By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 250
Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, is the quintessential yoga and meditation pose. Even those who know nothing about Eastern healing systems will readily describe the Lotus Pose as one of those pretzel-like positions yogis and martial artists take. It’s regarded as a mystical thing in and of itself.
The lotus flower has a lot of beautiful symbolism associated with it in many different belief systems and religions. Understandably, achieving the Lotus Pose is a goal of most who meditate. The Lotus Pose injures many people every year because in their eagerness to make it an achievement they fail to listen to their bodies.
Every human being is shaped differently. Some rare individuals are able to do the Lotus Pose with relative ease on their first try. Does this make them a more enlightened being? No, they will likely find their enlightenment through struggles with some other pose. Other people must work at Lotus for months and even years before being able to do it, and some people will never be able to do it at all. For them, this leads to much frustration and disappointment.
Performing the Lotus Pose does not guarantee enlightenment any more than holding a lotus blossom in your two hands does. It symbolizes an awakening of a higher level of consciousness, but the flower itself is not enlightenment.
Lotus Pose is the most stable position for long meditation sessions since it offers perfect balance and prevents the legs from falling asleep. With that said, there are other poses that make worthy substitutes such as the Burmese Pose, Half Lotus Pose and Hero Pose. The goal is to support the body during long periods of relaxation. If all else fails, a chair is sufficient for the purpose of meditating, though floor sitting is preferred.
Preparation is essential for those who wish to make the Lotus Pose a part of their practice. In order to prevent painful injury to the knees one should start by gaining flexibility and movement in the hips. The hip joints are deeply rooted and much stronger than the delicate knees, so the knees will give way long before the hips do. Cow Face Pose, Warrior II Pose, Extended Side Angle Pose, Extended Triangle Pose, Head-to-Knee Forward Bend and Half Lord of the Fishes Pose will loosen the deep hip joints and properly prepare them to open widely for Lotus Pose.
Only attempt Full Lotus Pose when Half Lotus Pose is easy on both sides, and remember that it’s not a race. Always go at your own pace. With proper preparation, some people will be able to perform this pose, but others will not. Either way, everyone should make peace with Padmasana.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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