The half lotus (half lotus) pose is one of the main yoga asanas. If you go into translation from the Ancient language of India, then: Ardha sounds like “half”, and Padma is a lotus.
Lotus is probably the most beautiful flower on the planet, about which so much has been said in Eastern literature, and which is so revered by Eastern religion. It is for these reasons that both the lotus position and the half lotus position are so significant in yoga. Especially Ardha Padmasana and various options for reducing the legs: these are Sidhasana and Sukhasana.
So what is the beauty of this pose? What is its strength and importance in yoga from the physical, psycho-emotional and energy levels? The first answer that we hear most often is that in Padmasana (Ardha Padmasana) it is easiest to concentrate, free the mind from feelings and thoughts, and perform breathing techniques.
Since Ardha Padmasana is a simplified version that allows you to further master the full version of the asana, it is much easier to perform it. And, in turn, the half-lotus position in the same way, over time, helps to open the pelvic bones, improve the flexibility of the knee joints and ankles. Sometimes, it seems that the half-lotus position is quite simple. But, nevertheless, it is not necessary to judge from the outside. Since it happens that some beginners, wanting to sit in an asana, experience difficulties due to stiffness in the hip joints.
That is why the beginner yoga class program contains many elements for working out the pelvic area so that the practitioner can gradually move to any body position without being distracted by pain and discomfort in the body. Another feature: you can stay in the half-lotus position as long as you like, until there is a desire to move to another position, or until there is pain in the knees / hips. If this happens, you should leave the asana and, stretching your legs forward, let them rest. Also, in order for the body to gradually get used to Ardha Padmasana, and soon to Padmasana, asana should be practiced for at least 5 minutes a day.
How to enter the half lotus position?
So, everyone knows that in order to master something absolutely inaccessible, you should move towards your goal slowly, but confidently, adhering to the principle of constancy. Therefore, before you take the “half-lotus” body position, you should warm up as best as possible, especially for the muscles and joints of the hips, knees and shins. Paying close attention, of course, to warming up the pelvis. Since it is the pelvic bones that are decisive, whether you sit in the half-lotus position or not.
And, just here we can use some asanas that warm up the body well:
- Virabhadrasana II;
- Eka Pada Rajakapotasana;
- Janu Shirshasana;
- Agni Stambhasana.
If you have chronic diseases or acute pain in the knee joints, injuries and inflammations, you do not need to perform Ardha Padmasana. If you feel that the body is warmed up, there are no injuries, and you are ready to start mastering the asana – go ahead!
Ardha Padmasana technique
- Sitting in Sukhasana, stretch your back as high as possible.
- Straighten your legs in front of you, spread your heels slightly.
- Bending the right leg at the knee joint, grab the foot with your hands and slowly lay it with your bent knee towards the floor, placing it at the base of the left thigh (the sole of the foot looks up). Make sure that there are no sudden movements and jerks. Control the knee of the bent leg. You can sit in this position for a while, helping yourself with your palms to lower your bent right knee to the floor.
- Now bend your left knee slightly. And, grabbing the left ankle with the left hand, bend the left knee towards the floor, directing the ankle towards the right calf. With the left foot under the right thigh, make sure that the soles of both feet are turned up. In the final position of the legs – the back of the left foot and her knee lie on the floor.
- Having reached a position where both knees touch the floor, check that the back is even. Place your hands on your knees. Control that the muscles of the face are as relaxed as possible, the tongue touches the upper palate. Breathe in your belly: inhale – belly forward, exhale – belly tightens. After staying in the asana for some time, come out gently from the pose, and repeat it, changing the position of the legs.
It is also important that many practitioners, when performing the half-lotus pose, complain of leg numbness. Of course, the root cause of this phenomenon lies in the tightness of the hip joints. That is, due to the “kink” of the leg lying on the thigh, the limb does not receive blood flow, which causes numbness. And if the knee joint is not open enough, you can also feel pain. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand that by pressing hard on your knees, you will not open them in any way, but only damage them.
What to do if the legs become numb in Ardha Padmasana
It also happens that after some time in the half-lotus position, the back may lose its elongation, and the muscles, and, in part, the nerve fibers begin to pinch. The result is the same: the blood does not flow, there is a feeling of numbness. Therefore, it is extremely important to constantly work with the muscles and joints of the legs, perform relaxation meditations and breathing techniques. So, a gradual improvement in the physical condition of the body will relieve numbness.
On the energy side, both clamps and blocks in the body interfere with the movement of prana. The same applies to the movement of energy into the pelvic region. And, if the practitioner’s energy is at a high level, then it can move freely. Accordingly, numbness can also be avoided. There are also cases when, at the beginning of the practice of Ardha Padmasana, the practitioner is not very comfortable. But then, immersed in meditation, both numbness and some other clamps and pains in the body simply disappear somewhere. In turn, this indicates that in the process of asana practice, a person’s energy level rises, and the energy rises freely. It follows from this that it is necessary to develop and raise energy flows.
As for the lower part of the body, from the navel and below, that is where the so-called apana-vayu energy is located. Its functions are connected with the downward movement. That is. If there is a lot of it, the legs will become enslaved. That is why it is important to work with this channel in order to redirect the movement of energies upward, connecting them at the navel.