Padmasana or lotus pose might be a simple sitting position, but the multiple benefits of Padmasana belie this fact. The first mention of ‘padmasana’ can be found as far back as 400 AD, though it has existed as long as yoga itself.

Padmasana may seem like a simple yoga asana, but the fact is that it has multiple benefits, and most people take months (sometimes years) to be able to sit perfectly in this pose.

Achieving the ideal padmasana pose requires following a number of steps:

1. Sit on the floor with your back erect.
2. Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. The sole of the foot needs to point upwards and the heel is to be close to the abdomen/belly button.
3. Bend the right knee and do the same placement with it on the left thigh.
4. With both the legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on the knees in mudra position. An ideal mudra for this pose would be your index finger and thumb touching lightly
5. Keep the head straight with the chin slightly dropped and spine erect.
6. Breath deep with long breaths. Inhale and exhale should be equal.

Since this pose requires hip flexibility, it is advised that beginners try the half lotus pose or the Ardha Padmasana. Come into easy pose with the legs crossed. Bend the right knee and place it on the left thigh. The sole of the foot needs to point upwards and the heel is to be close to the abdomen/belly button. Press the hipbones down into the floor and reach the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine. Breathe deeply through the nose down into the belly. Hold as long as comfortable, then switch legs.

Now that we’ve broken down how to get into a padmasana, allow us to list some of its benefits –

• It’s a great hip opener. Regular practice of this pose will ensure that your hip flexibility increases in multitudes.
• Padmasana also stretches out your knees and ankles. Ankles are overlooked in many exercises. This ensures that your ankles are amply stretched.
• Increases awareness and attentiveness. Keeps the spine erect thereby developing good posture
• It is known to ease menstrual discomfort. It also helps keeps joints and ligaments flexible
• It’s known to restore energy levels

Over and above this Padmasana can is also a very calming pose. The stability of the lotus pose helps maintain proper posture and spinal alignment, which in turn leads to deep breathing, which is key in obtaining a meditative state. The interlocking of the body parts helps keep movements to a minimum, keeping the person’s mind and body still.

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