will be able to achieve flexibility that is required to do this yoga asana. Padmasana is often used during meditation to calm the mind, but it has more benefits. Read on to know the health benefits of padmasana or the lotus pose.
What is padmasana?
Padmasana is a classic yoga pose with deep roots in the practice of mindfulness, meditation, and breath control, says yoga and wellness coach Shivani Bajwa.
What are the benefits of padmasana?
Padmasana is a fundamental yoga pose with numerous physical and mental health benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Enhances flexibility
Padmasana primarily works on opening up the hips, knees, and ankles. Regular practice helps increase flexibility in these areas, promoting better range of motion.
2. Strengthens the spine and posture
Sitting upright in padmasana requires a straight spine, which strengthens the muscles of the back and improves overall posture. This can help alleviate back pain caused by poor posture, the expert tells Health Shots.
3. Stimulates digestive organs
The pose encourages a tall and straight posture, which can aid in optimising the functioning of the digestive organs. It may help in reducing digestive discomfort and promoting healthy digestion.
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4. Calms the mind
Padmasana is often used as a meditation posture. The focused and calm sitting position, combined with controlled breathing, can help calm the mind, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity.
5. Facilitates mindfulness
Padmasana is a stable and comfortable seated position, making it conducive to meditation. It allows the mind to turn inward, fostering a meditative state and promoting mindfulness.
6. Stimulates energy centers (Chakras)
In yogic philosophy, padmasana is believed to activate the energy centers in the body, particularly the root chakra (Muladhara) and the crown chakra (Sahasrara). This is thought to promote a sense of balance and well-being, says Bajwa.
7. Regulates blood pressure
The calming effect of padmasana, combined with the regulation of breath, can have a positive impact on blood pressure. It may help reduce hypertension and promote cardiovascular health.
8. Alleviates menstrual discomfort
For some women, padmasana can help alleviate menstrual discomfort by stretching and opening the pelvic region. However, it’s essential to practice with awareness and stop if there is any discomfort, warns the expert.
9. Promotes inner awareness
The meditative nature of padmasana encourages self-reflection and inner awareness. It provides a quiet space for introspection and helps develop a deeper connection with oneself.
10. Balances the nervous system
The calm and focused nature of padmasana, coupled with controlled breathing, can have a balancing effect on the nervous system and may help reduce anxiety.
How to do padmasana?
Performing padmasana correctly is essential to reap its benefits. Here’s how to do it –
1. Seating position
- Sit with your legs crossed, placing your feet on the opposite thighs.
- Ensure your spine is straight and upright, extending from the base of your neck to the lower spine.
2. Hand placement
- Touch the index finger and thumb together, extending the other fingers.
- Place your palms facing up on top of the knee caps.
3. Breathing technique
- Maintain a steady pace of breathing.
- Inhale deeply and exhale twice the size of the inhalation.
While padmasana offers numerous benefits, but people with hip limitations or problems, those with existing knee or ankle injuries or individuals who recently underwent surgery should avoid it.
What are the variations of padmasana?
You can also give a twist to padmasana. Here are some variations –
1. Ardha padmasana (half lotus pose)
In Ardha Padmasana, only one foot is placed on the opposite thigh, while the other foot rests on the floor beneath the opposite thigh, says the expert.
2. Eka pada padmasana (one-legged lotus pose)
This variation involves bringing one foot into the full potus position while extending the other leg straight out in front of you.
3. Baddha padmasana (bound lotus pose)
It combines the lotus pose with the binding of the hands behind the back.
4. Padma bhujangasana (lotus in cobra pose)
This variation starts with bhujangasana (cobra pose) then transitions into lotus pose, with the feet resting on the thighs. It combines the backbend of cobra pose with the meditative quality of lotus pose.
Before doing these variations, warm up properly and listen to your body to avoid straining your knees or hips.