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Yoga Poses : Half Lotus Posture
(Ardha Padmasana or Ardha Kamalasana) 

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yoga pose : half lotus posture - ardha padmasana

 

Basic Facts about the Yoga Posture (Asana)

The Half Lotus Posture (whose original Indian name is Ardha Padmasana or Ardha Kamalasana) in Yoga is suitable for meditation (Dhyana).

Note that Ardha means Half, whereas Padma or Kamala means Lotus. The posture gets its name because the person performing it resembles a Lotus. The Half Lotus Posture is an intermediate pose for beginners who cannot sit comfortably in the Lotus Posture (Padmasana). Yoga beginners can practice the Half Lotus Posture initially, and switch to the Lotus Posture later.

 

Stepwise Technique yoga pose : half lotus posture - ardha padmasana

  1. Sit on the ground with your head and spine erect without drooping your shoulders. Extend your legs forward such that your knees and heels are placed together. Bend your right leg at the knee and get 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.
  2. After attaining this position, bend your left leg and place it under your right leg such that your left sole is under the right thigh.
  3. 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. Keep your arms straight at the elbows. This hand position is called Jnana Mudra (Knowledge Hand Gesture) because it signifies the knowledge of connecting the Individual Soul (Atma) with the Supreme Soul (Paramatma).
  4. Remain in this final posture with your eyes closed for about 1-2 minutes (in the early stages) or your breakpoint*. Repeat the above steps except that you swap the position of the legs by placing your left foot over the right thigh to begin with. This will ensure that both legs are built uniformly.

Tips and Comments

  1. Step 1 forms a pose called Preliminary Half Lotus Posture (Purva Ardha Padmasana) which is a preparatory exercise for Ardha Padmasana. In the early stages, you may experience pain in the knees and may be able to place only one foot comfortably on the thigh. Therefore, you may wish to skip Step 2. Regular practice will make the process of placing the second foot easier. Beginners with rigid knees and/or ankles should proceed with care.
  2. The Half Lotus Posture (Ardha Padmasana) itself is a preparatory exercise for the Lotus Posture (Padmasana).
  3. In Step 3, the hands were positioned in Jnana Mudra (Knowledge Hand Gesture). They may be alternatively positioned in Dhyana / Padma Mudra (Meditation / Lotus Hand Gesture) or Drona Mudra (Bowl Hand Gesture) as described below.
    • Bend your arms at the elbows and place your hands below your navel on your lap. Keep the palms (a little cupped and with extended fingers) one on top of the other (usually, right palm on the left palm). The thumbs may either be straight or touch at the tips to form a triangle. This hand position is called Dhyana Mudra (Meditation Hand Gesture) because it is the hand posture recommended for meditation, or Padma Mudra (Lotus Hand Gesture ) because it looks like the lotus petals.
    • Rest your left palm on your left knee and your right palm on your right knee with the cupped palms facing downwards. Keep your arms straight at the elbows. This hand position is called Drona Mudra (Bowl Hand Gesture) because the palm is shaped like a bowl (Drona) covering your knees.
  4. *Breakpoint is the time upto which you can comfortably remain in a yoga posture. It varies from individual to individual depending on one's fitness, age and will power.

Potential Benefits of the Yoga Posture (Asana)

  1. The Half Lotus Posture (Ardha Padmasana) helps reduce excess fat in the body especially in the abdominal region. It aids in better functioning of the digestive and excretory systems.
  2. The yoga posture assists in the cure of pain in the knees, ankles, and back. Its practice helps those suffering from insomnia and asthma.
  3. The yoga posture keeps the mind focused because it requires one to sit upright. It is a posture often suggested for practicing Breath Control (Pranayama), Concentration (Dharana), Meditation (Dhyana) and Self-realization (Samadhi).

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