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HOW TO PERFORM LOTUS POSITION ? - PREPARATION, BENEFITS, & DEALS, etc.

Lotus Position or Padmasana in Sanskrit is an ancient yoga pose used traditionally to perform meditation. Though there is a debate on the origins of Lotus pose but still believed to be practiced in ancient India.

 What is Lotus position or Padmasana?


Lotus Seat( Sanskrit meaning) or position is a specific seating posture while the legs are being crossed and at the same time, the feet are resting on opposite thighs. Often used while performing Prayanams or breathing exercises.

lotus pose
A yogini performing pranayama - A perfect example of performing the Lotus Pose!!!   

Preparing for Lotus position or Padmasana?


It's very natural for beginners to face hardships in performing the Lotus position in the beginning. Firstly, the lotus position engages almost the entire lower part of the human body. So, straight jumping into lotus position might cause several lower part injuries as they're not ready to take on the sudden pressure, strain, and bent. Secondly, sometimes the stiffness of lower muscle groups and bone ligaments can make the task impossible for newbies. So, to take all the benefits from the lotus position and avoid injuries we need to start with some basic pose to prepare our body before attempting the pose itself.

Further, the threat of injury is not limited to newbies but I have seen many experienced meditators also complain about their knee pains. Though you've done practiced this pose since years, and all of a sudden you might start to experience severe pain in one of your knee or hamstring. Do you know why? Because in these years you might forget to give attention to stretch the other body parts involved in the Lotus position, for example, your hip muscles. As a result, your knee took extra tension and strain for years and one day it fails!!!

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Preparation Pose: 01


Name: Pigeon Pose (Basic & Extension)
Name in Sanskrit: Pada Rajakapotasana

How to perform the Pigeon Pose?



Pigeon Pose (Basic): Open the hip by stretching the psoas and groin of the straight leg. Further, stretches the muscles and ligaments of the external rotators of the bent leg.

Pigeon Pose (Extension): To make the stretching more intensifying, move the foot away from the thigh as shown in the video.  Keep going until the upper and lower legs develop a right angle. Make sure to keep the knee on the floor which helps to stabilize the joint. Further, try to touch the floor with your left hip.

Preparation Pose: 02


Name: Reclining hero posture
Name in Sanskrit: Supta Virasana

How to perform the Reclining Hero pose?



Reclining Hero Posture: The pose helps to prolong the psoas and quadriceps muscles of the thigh (muscles above the knee).

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Preparation Pose: 03


Name: Lying Piriformis Stretch
Name in Sanskrit: NA

How to perform the Lying Piriformis Stretch?



Lying Piriformis Stretch: stretches the external rotators during the posture.

Preparation Pose: 04


Name: Wide-angle Seated Forward Bend
Name in Sanskrit: Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana

How to perform the Wide-angle seated forward bend?



Wide-angle seated forward bend: There are many alternatives to the Upavistha Konasana. Here we're suggesting the Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana which is easy, to begin with. If found hardship at the beginning, I suggest folding the knee a little bit at the beginning to better reaching the foot. Rather keep the knee straight and end up pulling the hamstring or calf muscles. Now try to straighten up the knees to enjoy the full potential of this posture.


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Preparation Pose: 05


Name: Bound Angle Posture
Name in Sanskrit: Baddha Konasana

How to perform the Bound Angle Posture?



Bound Angle Posture: Likewise much other Yoga Poses the Baddha Konasana has its own variation. I recommend putting pillow or foam brick under fit for maximum stretch in the adductors and lateral hip area. However, the Bound Angle Posture has a secret benefit without opening of the hip area.


Preparation Pose: 06


Name: Cow Face Pose
Name in Sanskrit: Gomukhasana

How to perform the Cow Face Pose?



Cow Face Pose: Without increasing elasticity in the hips, legs, and ankles the pose is well known and widely used by athletes in the form of stretching for flexibility. Read the below article to learn more about Cow Face Pose.

STRETCHING FOR FLEXIBILITY AND FITNESS


Preparation Pose: 07


Name: Reclining Leg Stretch
Name in Sanskrit: Supta Padangusthasana

How to perform the Reclining Leg Stretch?



Reclining Leg Stretch: On the extended legs Supta Padangusthasana stretches the lateral rotators and psoas. By keeping the right thigh as much as possible low intensifies the posture.

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Preparation Pose: 08


Name: Reclining Head to Knee Pose
Name in Sanskrit: Janu Sirsasana

How to perform the Head to Knee Pose?



Head to Knee Pose: Janu Sirsasana opens and expands the lateral rotators, hamstrings, and adductors.


Preparation Pose: 09



Name: Reclining Tailor's Stretch
Name in Sanskrit: NA

How to perform the Head to Knee Pose?



Tailor's stretch: stretches the lateral rotators and outside of the hip.

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Preparation Pose: 10


Name: Cradle stretch
Name in Sanskrit: NA

How to perform the Cradle stretch?



Cradle stretch: The baby pose is a great hip opener which stretches the lateral rotators and adductors.

Preparation Pose: 11


Name: Seated Bend Half Lotus
Name in Sanskrit: Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimoi Tanasana

How to perform the Seated Bend Half Lotus?



Seated Bend Half Lotus: if found hardships then fold the knee to reach the foot. Instead of holding the leg straight and end up by pulling muscles by attempting to reach the calf. Don't push yourself too much but wait until the articulation opens itself.

Preparation Pose: 12


Name: Sage posture
Name in Sanskrit: Siddhasana

How to perform the Sage posture?



