While many yoga poses have wonderful benefits for our bodies by improving flexibility, strength, and toning, sometimes the more gentle poses are the ones that create deep change within us.
Lotus Pose, or Padmasana, is an extremely powerful pose, especially for women. It is a wonderful example of a pose that connects the mind, body, and spirit — one of the ultimate goals of yoga.
To find Lotus Pose, come to a seated position on your mat. From here, cross one leg on top of the other, placing the foot in the opposite hip crease. Then, cross the other leg over the top of the first, finding the other hip crease.
This pose can be very difficult for people with tight hips and thighs to get into and requires a good amount of hip opening in preparation. People with knee injuries should also be cautious of this pose and be sure to keep the feet active and flexed to protect the knee.
Below, you'll find some of the many holistic benefits of Lotus Pose:
Easing Menstruation and Childbirth
As many women know, menstruation can be a bothersome and even painful monthly event. Severe cramping, bloating, fatigue, and irritation give this time of the month a bad rap.
What many women forget, or are never taught, is to appreciate the incredible feat that our bodies experience each month in preparation to create life. Having a regular period is a sign of overall wellbeing, while irregular periods signal more serious physical and mental health concerns.
Utilizing Lotus Pose throughout the month can help to make the menstruation week less frustrating and painful. Practicing yoga in general is useful for women to relax the nervous system and strengthen the muscles around the important reproductive organs. It also helps to reduce stress, which plays a role in regulating the hormones.
Lotus Pose specifically helps by opening the hips, while strengthening the core and back, which are usually points of discomfort during menstruation. It is also a pose commonly coupled with breathing exercises — taking the stress reduction capacity to the next level.
Lotus Pose also has the potential to ease symptoms of menstruation and ease childbirth by helping to stretch the pelvic floor and soften and stretch the vaginal opening. While this pose may get difficult as the due date approaches, it is a wonderful tool for the early months of pregnancy.
Stimulating the Lymphatic System
In Lotus Pose, we are pressing our heels directly into the hip joints — a place where many lymph nodes live. Stimulating these nodes and the lymphatic system pushes out toxins and gives us a little boost of immunity.
It is a great pose to use for days when you feel under the weather or at the first signs of a cold.
Releasing Emotional Blockages in the Hips
You may have heard yoga teachers talk about holding emotions in our hips and wonder what that really means. This has a lot to do with stress and how our body reacts to it.
When our body perceives a threat, it initiates the fight or flight response. It today’s world, a threat can be anything from a looming deadline at work, to an argument with a partner, to a traumatic situation. When this reaction occurs, the body becomes tense, and much of that tension is in the hips.
Issues arise when we are on constant high alert (as many of us are due to stressful lifestyles) and never release that tension. The result is years of built up stress, anger, sadness, or guilt — all stored in our hips.
Hip openers like Lotus Pose allow us to undo years of damage and begin to release those emotions. If you’ve ever felt yourself close to tears by the end of a hip opening yoga sequence — this is why! Letting emotional damage come to the surface can be painful, but it is undoubtedly more healthy for our bodies and minds in the long run.
Connecting to the Root Chakra
The chakras are the seven energy centers in the body that are connected to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
The Root Chakra, located at the base of the spine is connected to our basic human instincts, like fear and survival. It is also tied to our body image, feeling grounded, our physical health, feelings of isolation, and desire for money and material possessions.
When our Root Chakra is off balance, we can feel angry, depressed, fatigued, and even constipated. When our Root Chakra is balanced, we feel safe and secure in our lives, happy in our jobs, connected to our community, and present in each moment. There are lots of ways to help balance this chakra, including seated yoga poses.
When we sit in Lotus, the base of our spine is pressed firmly into the mat. With this, we physically root ourselves into the earth and find a sense of grounding. From here, we can do the mental and emotional work to determine what is stopping us from that sense of grounding in our lives.
Balancing the Root Chakra is about finding balance in life, so that our morals, thoughts, and ideals of a happy life match our actions and behaviors.
Which of these benefits have you found from Lotus Pose? Share with us below!