Preparation for Padmasana
Padmasana (Lotus) is the most recognizable yoga position in the world. However, proper preparation is required to perform this position.
Padmasana, or Lotus, is the most recognizable yoga position in the world. Probably, sometimes admitting that you are practicing yoga, you were asked whether you are doing lotus . Unfortunately, the number of people who could do this position without preparation is negligible.
Especially in western countries where there is no habit of sitting on the floor. We sit on chairs, armchairs and couches, which causes the hips to close.
That is why it is difficult for us Europeans to do this asana. In addition, the biggest difficulty is that we do not practice this asana as others do.
We prepare for it through the practice of other asanas and wait until our body is ready to perform it.
Remember not to force your legs into the lotus.
It is an injured position and it is really worth waiting until you feel the lightness of entering it.
Pain in the knee, ankle or the feeling that you are too tight in this position are a signal that your hips are not open enough yet.
The lotus itself is a beautiful and eye-catching item, but the more important reason is.
Why do we need this asana?
When preparing for Padmasana, remember that the goal is to open the body, because the benefits of hip opening exercises are many. They relieve back pain, improve circulation in the legs, reduce menstrual and sciatica pains.
It is also said that we accumulate all negative emotions in the pelvis.
By opening the hips, we free ourselves from them.
Therefore, remember – if Lotos doesn’t work for you, don’t worry.
Work on opening your hips, because this is your main goal.
What you need?
To perform this position, you first need to open your hips. A properly conducted yoga session can work wonders. I would like to suggest 3 positions that will prepare your hips, knees and ankles for this position.
Where to start?
Begin yoga practice with Sun Greetings A and B. Do each version several times. Already during the warm-up, you start working on your hips.
In Surya Namaskar B, make sure you descend low in your knees at Utkatasana and Virabhadrasana .
Step 1: Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Bend forward in a half-lotus
Grab the foot from below and push the heel out.
Remember that we always put a foot in the lotus in this way. The knee of the standing leg is slightly bent.
Move the foot high to the left thigh up to the iliac spine and lower the knee down. If you feel pain in the knee, do not lower it, stay in this position.
If your knee still hurts, do not do this asana.
Until you deal with the injury, replace this asana with Tree Position (Vrksasana) . If you’re okay with your knee, stay in this position for a few breaths.
Then move your right hand back behind the back and try to grab the right big toe.
Take a deep breath and bend forward.
Place your left hand near your left foot. If you failed to grab your toe, put both hands on the ground. In the event that you do not reach with your hands to the floor or you feel too much stretching of the right leg, do not bend, stay standing and work on opening the hip. Perform this asana on both sides.
Step 2: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana – Pigeon position
It is not without reason that this asana is called the queen of the opening hips.
The version that I will propose to you today is a modification of Eka Pada Rajakapotasana .
Start in the Dog with your head down on the inhale, lift your right leg up and with the exhale move your leg between your hands.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Place your right knee on the ground near your right hand and your foot close to your left.
Now observe the position of your body.
If you are unable to line your knees and feet in line, put a blanket under the right side of your body or withdraw your foot in the perineum.
Your goal is to place your hips in one line and at the same height. Once you are correctly positioned, take a deep breath and exhale with a breath. Feel how heavy your chest is and press it against your bent leg.
Stay in this position for a few breaths, then point your chest to the left, stay there. Inhale, return to the center and exhale, move your arms to the right side, breathe deeply and observe your body for several breaths.
Return to the dog with the head down and do the same to the left.
Step 3: Baby Cradle (rocking baby pose) – Baby cradle position
Sit on the mat. If you feel your back is rounded, put a blanket under your buttocks.
Grab the right foot, push the heel out, lift it up and put your foot down the elbow of your left hand.
Put your right hand under your knee, put your hands together and straighten your back. If you cannot put your foot in the elbow flexion, grasp your foot with your hand.
Now try to align your foot with your knee.
Start swaying sideways, maintaining an elongated spine. Make this move for several breaths.
Stop in the center and try to pull your foot to the cage and push your knee away. The last modification of this position is raising the foot higher towards the head. Then do the same on the other leg.
Take your time, enjoy this position and create your own variations.
Try it – Padmasana
Both hands grab the foot from below, which is already correctly positioned, i.e. with the fingers snapped up and the heel pushed out.
Bend your knee and make an outward movement opening the hip, then put your foot on the opposite thigh as high as possible towards the hip flexor.
The other leg at this time is straight and relaxed. You are already halfway, or Ardha Padmasana.
Now grasp the other foot from the bottom and put it on the opposite side. Pay attention to the position of your body.
What do you feel
How are your knees and ankles – don’t you feel any discomfort? If you feel pain, slowly leave the position, grabbing your feet exactly as you did at the beginning, i.e. from below. If OK, stay in this position for a few breaths.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
Be here now. Thank your body for practice and hard work. Remember that perfect asana does not exist. By accepting your restrictions on the mat, it will be easier for you to accept your failures in life. Focus on progress, not perfection. Namaste!