There are 8.4 million asana discovered by Lord Shiva,the originator of Yoga. Asana practice is done to prepare the body, breath and mind for the higher practices leading to awakening and realization. Many great masters directly stepped into meditation and did not practice any asana. While others masters practices many asanas to return to the practice of the most important one, known as Padamasana.
What is the meaning of the name – Padamasana?
The Sanskrit word ‘padama’ means lotus flower. The lotus symbolically represents awakening and realization. This single posture can help one to prevent illness and awaken to the ultimate reality which yoga aimed for.
Reference from the text:
Place the right foot on the left thigh and similarly the left one on the right thigh cross the hands behind the back and firmly catch hold of the great toes of feet so crossed. Place the chin on the chest and fix the gaze on the tip of the nose. The posture is called Padamasana. This posture destroys all diseases (Gherand Samhita- II.8)
Why Padamasana is so important:
1. The Yogi who, sitting with Padamasana, can control breathing, there is no doubt, is free from bondage. (Hatha Yoga Pradipika I-51)
2. Having kept ……………………… one gets the highest intelligence by awakening the Kundalini . (Hatha Yoga Pradipika I-50)
Sit on the carpet on the floor and stretch both legs straight
1. Bend the right knee and hold the right foot with both hands , place it on top of the left thigh bringing the heel as close to the belly button as possible.
2. Bend the left knee and grasp the left foot with both hands and place it on top of the right thigh bringing the heel as close to the
Belly button as possible.
3. Both knees should be on the ground and the soles of the feet are pointed upward. The spine is held straight but not rigid.
The spine is straight. Optionally, one may gaze in between the eyebrows. Keep hands either in Jnana (join the tips of the index and thumbs) or Anjali Mudra hands on lap one over the other).
Return from the posture by bringing feet forward on the floor one after the other
The Padma-asana facilitates relaxation, concentration, and ultimately, meditation. The posture creates a natural balance throughout the body/mind. It helps in managing knee and menstrual pains.
Begin practicing for minimum 3- minutes (1.5 min each side) every day. Increase the duration every week by 1 min until you reach 10-minutes each side. It means 20 minutes practice.
Maintain awareness of stillness of body, silent and slow breath instead of directing attention to starching as it disturbs the mind.
One can begin with half louts pose also if find difficulty in doing the full Padamasana.