Understanding the Ardha Padmasana!

Ardha Padmasana is usually suggested for people who cannot get in to Padmasana or The full Lotus Pose. It is comparatively easier to perform than the full lotus and this can be practiced by people of all age groups.

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The name Ardha Padmasana is derived from Sanskrit where "Ardha" means "Half", "Padma" means "Lotus" and "Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture."

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The English name of Ardha Padmasana is Half Lotus Pose. Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose stretches and opens hips. It is very useful for meditation as well as breathing exercises. Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose can be preceded by Upavistha Konasana or Rock the Baby pose.

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How to Do Ardha Padmasana or the Half Lotus Pose?

  • To practice Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose, sit with the legs straight in front of the body on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Bend one leg and place the sole of the foot on the inside of the opposite thigh to get into Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Bend the other leg and place the foot on top of the opposite thigh to get into Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Without straining, try to place the upper heel as near as possible to the abdomen while practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Adjust the position while being in Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose so that it is comfortable.
  • Place the hands on the knees in either Chin or Jnana mudra while practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Keep the back, neck and head upright and straight while practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Close the eyes and focus on eye center.
  • Try to relax the whole body while being in Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • This is the final Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Stay in Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose as long as you are comfortable.

Breathing Pattern While Being in Ardha Padmasana or the Half Lotus Pose

  • Inhale deeply while folding you leg and arm to get into Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • Maintain a constant and deep breathing while being in Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose. Keep inhaling and exhaling deeply while staying in the pose.
  • Exhale deeply once or twice after releasing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.

Awareness While Being in Ardha Padmasana or the Half Lotus Pose

Physical Awareness: On the physical plane, stay aware of your breath while in the pose. Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose is a very good asana for calming the nervous system and it prepares you for meditation. You can stay in this pose for several minutes or as long as you feel comfortable to allow the body to relax and the mind to calm.

Spiritual Awareness: On the spiritual plane, focus on the areas of your Ajna or The Third eye chakra while practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose and you will feel the stress melting away from your body. It helps you meet with your divine self while practicing regularly.

What are the Benefits of Practicing Ardha Padmasana or the Half Lotus Pose?

  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose helps in stretching and opening of hips. People with tight hips should practice this asana to make their body flexible and to get in to more advanced asanas with practice.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose helps in balancing the mind, increases the power of concentration, and induces physical and mental relaxation quickly. The thinking process becomes very clear and precise with regular practice of Matsya kridasana or The Flapping Fish Pose.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose quiets your mind and prepares you for meditation.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose refreshes and rejuvenates you and also relieves you of stress and mild depression.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose helps in increasing flexibility during difficult situations.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose stimulates the digestive system and massages the abdominal organs and helps in improving digestion.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose gives a gentle pull at the waist and helps to reduce waistline fat.
  • Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose also helps in relieving back pain when practiced regularly.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Ardha Padmasana or the Half Lotus Pose

  • People with chronic knee or Hip issues and injuries should not practice Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose. People who have had any recent knee or hip injuries should also not practice Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • People with Sciatica or sacral infections should also not practice Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.
  • You should also practice pre meditative asanas before attempting to practice Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose to avoid any stress in this pose.
  • Do not practice Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose if you do not feel comfortable during the practice.
  • Do not over do Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose if you feel pain in your body.
  • Start the practice mildly and then increase the repetitions as per your capacity.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • It is most beneficial when you stay aware of the stretches while practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.

Tips While Practicing Ardha Padmasana or the Half Lotus Pose

Persons with knee injury should take some cushioning or avoid practicing Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose.

You should know your body limits and how much pain and stretch your body can bear if the stretch and pain are too much to bear, come out of the pose immediately. Ardha Padmasana or The Half Lotus Pose allows the energy of kundalini to rise and clears any blockages in the path and in the chakras. Thus, a deep concentration should be made on the eye center to derive maximum benefits from the asana.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 30, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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