[Pose Of the Week] Bound Lotus Pose (Advanced)

Experience calm, relaxation, and a deep stretch for the arms, shoulders, legs, and more in Bound Lotus Pose…

Bound Lotus Pose (Baddha Padmasana) is a more advanced version of the classic Lotus Pose, and is traditionally considered to be the full expression of the pose as it was originally intended. Similar to its unbound version, Bound Lotus Pose helps to stretch the muscles around the knees, ankles and hips, strengthens the spine, improves circulation, and is thought to tone the abdominal organs and relieve menstrual discomfort. This pose also offers an additional stretch to the chest, back, and shoulders. According to this article, it is also called the “destroyer of all diseases,” and is believed to calm the mind, awaken Kundalini and bring about enlightenment through self-realization.

This is an advanced pose that requires flexibility and strength, so be sure you are ready for it before attempting. Before performing this pose, you should be able to sit comfortably in Lotus Pose for several minutes. If you cannot yet perform Lotus Pose, you can start by practicing Half Lotus Pose until you are flexible enough for the full pose, and then progress to the bound version. Always listen to your body and pay attention to its cues when attempting a new pose.

Never force a bind. To modify the pose, if you can’t reach both feet, try just holding one foot at a time until your flexibility increases. If you are unable to reach either toe, you can simply sit in Lotus and cross your arms behind your back, resting the back of each hand on the opposite hip as you begin to open your chest and work your shoulder blades closer together.

For those ready for a greater challenge, you may try folding forward into the Sideways Yogic Seal Pose variation.

Those with recent or chronic injuries to the knees, ankles, or hips should skip this one.

How to Do Bound Lotus Pose:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended, spine straight, and arms resting at your sides. This is Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana).
  2. Bend your right knee and hug it to your chest. Then bring your right ankle to the crease of your left hip so the sole of your right foot faces the sky. The top of your foot should rest on your hip crease.
  3. Bend your left knee. Cross your left ankle over the top of your right shin. The sole of your left foot should also face upwards, and the top of your foot and ankle should rest on your hip crease.
  4. Bring your knees as close together as possible. Press your groins toward the floor and sit up straight in Lotus Pose.
  5. Reach your left arm behind your back and clasp your left foot’s big toe with your left fingers. Then, reach your right arm behind and clasp your right foot’s big toe. Those with more flexibility can hold onto the top of each foot.
  6. Soften your face and bring your gaze to your “third eye,” the space between your eyebrows.
  7. Hold for up to one minute, or for the duration of your meditation or Pranayama practice.
  8. Release the pose by very slowly and gently extending both legs along the floor in Staff Pose. Repeat the pose for the same amount of time with the opposite leg on top. Then release the pose and rest in Corpse Pose (Savasana) for at least five minutes.
Learn More at EverydayYoga.com


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