Padmasana - The Full Lotus
Just as the Mind cannot Concentrate for a long time due its own desires, similarly the body is restless and cannot be still in one posture for long.
The body is restless because the Pranas are restless. The Pranas are restless because the Mind is restless. Instead of we, controlling the Body, the Body is controlling us. We act merely to fulfil its demands. If we do not pay attention to its needs, the body aches and we become uncomfortable.
The entire system of Hatha Yoga is aimed to bring strength and flexibility to the body so that there is no undue pressure exerted by any body part which will cause pain or discomfort.
Asana practice helps us to gain restraint and control over the body so that it behaves as we want it. Especially when we want to sit in Pranayama, Dharana or Japa for a long time.
As the intention of practice is to achieve perfect Concentration in Dhyana or Meditation, we should not be disturbed by any other sensation. For this, our posture should be stable. And all systems of the body, mind and breath should function at an optimum level.
The best posture for Meditation is the Lotus posture known as Padmasana in Sanskrit. In Padmasana, the legs are locked in such a way that it provides a solid foundation for the torso to remain erect. It helps free flow of Prana along the Spinal cord.
Those with Hip or Knee problems should avoid this Asana.
So lets begin.
We will begin with preparing the top of the foot, ankle and shin. Stretch your legs in front of you. Fold your right leg such that the top of your foot is resting on the mat. Now fold your left leg to place the left foot on the mat. Support your body by bringing your right arm behind the back. You can rest your left arm on the left knee. Now shift the weight of your torso back and lift the right knee. This will stretch the top of the foot while activating the ankle joint. Repeat 5 times
Repeat the Same movement on the other side. Repeat 5 times
Repeat the movement with both legs. Repeat 5 times
Now slowly come back and and sit down in Dandasana with your legs stretched in front of you.
Now with your right hand lift right left foot and place it in the elbow of the left hand. Place the right knee in the elbow of the right hand. Hold the fingers together and gently rock the leg through the hip joint. Repeat 5 times. Slowly release and perform the movement on the other side, Repeat 5 times. Now bring your feet together such that your soles are touching each other. Intertwine your palms around your toes. Lift both your knees up and gently release them such they fall down with gravity. Repeat 20 times. 'Now slide you heels forward and bend forward from the base of the back without rounding it. Go down as much as possible. Repeat 5 times.
'Now come back up in Dandasana. Fold your right leg and turn it around behind the back. Fold the left through the knees. Try to maintain the shin perpendicular to the torso. Rotate the right leg internally and slide it as far behind as possible. Square the hips and slowly transfer the weight of your torse ahead by walking the arms. Breathe in and expand your chest. Keep your core engaged and rest your forehead on the mat.
Maintain this position for a few moments. Now slowly come back up and repeat the movement on the other side. This movement increases the flexibility of the Hip flexors. It strengthens the lower back and supports the digestive system.
'Now come back to Dandasana. Now bend your right knee and place your right ankle on your thigh just above your left knee. Keep your left leg engaged by flexing your left foot. Use your right hand just above your right knee to press your thigh down firmly but without force. Gently bounce the knee up and down to lubricate the hip joint. Repeat 5 times. Now with both hands, lift your right knee and bring it as close to the chest as possible. Keep the back straight. Now press the knee down to towards the floor. Repeat 5 times.
Ardha Baddha Paschimottasana
'Now maintaining the position of both legs, bend down from the waist. Breathe in, expand the chest and elongate the spine and go down as much as possible without rounding the back. Hold the right toe and stay in the asana for a few breaths. The Ardha Baddha Paschimottasana It increases the flexibility of the knee joints increases the flexibility of the hip joints, streches the hamstrings and calf muscles. It increases increases blood circulation to the spinal nerves and tones internal organs. Now slowly release the posture and repeat the movements on the other side. Bring your feet together and firmly press down the knees to open the groin region.
Bend the right knee and place the sole of the right foot against the left thigh such that the right heel presses the perinium. Bend the left knee and place the left heel against the pubic bone. This is the Siddhasana.
'Now grab your left leg and pull it further in the groin. Let the top of the foot, rest on the right thigh. This is the Ardha Padmasana. Repeat the Siddhasana on the opposite side followed by the Ardha Padmasana.
Now release the posture. Now lift your left leg and pull it in the groin region. Now pick up the right leg and gently slide it over the left knee. Pull it over the left thigh if possible. This is your Padmasana or the Full Lotus Posture. Now slowly release the posture and streach your legs.
'Once you master the Padmasana , you can perform it without using your hands.
This will take some time but is possible with continous practice.
As Maharshi Patanjali says प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्त्यसमापत्तिभ्याम् I
Asana is mastered by reducing bodily restlessness and meditating upon the boundless, infinite nature of Consciousness.