Understanding the Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose!

Padadhirasana is a meditative or pre-meditative pose and is quite easy to perform.

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The name Padadhirasana is derived from Sanskrit where "Padadhira" means "Balancing of breath" and "Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture." The English name of Padadhirasana is The Breath Balancing Pose.

Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose helps to regulate the breath and prepare an individual for meditation when practiced regularly.

It is very easy and is generally practiced by people who have difficulty in getting into Siddhasana or The Accomplished Pose and Padmasana or The Lotus Pose.

The Breath Balancing Pose is a very comfortable asana, which can be held for longer durations while meditating. Some people prefer Swastikasana or The Auspicious Pose and Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose over Sukhasana and other meditative asanas.

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On a spiritual plane, Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose is believed to open the flow of prana energy of the Ajna or The Third eye Chakra. Pada Dhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose helps tones the abdominal muscles maintain a state of cam in the body and balances the flow of energy in the body.

Steps to Do Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose

  • To practice Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose, get into Vajrasana or The Thunderbolt Pose.
  • To practice, Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose, sit with your legs outstretched on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Kneel down while bending your lower legs backward in such a way that they are kept together and the big toes of both the feet are crossing each other.
  • To practice Padadhirasana, gently lower your body on the lower legs in such a way that the thighs are resting on your calves.
  • Keep your hands on your knees and set your gaze on a point and look forward while keeping your head and neck straight.
  • Maintain your breath while practicing The Breath Balancing Pose. You should inhale and exhale deeply while sitting in this position.
  • Close your eyes while breathing and focus on the eye center and try to calm your mind.
  • Now from this position to get into Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose, cross the arms in front of the chest, placing the hands under the opposite armpits with the thumbs pointing upward.
  • Make sure your spine stays erect at all times while practicing this pose.
  • The point between the thumb and first finger should be firmly pressed while practicing The Breath Balancing Pose.
  • Close the eyes and become aware of the breathing process while practicing Padadhirasana.
  • Beginners should try to stay in Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose for 5-10 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 15-20 minutes or for as long as you can.
  • To release the pose, you can straighten both of your legs from the knee and bring them forward to lie straight on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Relax for a few seconds and once you feel alright and the tension in legs goes, you can get back in Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose.

Breathing Pattern to Be Followed While Practicing Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose

  • Inhale deeply while folding the legs and taking them towards the respective buttock while getting in Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose
  • Maintain a constant breath while you are in Padadhirasana. Keep inhaling and exhaling deeply while being in this pose. Practice until the flow of breath in both nostrils becomes equalized.
  • Exhale deeply once or twice after releasing The Breath Balancing Pose.

Preparatory and Follow Up Poses to Be Practiced With Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose

Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses to be practiced before Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose are Ananda Shalabasana or The Happy Locust Pose and Shalabasana or The Locust Pose.

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Followup Poses: The various follow-up poses or Pranayamas to be practiced after Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose are Makrasana or The Crocodile Pose, Shavasana or The Corpse pose and Veerasana or The Hero pose.

Benefits of Practicing Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose

One of the main benefits of practicing Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose is that it helps in strengthening the Digestive system as it regulation practice helps in relieving constipation and other stomach disorders. While practicing it, the blood flow is obstructed to the lower part of the body and the blood flow is increased in the stomach and pelvic area which promotes the bowel movement and hence improves digestion.

  • Regular practice of Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose helps in getting rid of Acidity.
  • Padadhirasana practice aids liver function.
  • The Breath Balancing Pose helps ease the labor pains and reduce the menstrual cramps.
  • This asana helps in strengthening the lower back and pelvic area thereby reducing problems of the lower back and spine like Sciatica.
  • Regular practice of Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose calms the mind, relaxes the nervous system and the whole body. It is one of best meditative asanas as well.
  • Reduction in belly fat will be noticed with regular practice of this pose.
  • The Breath Balancing Pose strengthens the reproductive organs as well.
  • It is also considered a magical pose for people suffering from Arthritis as it helps in relieving the pain.
  • It also helps in the treatment of varicose veins.
  • It helps in the treatment of Urinary problems as well.
  • It also helps in increasing flexibility during difficult situations.
  • Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing 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 Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose
  • The Breath Balancing Pose refreshes and rejuvenates you and also relieves you of stress and mild depression.
  • Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose is especially useful when one or both of your nostrils are blocked. If only one nostril is blocked, or partially blocked, place the hand of that side underneath the opposite armpit. Maintain the pressure for a minute or two while practicing this pose.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose

  • Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose is a very easy and safe asana to practice. However, there are a few contraindications while practicing it.
  • For people who have had any knee injuries, ankle injuries or have undergone any knee surgeries recently should not practice Padadhirasana.
  • Pregnant females should keep their knees and legs away from each other while practicing Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose to prevent putting excess pressure on the abdomen.
  • People suffering from hernia and intestinal ulcers or any ailments related to the intestines should practice The Breath Balancing Pose under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor.
  • People who have any spinal injuries like slip disc and any problems associated with the spinal column should not practice Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose.
  • You can use cushions to make yourself comfortable while practicing it.
  • Do not practice Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose if you do not feel comfortable during the practice.
  • Do not overdo it 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 Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not overexert yourself while practicing The Breath Balancing Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.

Tips While Practicing Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose

Always perform Yogasanas in the range of your abilities and limitations. Go as far as your body allows. Do not overexert yourself while practicing.

While practicing initially, you might feel a stinging pain in your feet and legs. But do not give up. Sit for at least 2 minutes in Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose if you are a beginner. It is possible to sit for as long as thirty minutes to sit in Padadhirasana with regular practice.

Though most of the yogasanas are supposed to be done empty stomach the best time to practice The Breath Balancing Pose is after your meals as it promotes digestion. However, it can be practiced at any time of the day.

If you feel excessive pain while practicing Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose, leave the pose and stretch the legs on the yoga mat or on the floor.

For maximum benefits, the breath should be kept deep and long. Many people tend to breathe faster while practicing this asana which might hinder calming the mind and relaxing the body.

The body should not be tensed while bending the legs. Instead, the body should be loosened to promote relaxation.

Padadhirasana or the Breath Balancing Pose Variations

  1. Yoga Danda or Balancing Stick Pose

    The yoga danda is a special T-shaped stick traditionally used by yogis as an aid to meditation.

    • The horizontal beam of the Yoga danda stick rests firmly under and supports the armpit with the bottom of the vertical beam of yoga stick on the ground.
    • When the breath flow is equalized i.e., when the breath from both the nostrils is equal and normal, the yoga danda or balancing stick may be placed in front of the body.
    • Now, both of your elbows may be rested on the horizontal beam with the arms folded or in any other position.
    • The yoga danda may be used for long periods of time without the arms getting tired in this pose.
  2. For a stronger effect while practicing Padadhirasana or The Breath Balancing Pose, make fists of the hands and place them under the armpits. This gives greater impact while practicing the asana and multiplies its benefits as well.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 29, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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