Monday, 8 August 2011

Exploring Baddha padmasana & yoga mudra options

Although baddha padmasana, p198 of the Lotus sequence in Ramaswami's Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga, only gets three diamonds ( representing the degree of challenge), I know, from my own experience, that it's a posture that can be quite challenging. The difficulty comes with that bind, getting the second arm around and grabbing the toe securely enough to be able to fold into yoga mudra.

The video below shows some of the options available.

0.00  Overemphasising the entry into baddha padmasana
1.13  yoga mudra
2.07  Rear view
3.22  Rear view of cheat (sliding one arm between the other arm and back).
3.55  Less tight lotus option
5.25  Half lotus option
6.37  Crossed leg option
7.27  Standard lotus for pranayama and meditation

I've overemphasised the action to try and make what I'm doing clearer. My first lotus is pretty tight but later on I show it's possible even if you can't manage that tight a lotus.


Get into the lotus and then lift up a little and push your backside back to sit further forward on your sit bones,

Really lift out of your pelvis (sit tall) in a similar way to how we approach the tadasana sequence. If it helps raise your arms over your head, link your fingers and stretch.

Approach the twist to grab the toes as you would one of the extreme marichyasana twists in Asymmetric sequence.

Engage uddiyana bandha ( suck in your belly) as you fold into yoga mudra, this will give you more space and help you to keep hold of your toes.

If you cant manage full lotus try half lotus or just having your legs crossed, reaching around and grabbing the hip bones rather than the toes.

Try whipping the the second arm around your back to catch the toe

Slip your second arm between your back and binding arm and shuffle it further and further through to reach your toe.

Put hand towels or bandanas around your feet and hold on to them rather than your toes.

Ramaswami suggests 3-6 long inhalations and exhalations for both baddha padmasana and Yoga mudra
and that you may practice all three locks, mula, uddiyana and jalandhara

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