Lotus Pose – Padmasana

This classic seated yoga posture is one of many used for meditation. The name and its meaning suggest an attitude of reverence and humility: The lotus is symbolic of purity of mind, body and speech. While rooted in mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. Detachment is symbolic as drops of water easily slide off its petals. Practicing this pose promotes an understanding that though we may be rooted in this world of the material we can aspire to reach heights beyond our mundane existence.

The mechanics of this pose can be challenging for those with hip and knee issues. The point is to sit in a balanced fashion with the spine straight and to be comfortable enough to maintain the position for a length of time. This pose should never be forced. For many students it may be contraindicated. An obvious option is to sit in Sukhasana, Easy Cross-legged Pose or Swastikasana, with legs crossed and each foot coming underneath the opposite knee. It’s important to have the knees level to the hips or even slightly lower so the use of a folded blanket under the buttocks is often recommended. Even if seated in a chair, you can cultivate the deep meaning of this pose: Go inward. Practice the ritual of observance as you center and ground yourself.