"Padma" means "lotus" in Sanskrit. "Padmasana" means sitting in the "Lotus Posture".
This posture is called Padmasana because the arrangement of the hands and feet resemble a lotus when seen from a distance. The two feet placed upon the opposite thigh resemble the leaves while the two hands placed one over the other resembles the lotus in full bloom.
- Sit erect.
- Stretch out your legs in front of you and keep the heels together.
- Hold the right ankle with the right hand and the right big toe with the left hand. Bending the right knee outwards, pull round the right foot towards your left groin line. Set the foot firmly at the root ofthe left upper thigh. The heel should lightly press the left side of the lower abdomen. The foot must lie fully stretched over the left thigh with its sole turned upwards. Keep the right knee pressing the floor.
- Similarly, fold the left leg and place the foot firmly at the root of the right upper thigh. The foot must lie fully stretched over the right thigh with the sole turned upwards. Keepthe left knee also pressing the floor.
- With both legs now interlocked, keep the spine, neck and head erect.
- Place one palm upon the other, both turned upward and cupped, and rest them on the upturned heels a little below the navel.
- Remain in this posture in perfect ease until you begin to be uncomfortable.
- Unlock the footlock. Stretch out your legs and return to the original sitting position.
- Practice alternating the legs.
- Do not sit in this posture while eating food or immediately after taking it.
- Persons having sciatica or varicose veins in the legs should attempt this posture cautiously.
- Sitting in Padmasana will help to reduce excess fat in the abdomen, buttocks and thighs.
- This posture strengthens the thighs and calves and provides elasticity to the hamstring muscles.
- Padmasana develops the correct carriage of the body with perfect equilibrium since the spine has to be kept straight during the practise.
- The important muscles, ligaments and tendons of the lower extremities are extended and flexed while sitting in Padmasana and relaxed when it is released.
- This posture promotes a rich supply of blood to the organs in the pelvic and the abdomino-genital regions while the flow of blood to the lower extemities is limited. Since more blood is made to circulate in the lumbar region of the spine and the abdomen, the spine and the abdominal organs are toned up.
- It firms up the coccygeal and sacral regions of the spine and the sciatic nerve. It also tones up the colon.
- It limbers up stiff knees and ankles and improves the flexibility of the hip-joints. It relieves arthritic pain in these areas.
- Minor spinal deformities are set right.
- The erect spine prevents the compression of the abdominal viscera while sitting in this posture.