Sage posture: We've almost reached, even the last pose to master before attempting Lotus position with perfection. Siddhasana should be considered as the easier version of Lotus position and found to be a perfect alternative of the pose in meditation. Further, you can use the posture as a warm-up pose for the Lotus position.

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Why we need to practice or master above Poses before Lotus position?


I know the question in heading freaking your mind. So, before attempting the Lotus position let's clear a few important things and the first thing is to never force yourself into Padmasana or any other cross-legged postures. Why? Because the knee joints are vulnerable to injuries while doing the Lotus position. Again Why? Following are the reasons behind it:

Knees are in particular the most primitive joints and liable to hold the structure on feet. On another hand, Knees are much weaker than muscles like the hip. In such a case, tight hips may over-stretch the knees. As a result, to cover the extra pressure and strain due to the tight hip makes Knees vulnerable towards injury. As a reason, we've gone through a long list of high opening exercises before jumping directly into the Lotus position. Remember you need flexible hips over knees to perform the Lotus position by avoiding any injuries.     

Secondly, by nature knee joint lose rotation naturally because of the extension or stretch. On another hand, though a slight rotation but does happen when the joint is in the bent position. And this the main reason behind injuries such as damaged ligaments, or cartilage, and meniscus, etc. Again remember Knees can be repaired but cannot be fixed permanently. So if you feel mild pain or tension in knees it is recommended to stop doing the pose immediately and consult a physician before doing the next session of Lotus position. 

How to perform Lotus Position or Padmasana?







Lotus Position: Though the Yogini in the above video shows the most accurate posture to perform the Lotus pose. But still, from the ancient scripts following are the right way to sit in Lotus position.

Firstly elevate the hip with a towel or folded mat to sit in Dhandasana. By keeping the spine straight bring the right leg into Cradle stretch posture. Next by rotating the right hip extent the inside of the right ankle. Bring the right foot on top of the left thigh while the flexing foot prevents rotation at the knee and ankle joints to avoid injuries.

Secondly, the sole of the foot should point sidewards rather facing upward towards the sky. Make it gently pushing the lower abdomen as shown in the above video tutorial. Now relax and bend the left knee to cross the leg in front of your eyes. Next,  hold the lower shin of the left leg and bring on top the right thigh, and that's it we are done!!! It's natural for leg knee to stay a bit above from the floor but you can support the gap with a towel for balancing.

Quick-Tips:


Remember consistency make the perfection if can't hold the second leg right into the position don't lose hope and start from the beginning( the preparation posture). Otherwise, switch to the Half Lotus Pose as an alternative until you master the Lotus position. Keep increasing the time slowly as you're started feeling more flexibility and the hip opens up gradually itself. The half Lotus position is as good as the full version for practicing meditation. Simply, remember to rotate the legs in intervals for making balance while doing the half posture.   

Health Benefits of Lotus Pose:


As we've already mentioned the Lotus position resembles the Lotus and a cross-legged posture of sitting dedicated to the meditative practice called Pranayam. The posture encourages proper breathing to achieve physical and mental stability. As it connects the vital organs the mind, body, and spirit has numerous benefits on the human body.

Further, the pose has a connection with several religions and believed to be a spiritual posture of sitting. For example, Lord Shiva (Hinduism), Gautam Buddha(Buddhism), and Tirthankaras(Jainism) have been depicted in the Lotus position.     

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Following health benefits can be achieved by practicing the pose on a regular basis:


1. A great hip opener and relieves hip stiffness.

2. By stretching ankles and knees resolve the hardship while sitting cross-legged or floor.

3. Relaxes the brain and one of the best antistress exercise.

4. Straighten the spine.

5. Promotes mindfulness. So improves concentration.

6. Relieves mental stress and good for Sciatica symptoms.

7. Improves flexibility - open hips, knee joints, and ligaments, etc.

8. Helps to release good hormones by stimulating the spine, pelvis, abdomen, and bladder, etc.

9. Discover a new version( more energy and indomitable) of you by practicing the Lotus position on a regular basis.

Benefits of Lotus position on different Physical conditions:


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Fighting with Mental Stress


Lotus position or Pranayama relaxes the mind and soul that fight against the workload stress and tension. The regulated breathing in Pranayamas elevates the yoga pose and helps to refresh our mind and enforce positiveness. Last but not least the pose reduces stress hormones by releasing more antistress hormones that help to control the blood pressure symptoms.

Impose better sleeping - Insomnia


Lotus position helps to fight chronical modern disease such as insomnia. As we've mentioned by releasing good hormones( for better sleeping)  helps to relax the mind. Further, relieves all kinds of mental stress and strains. By meditation that imposes deep breathing along with the lotus position further promotes mental and emotional wellbeing. As a result, you can enjoy better sound sleep which has a direct impact on our overall health and performance.

The best breathing exercise in pregnancy


Lotus position or Padmasana helps to strengthen the pelvic muscle group and release the stiffness of hip( hip opener). The more pelvic strength indicates less pain and eases the childbirth.

Stronger Bone Joints


Lotus position helps to strengthen the joints and promotes flexibility. But the correct posture is very important. Because the wrong posture might cause muscle pulls or further injuries.  Likewise, other sitting cross-legged postures the Lotus position improves and strengths the knees and the sacroiliac joints of the human body.

Resolves Digestion


If you can remember that in the Lotus position our feet touch the lower abdomen and with the breathing exercise it gives our abdominal region a gentle massage. Lotus pose boosts digestive function by giving the abdominal region a gentle massage. Further increases blood flow in the abdomen region and brain releases more such hormones which help digestion too by enhancing metabolism. The position has the potency to resolve physical conditions such as constipation and loose motion. In a word, Lotus pose kindles the digestive fire.

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