The Sanskrit word siddha has many meanings and implications. It means ‘power’ and ‘perfection’, so that this asana can also be called the perfect pose or the powerful pose. The word siddhi is derived from siddha and means a psychic power or faculty developed through yogic practices. This includes clairvoyance, telepathy as well as many other lesser known powers such as the ability to disappear at will. Siddhasana is believed to be the asana that helps to develop these powers.
It is an excellent meditative asana and the equal of padmasana. It is often used in specific practices for it applies pressure in the region between the anus and the sexual organs (mooladhara chakra). Siddhasana can only be practised by men. The female equivalent is called siddha yoni asana.
Sit with the legs stretched in front of the body. Fold your right leg and place the sole of the right foot against the inside of the left thigh. Your right heel should be placed so that it presses against the area between the anus and the genitals (the perineum). This is an important aspect of Siddhasana. Adjust your body until you are comfortable and the heel is firmly applied against the perineum. Then fold your left leg and place the left foot on top of the right calf. If possible, try to adjust the position of the left heel so that it presses into the pelvis immediately above the genitals. Your genitals should therefore lie between the two heels. If you find this last position difficult, do not worry; merely place your left heel as near as possible to the required position. Adjust the position of the left toes so that they can be pushed into the space between your right calf and thigh. The left toes should fit into this space without any pain or general discomfort. If necessary, this space can be enlarged slightly by using the hands or temporarily adjusting the position of the right leg. Then grasp your right toes, either from below or above your left leg and pull them upwards into the space between your left thigh and calf. Adjust the body so that it is comfortable. The knees should be in contact with the ground. The heels should preferably be one above the other. Hold the spine and head upright, yet relaxed.
A cushion can be utilized to elevate the buttocks slightly and to reduce pressure between the lower ankle and the floor. The practitioner must find out for himself whether it is best to fold the right leg or the left leg first.
Many people experience discomfort because of the pressure applied where the two ankles cross each other. If necessary, place a folded cloth or piece of sponge between the legs at this point to reduce the pain. At first you may find the pressure at the perineum difficult to bear for more than a minute or so. With practise this time will be increased.
This asana requires a reasonable degree of leg flexibility. Therefore do not attempt to force your legs beyond what their flexibility will allow.
Siddhasana should not be practised by people with sciatica or sacral ailments.
Siddhasana gives essentially the same benefits as padmasana. It differs, however, from padmasana in that one of the heels applies pressure in the region of the perineum. This pressure is necessary in various yogic practices such as moola bandha and vajroli mudra. These are used a great deal in kriya yoga techniques together with siddhasana. This pressure is important, for it is concerned with awakening a psychic centre in this area called the mooladhara chakra. This will be discussed in the future.