Topic 5 | Asanas: Practice
The following two asanas need both a good sense of balance and strength in the legs. They are called:
1. Ardha baddha padmottanasana
2. Vatayanasana If you have time you should try them.
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Lotus Forward Bending Pose)
Padma means ‘lotus’ and utthan means ‘raised’.
This asana can be translated as ‘the raised and bound half lotus pose’. Generally it is called ‘the half lotus leg stretch pose’.
If you wish you can practise beside or in front of a wall.
Open the eves and keep them open throughout the practice.
Balance on the left leg.
Fold the right leg and place the foot on the left thigh: adjust the foot with your hands so that it forms the half lotus.
Raise the two fingers. and balance on the left leg.
This is the starting pose.
Relax and steady the whole body.
Slowly bend forward as you breathe out.
At the end of exhalation you should be fully bent forward with the two hands placed on the left foot.
Try to keep the left leg straight.
If possible, try to touch the left knee with your nose or forehead, and place the hands flat on the floor.
This is the final pose as shown.
Stay in the final pose for as long as is comfortable, either holding the breath or breathing slowly and deeply.
Then breathe in and slowly return to the upright starting pose.
Unfold the right leg.
Then balance on the right leg and fold the left leg into half lotus position.
Repeat the same process.
Breathing, awareness and duration
Exhale while bending forwards. Hold the breath or breathe deeply and slowly in the final pose. Inhale while raising the body to the starting position.
Be aware of maintaining balance and synchronizing the movement with the breath.
You can practise for as long as you wish, but don’t strain. Practise at any time of the day, but not after food.
This asana should not be done by people who suffer from:
- slipped disc
- weak legs
Ardha baddha padmottanasana strengthens the leg muscles, improves blood circulation, stimulates the digestive processes and develops a good sense of balance.