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The Lotus Posture (whose original Indian name is Padmasana or Kamalasana) in Yoga is very suitable for chanting mantras (Japa) and for meditation (Dhyana).Lotus posture is a cross-legged sitting posture originating in meditative practices of ancient India in which the feet are placed on the opposing thighs. It may take time for the ligaments to become extended so that the Lotus Pose is comfortable. If one cannot master the Lotus Pose, any of the other seated poses will do quite well for the purpose of meditation. Start slowly and acquire proficiency over a period of time. This is one of the basic yoga postures. “Famous depictions of the lotus position include Shiva, the meditating ascetic god of Hinduism, and Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism. It may also be depicted on an ancient seal found in Harappa. ” Technique Sit on the ground with your head and spine erect without drooping your shoulders. Extend your legs forward such that your knees and heels are placed together. With the help of your hands, place your right foot on the left thigh and then your left foot on the right thigh. Try to touch the knees to the ground and turn the soles of your feet upwards. Attempt also to minimize the gap between the left and right heels.Check with the Half Lotus Posture (Ardha Padmasana) for more details [If only one foot is kept on the opposite thigh then it is called ardha padmasana (half lotus) ]. Let the heels of the legs be in contact with the abdomen.This will give symmetrical placement of the legs and you are in lotus position.The hands should be kept on the knees with palms open.Touch the thumb of each hand to the index finger at the tips to form a circle. Ensure that the other three fingers are straight. Rest your left hand on your left knee and your right hand on your right knee with the palms facing upwards. Keep your arms straight at the elbows. This hand position is called Jnana Mudra (Knowledge Hand Gesture) because it signifies the knowledge of connecting the Individual Soul (Atma) with the Supreme Soul (Paramatma). The hands were positioned in Jnana Mudra (Knowledge Hand Gesture). They may be alternatively positioned in Dhyana / Padma Mudra (Meditation / Lotus Hand Gesture) or Drona Mudra (Bowl Hand Gesture) as described below. Bend your arms at the elbows and place your hands below your navel on your lap. Keep the palms (a little cupped and with extended fingers) one on top of the other (usually, right palm on the left palm). The thumbs may either be straight or touch at the tips to form a triangle. This hand position is called Dhyana Mudra (Meditation Hand Gesture) because it is the hand posture recommended for meditation, or Padma Mudra (Lotus Hand Gesture) because it looks like the lotus petals. Rest your left palm on your left knee and your right palm on your right knee with the cupped palms facing downwards. Keep your arms straight at the elbows. This hand position is called Drona Mudra (Bowl Hand Gesture) because the palm is shaped like a bowl (Drona) covering your knees. Remain in this final posture with your eyes closed for about 1-2 minutes (in the early stages) (Breakpoint is the time up to which you can comfortably remain in a yoga posture. It varies from individual to individual depending on one’s fitness, age and will power. ) Increase this time gradually to several minutes. It is possible to remain in the Padmasana position for even a few hours. However, care must be exercised to check for discomfort during as well as after the asana. In the early stages, you may experience pain in the knees and may be able to place only one foot comfortably on the thigh. Repeat the above steps with your left foot placed first on the right thigh and your right foot then placed on the left thigh. This will ensure that both legs are built uniformly. Regular practice will make the process of placing both feet on the thighs easier. Beginners with rigid knees and/or ankles should proceed with care. Instead of keeping the eyes closed, you may focus on the nose tip (Nasagra Drishti) or between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhya Drishti). Benefits The Lotus Posture (Padmasana) helps reduce excess fat in the body especially in the abdominal region. The position is said to resemble a lotus, to encourage breathing proper to associated meditative practice, and to foster physical stability. It aids in better functioning of the digestive and excretory systems. The yoga posture assists in the cure of pain in the knees, ankles, and back. Its practice helps those suffering from insomnia and asthma. The yoga posture keeps the mind focused because it requires one to sit upright. It calms the mind, stimulates the pelvis, spine, abdomen, and bladder, and stretches the ankles and knees. In women it alleviates menstrual discomfort and sciatica and helps ease childbirth. It has a calming effect on the mind and the nerves. This pose keeps the spine erect. Helps develop a good posture Helps keep the joints in flexible condition. 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 abdominal-genital regions while the flow of blood to the lower extremities 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. Caution Persons having sciatica or varicose veins in the legs should attempt this posture cautiously.

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