Asana Of The Month: Seated Half Lotus (ardha padmasana)

Lotus pose is the pose yoga practitioners strive to achieve. It is the reason for hatha yoga. The ultimate goal of yoga is samadhi (enlightenment). To achieve samadhi, one must meditate. What better way to spend hours meditating than in Lotus pose?

Lotus is also one of the most challenging poses. It requires flexible hips, knees, and ankles. Many yoga practitioners never achieve the level of flexibility and comfort need to remain in Lotus for more than a few seconds or minutes.

An alternative is Half Lotus placing one foot on one thigh. It can be your right or left foot or you can alternate feet if the pose becomes uncomfortable. With practice, you may progress to full Lotus. If full Lotus is beyond your limits of flexibility or endurance, you can still reap many mental and physical benefits of meditation regardless of the pose you use.

Where you rest your hands is a personal preference. You can place them on your thigh or knees which ever position feels comfortable.

English NameSeated Half Lotus

Sanskrit Name: Ardha Padmasana

Difficulty Level: 2

Start Position: Easy Sitting

Instructions:

Step 1.

Bend your right or left knee, rotating from the hip, and place your foot on your thigh as close to your body as possible.

Step 2.

Rest your hands on your thighs or knees. Use a hand mudra if desired.

Step 3.

Remain in the pose as long as it feels comfortable concentrating on your breath or breathing normally.

Step 4.

Repeat on the opposite side if desired.

 

Physical Benefits:

  • Stretches & opens up the hips
  • Improves knee flexibility
  • Lubricates knee joints
  • Can prevent arthritis or reduce arthritis pain
  • Tones abdominal muscles
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Improves digestion

Mental Benefits

  • Improves concentration and focus
  • Improves thinking
  • Reduces stress
  • Relieves mild anxiety & depression

Contraindications:

  • Low back pain
  • Hip, knee, or ankle injury
  • Shoulder or wrist pain