Named after the lotus flower, the padmâsana position is a yoga exercise designed to open the hips and develop flexibility in the ankles and knees. From a spiritual point of view, it is a calm and silent position that invites contemplation. As a physical exercise, it stimulates the nerves in the legs and thighs while toning the organs of the abdomen, spine and upper back. Visually, this position symbolizes a triangle or pyramid that is believed to collect the energy of life (knowledge, will and action) or the mystical energy of the practice of yoga. Although this is one of the most well-known yoga positions (Buddha is often seen in this position), it is a complicated position that is not suitable for beginners.
Part 1 of 3: Organize the meditation space
Step 1. Pick the right time
Pick a time of day when you can do yoga without any distractions or interruptions. Try to do yoga at the same time every day.
- As with any exercise, yoga in the morning allows you to conserve your energy for the rest of the day.
- Try not to make excuses for not doing it. You only need to do 15 to 20 minutes a day and then you can do it anytime, before you go to work, during lunch break, or when you come home from work.
Step 2. Choose a comfortable place
You should choose a quiet place whether indoors or outdoors, just try to avoid interactions with people, pets or objects. Any quiet and silent place will do just fine.
- Also make sure that this area is clean, well ventilated, and that there is enough space to set up your yoga mat.
- Maintain a moderate and comfortable temperature.
- Consider lighting scented candles to further relax your mind and body.
Step 3. Wear appropriate clothing
If possible, wear your yoga clothes. Since it is a practice of stretching exercises, you should wear loose, comfortable clothing that gives you the flexibility to stretch and twist freely.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes that prevent you from moving.
- Remove your jewelry and accessories, as they will disturb you during the exercises.
- You can usually buy other pieces of equipment like mats and balls at athletic stores, online, or specialty stores.
Step 4. Be consistent
Make the practice of yoga an integral part of your daily life.
- This consistency will allow you to achieve better results over the long term. Otherwise, it may be difficult to do the lotus position correctly.
- It is also important to develop good habits to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Part 2 of 3: Prepare your body
Step 1. Prepare your hips
The lotus position requires flexibility. To achieve this, there are less restrictive positions, for example the position of the shoemaker, the heron, the half-lord or the fish, which will help you to do the lotus position.
- Sit cross-legged with your knees close to the floor to warm up your lower body.
- Try moving your legs so that your knees are bent while your feet are touching each other, then pull your feet toward you, bringing your knees up and down for two minutes.
- Do two or three cat stretches: get on all fours and line your hands under your shoulders. Arch your back (like a cat does) and hold for two to three minutes while inhaling deeply.
- Take the baby's position for a few minutes: sit on your knees on your feet, laying them flat on the floor. Open your thighs and lie down to rest your head on the floor. Place your hands straight above your head with the palm facing up or right near your feet with the palms facing up.
Step 2. Avoid injuring yourself
If you have ever injured your knee, ankle, hip, or other chronic lower body injuries, you might be better off avoiding the lotus position. This position presents a high risk of injury because it requires flexibility.
- If you are a beginner, it would be best if you don’t try to do it on your own. Find yourself a teacher or take lessons until you master it.
- If you lack flexibility, try a simpler position, such as the half-lotus position, until you are more flexible.
- Warming up is essential to avoid straining a muscle. You should always do some stretches to warm up and loosen up before moving on to more complex positions.
- Always respect your body and understand your limits. Try not to take positions too quickly or go beyond what your body can handle. It will only cause pain and suffering.
Step 3. Start with the half lotus
The half lotus is a good position to practice. It is considered an intermediate exercise in the practice of yoga.
- Start by sitting on the floor with your head and back straight, shoulders slightly thrown back and torso bulging. Your legs should be straight out in front of you, then take your right leg in both hands at knee level and lift your right foot over the left thigh. Keep the ball of the foot pointed upward while keeping the other leg straight.
- Try to keep your balance as you continue to do the same with the other leg, this time bringing the left leg under the right leg. The flat of the left foot should be under the right thigh.
- Breathe deeply. Then bring your arms back to your knees, turning the palms of your hands upward. Touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger to form a circle with these two fingers while keeping the other three straight. Try to keep your forearms straight.
- While maintaining this position, try to relax your body for one to two minutes, if you can handle it.
- Then change legs and start over.
Part 3 of 3: take the full lotus position
Step 1. Take the lotus position
Depending on your age and health, you should see a doctor to treat certain health conditions before trying the lotus position. This position is considered an advanced position, which is why you should be sure of your limits and your abilities before trying.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out, keep your back straight and your arms at your sides.
- Bend the right knee towards the torso and begin to rotate it outward, starting the hip movement so that the lower part of the right foot is facing up. The top of the foot should be placed where the hip bends.
- Now bend the left knee to bring the left ankle over your right shin. The lower part of the left foot should face upwards. The top of the foot and ankle should rest on where the hip turns.
- Bring your knees as close to each other as possible. Push your stomach down to the floor and sit up straight. Press the outer edges of the feet against your thighs to raise the outer side of the ankles. This will relieve the pressure between the shins.
- Place your hands on your knees with your palm facing upwards. Return your hands to the gyan mudra (seal of wisdom) position by touching the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb. Extend the other fingers, but let them touch. This position will allow you to calm down during any break from meditative breaths.
- Once you are ready to change positions, release the lotus position carefully and slowly by extending both legs on the floor. As you undo the lotus position, pause at each step for a few minutes to edit.
Step 2. Consider making changes
The lotus position can be uncomfortable or if this is the first time you are doing it, you might consider modifying it slightly to keep it effective and safer until you have perfected yourself.
- You can use a blanket between your body parts and the floor. Fold a thick blanket and tuck it under each knee until you achieve better flexibility.
- If you find that even the half-lotus position is difficult to maintain for long periods of time, you can start with a simpler position, for example sukhasana.
- On the other hand, if you want to challenge yourself with a position that requires more strength, try the balance pose or tolasana by resting your palms on the floor at your hips. Raise your buttocks and legs off the floor and allow your body to sway slightly.
- The position of the bound lotus or baddha padmâsana also allows you to do a deep stretch of the upper body which requires more flexibility. Once you have assumed the lotus position, pass both arms behind your back, squeezing your toes with your fingers. If you want to strengthen the stretch, lean forward.
- There are other positions, the pear tree (sirsasana), the fish position (matsyasana) and the candle position (sarvangasana) that you can do with your legs while you are in the lotus position.
Step 3. Become aware of the present moment
If you are serious about your yoga practice, the lotus position is probably one of the goals you want to achieve. It will take time to achieve perfection, but remember that your goal is not to achieve full expression of the lotus position. Your goal in your yoga practice is to stay aware of the present moment. Yoga is an exercise in patience and you have to accept your limits as you progress.