POSE: ARDHA PADMASANA
MEANING: The infamous lotus – but let’s start with half! Ardha = ‘half’ and Padmasana is ‘lotus’.
BENEFITS: This is the preparation for the full lotus – probably one of the images that comes to mind at the very mention of yoga. A pose which can be challenging…
- Helps with tight knees, ankles, hips and the back. This posture really helps you to understand where you body holds tension and feels tight
- Fantastic for pranayama (breath control) practice and meditation as it forces you to sit upright and keep your focus
- It’s said to aid digestion and stomach complaints too
HOW TO DO IT:
- Sit on the ground with your head and spine straight – without drooping your shoulders. Extend your legs forward so your knees and heels are touching
- Bend your right leg at the knee and bring the bent knee toward your chest. Keep your calf touching the thigh and place the bent knee toward the floor. Hold your right foot heel with the right hand and the toe with the left hand and bring the right foot over the left thigh with the sole facing upward. Keep the other leg straight
- Bend your left leg and place it under your right leg such that your left sole is under the right thigh
- 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 (for those of you interested – this is Jnana Mudra). Keep your arms straight at the elbows.
- Remain in this final posture with your eyes closed for about one to two minutes (in the early stages) or your ‘edge’. Repeat on the other side!
HELPFUL HINT: A nice warm up for the hips and knees before trying this: Cradle each leg in turn like a baby and just rock your leg in your arms – just to get the juices flowing in the joints.
Previous pose: Janu Sirasana