I’ve only had one opportunity to do Padmasana or lotus pose in my health club practices, but it’s always been a pose that I am comfortable doing. I guess a lot of that comes from the fact that I generally chose to sit in half-lotus and I have since I was a little kid. In fact, even during class, it’s more comfortable for me to sit in half-lotus than cross-legged position!
I’ve always considered full lotus to be the quintessential yoga pose, but I never truly understood the benefits until I did a little research. Yoga Journal has two helpful articles: one on how to do lotus pose and the other discusses the history and benefits.
Open hips are a definite must for Padmasana, which has never been an issue for me. I have some muscular imbalances that affect my flexibility, but my hips have never been a problem area for yoga. Both sides work just fine, which is encouraging.
It’s unfortunate that health club yoga classes don’t make lotus (or half lotus, for that matter) a priority, as there are a ton of benefits that I never realized. According to the second Yoga Journal article, “The pose is said to increase circulation in the lumbar spine, nourish and tone the abdominal organs, strengthen the ankles and legs, and increase flexibility in the hips.” More importantly, for me, it has the ability to calm the mind and channel life force to help ground us. The latter may be a little too new age for me to fully grasp, but I am open to the possibility. Regardless, I can definitely use for my mind to be calmed!
I feel like Padmasana would be a pose to focus on during my practice, or maybe when sitting at my desk at work, where I tend to have problems with anxiety, blood pressure, and overall insane stress levels. I tried it in my chair and I have plenty of room to fit my legs in full lotus. I am currently sitting in the pose as I type and have been for about 20 minutes total. I am pretty calm, but then again, I’m the only one here right now, and I don’t technically start work for another 15 minutes.
I am going to try using Padmasana during times when I need to be better grounded and my mind quieted. I will try and focus on being a lotus leaf, undisturbed by the water that falls on it. How amazing would that be during my work day?