Padmasana for Pranayam

Padmasana

PADMASANA is a well-known yoga posture that immediately brings figures like the Buddha, Adiyogi, and other prominent yogis from the past. It’s also likely that when someone tries to visualize a yogi, this stance is the first thing that comes to mind.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LOTUS:

The lotus, also known as the Padma in Sanskrit, is a potent symbol that transcends all beliefs and time. Throughout history, the flower has stood in for various emotions, such as wisdom, detachment, cosmic regeneration and rebirth, purity, beauty, and financial and spiritual wealth. It is also widely used in Hindu iconography linked to several potent deities.

Lakshmi, the goddess of abundance, is typically shown sitting on an open lotus and holding another in her hand. And according to mythology, the Buddha traveled through lands where lotus flowers bloomed.

The lotus position, the posture of perfection and stability, awakens the boundless power of kundalini shakti, the wellspring of enlightenment. Early yogis linked the chakras, or centers of energy and consciousness in the body, to lotuses. For instance, hridaya pundarika, or hrit Padma, is the heart’s lotus; mani Padme is the lotus filled with gems in the solar plexus; ajna Padma is the lotus in the center of the forehead, and Sahasrara Padma is the thousand-petalled lotus at the top of the skull.

Why is the Padmasana stance so distinctive?

Padmasana would come the closest to encapsulating everything of yoga in a single pose. In reality, what Padmasana represents is the complete control over Body & Mind that Yogis are renowned for and a certain serenity that we all aspire for has given the pose its legendary standing, not just its physical appearance.

Your hands and feet are placed like a lotus flower, a blossom that rises from the mud at its base to rest above the water and open to the sun. The image can only be described as a metaphor for the growth of yoga.

STEPS FOR PADMASANA:

  • Sit comfortably on the ground. Fold your legs in the traditional cross-legged stance.
  • Raise the left leg and place it on the right thigh. Now lift the right leg and cross it over the left leg. The knees have to be on the floor. If it doesn’t, don’t worry. It will once the legs are flexible through practice.
  • Legs should be pulled and adjusted so that the heels are tucked in at the waist level, near the pelvic bone, and the soles of the feet point upward.
  • To prevent hunching over, place your hands in the area between your feet, straighten your spine, and expand your chest. Stack the palms on the left and right. Relax the muscles in your chest and abdomen. Relax the shoulders fully.
  • You could close your eyes. Inhale deeply and slowly exhale. Keep your focus on your breathing. Feel complete balance and harmony throughout your whole body.
  • Maintain this position for as long as it is comfortable for your body. If you wish to use this position for meditation, you must sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • To expand your meditation time, progressively increase it. Leg pain may gradually set in. Now gently release the legs. Rub the legs gently. You’ll eventually be able to sit in this position for a considerable time.

Hands in Padmasana posture (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana is another choice and involves placing the hands on the knees. With their palms facing up and elbows slightly bent, the hands are positioned in this posture on the knees. The Jnana mudra and the Chin mudra may both be performed with your fingers.

POINTS TO CONSIDER:

  • The body must be entirely relaxed and at peace when executing contemplative asanas, which is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind.
  • Because the mind would otherwise be preoccupied with the body and its discomforts, meditation should be free from pain or tension.
  • Provide soft support (soft pillow, cushion, etc.) beneath the buttocks for comfort.
  • In Padmasana, you can cross your left leg over your right leg. In this case, the right leg is originally placed on the left thigh. The left leg is then positioned over the right. However, the opposite approach has been taken (with the right leg over the left leg).
  • According to the yogic text Hatha Yoga Pradipika, one should keep their tongue in touch with the roof of their mouth and look toward the tip of their nose when in Padmasana. This is thought to help elevate the spine by aiding the Prana (apana vayu).

WHY IS PADMASANA IMPORTANT DURING PRANAYAM:

  1. Physiological: Maintaining a straight back when in a meditation pose is important. And Padmasana facilitates this. Additionally, the Siddhasana, Vajrasana, and Sukhasana ancient meditation postures frequently lock the legs to prevent prana (life force) from being lost via the feet. The hands are held in a mudra to preserve Prana inside the body throughout the meditation. Padmasana is the ideal posture for pranayama practice. Additionally, it is the proper posture for saying the Om.
  2. Chakras: The pose’s true goal, however, goes beyond this, serving as a tool for spiritual absorption.  It is essential to adopt the lotus pose to guarantee that the energy created during the meditation is channeled into the right channels and that a harmonious expansion of awareness is occurring. The central nervous system’s pathways in the spinal cord link the brain to the rest of the body. These passageways are used to govern every area of the body. For the nerve impulses to flow smoothly during meditation, the spine must be straight and undisturbed in Padmasana. The Lotus stance creates the ideal environment for this fluid to circulate, which nourishes the brain and nerve endings. It aligns your spine’s whole Chakra system and soothes your nervous system. Since the feet and hands are pointing upward during meditation, the flow of prana makes you feel lighter (as opposed to duller).
  3. Strength: Your entire body, including your lower back, chest, and shoulders, must be strong to sit up straight. Therefore, padmasana is a full-body practice. You must be able to sit motionless, straight up, and calm for a specific period if you wish to meditate.  The body relaxes, and the mind starts to quiet down when it is kept still and steady, which is a prerequisite for delving further. You have the advantage of being able to sit still and effortlessly for extended periods once you have mastered the Lotus posture. Other positions, such as the standard cross-legged stance, cause the upper body to slump and get exhausted quickly.
  4. Calm: One can learn to prevent agitation and tense muscles in a genuine meditation stance like the Lotus pose. It may be argued that lying on one’s back in the stance of complete stillness (Savasana), as one does in many forms of relaxation, would be far more comfortable. But the Lotus posture’s entire impact goes beyond simply promoting physical relaxation and serenity.

CONTRAINDICATION:

  • If you have weak knees, use caution when executing Padmasana. You can sit in Sukhasana if your knees are still troubling you.
  • To lengthen the spine, lift the front torso toward the inside of the right leg, being careful not to round the lower back.
  • Every time you attempt this stance, remember to change how your legs are crossed.
  • Make sure you bring in your right leg first, then your left, then alternately.
  • If you are new to yoga, try half lotus, which requires you to enter one side of the posture at a time before attempting full lotus.

To lessen labor pains, this position should often be performed during pregnancy.

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