The health benefits of the Lotus pose

Category: Article or Blog Published: Tuesday, 15 September 2015 Written by Sarah PJ White

When it comes to yoga poses, the Lotus pose looks quite simple. Appearances however, can be deceptive, as ‘padmasana’ (the Lotus pose) is not as simple as it looks!

How to get into the Lotus pose

Before you attempt the Lotus pose, if you have any ankle or knee injuries or problems, check with a doctor and only attempt it with an experienced teacher.

  • Start by sitting on a mat with both legs in front of you, spine straight.
  • Bend your right knee and place right foot on left thigh, with your heel close to your abdomen (ensure the sole of your foot is pointed upwards).
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Place your relaxed, open hands on your knees (palms facing upwards).
  • Ensure you keep your head straight and your spine erect.
  • Ensure you alternate which leg is on top, every time you do this pose.
  • Watch your breathing – gentle long breaths in and out.

If you struggle to complete the full Lotus pose, you can place just one leg on the other thigh, again alternating every time you do the pose, until you are able to complete the whole pose.

The importance of the Lotus plant

Hindu texts describe the Lotus plant as being able to heal all, as well as awakening the dormant ‘kundalini’ energy at the base of your spine. In Buddhism, the Lotus plant is not only one of the most easily recognised motifs, it’s also seen as a really sacred aquatic plant.

Look at every Buddhist deity and they’re either sat on a Lotus plant or holding one – even Buddha himself is seen with each foot on a Lotus plant. The importance of both the Padmasana position and the Lotus plant in both Buddhist and Hindu life is seen more easily, once you break down the meaning of ‘padmasana’; it comprises of the Sanskrit words ‘padma’ (lotus) and ‘sana’ (meaning seat or throne).

The benefits it has on your physical body

The Lotus pose helps you improve your overall posture, as it helps strengthen your back. It works the lower body particularly well, stretching your ankles, knees and ligaments, whilst also maintaining flexibility in both your back and your knees. It also ensures your spine is stretched and straight, indirectly helping prevent a myriad of problems, including stomach and intestinal discomfort, constipation, lower back and lower joint aches and pains.

Your hips also benefit from the Lotus pose, as it opens up your hips – enabling the ligaments and muscles to be stretched. This also has the added advantage of making painful periods less painful and sciatica

The Lotus pose and pregnancy go together quite well to, with the Lotus pose ensuring both pregnancy and childbirth are less painful and stressful on your hip joints.

The benefits it has on your wellbeing and health

But it isn’t just your physical body that benefits from the Lotus position – your inner health and wellbeing are improved too. Consistently using the Lotus pose will increase your attention span and general awareness, whilst calming the monkey chatter in your brain.

Stretching and moving your muscles and ligaments will also naturally restore your energy levels safely – unlike the ‘false’ energy you get from fast food and chocolate – making it a perfect pose for not just strength, but also meditation, relaxation and stress relief.

 

If you are a beginner to yoga and can't quite get into the Lotus pose yet, why not check out my Yoga for Beginners DVD?

Image courtesy of sepy/Dollar Photo Club

 

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