Half Lotus, Seated
ARDHA PADMĀSANA (अर्ध पद्मासन)
(AR-dhuh puhd-MAHH-sah-nah)

 


‘Ardha’= half, ‘Padma’= lotus, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Tailor’s Seat Pose
Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Seated / Stretch / Hip Opener / Restorative

1. Start in Easy Pose (Sukhasana), seated with each foot tucked under the opposite knee. Bring your shoulders down and back so that your shoulders are under your ears. Draw your shoulder blades together so that your spine is straight.
2. Take the left foot and place it on top of the opposite thigh with the sole facing upward and the heel close to the groin. Leave your right foot resting on the floor, under your left knee, with the sole facing up.
3. Place your hands either on your knees (palms facing down or up), on your knees in Guyan Mudra (facing down or up), or in Prayer Mudra over the heart center.
4. Root into your sit bones and lengthen through the spine, up through to the crown of your head.
5. Close your eyes and relax your body. Start from the top of your head down through to your feet. Relax your face and jaw. Relax your shoulders. Sink into your hips, relaxing your thighs, and bringing your knees down to a comfortable position. Relax your feet and toes.
6. Keep your back straight and breathe deeply. When ready, slowly release and repeat on the other side.

Common Adjustments
• Gazing up
• Spine rounded
• Lower back over-arched
• Elbows locked
• Face and neck strained
• Shoulders hunched or lifted
• Not lengthening the spine through the crown
• Ribs popping forward
• Legs not relaxed
• Knees elevated

Modifications
• For students with tight hips or discomfort in the lower back, place a block, pillow, bolster, or blanket under the buttock and hips for comfort and stability. This also helps a rounded lower back.
• If the hips and knees are tight or your student has knee discomfort, place a block, pillow, bolster, or blanket under the knees. Alternatively, students can extend one leg out so that they can sit for longer periods in this pose.
• Students with knee discomfort can also place a strap behind the knee and pull the knee away from them. Or they can place a small rolled towel behind the knee.
• For spine support, students can practice with their back against a wall. This helps with alignment of the spine and hips as well as makes sure that the back is straight and not arched.
• To help keep the shoulders broad and back, have students sit about an inch from the wall (about the thickness of a small block) and place a block between the wall and the lower shoulder blades. This serves as a soft reminder and helps keep the back flat.
• For students with hip, knee, and/or ankle injury or inflammation, that want to practice this pose, they can practice Easy Pose (Sukhasana) or Half Easy Pose (Ardho Sukhasana).

Counter Poses
• Seated Forward Bend Head to Knee (Janu Sirsasana)
• Revolved Seated Forward Bend Head to Knee (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
• Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
• Lord of the Fishes, Half (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Anatomy
• Chest (Pectoralis Minor)• Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Abdomen (Core) and Obliques• Lower Back (Lumbar)
• Hips (Iliopsoas)• Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Calf muscles• Knees
• Ankles• Feet

Benefits
• For beginners, this is a good alternative to Lotus Pose (Padmasana) for meditation.
• Strengthens and stretches the back, hips, knees, ankles, and thighs which opens the hips, knees, and ankles and improves flexibility; especially in the hip joints and groin area.
• Opens the hips and relieves stiffness in the hips, knees, and ankles.
• Brings awareness to the spine - improving posture and alignment, as well as balance.
• Calms the mind by stimulating the nervous system, which reduces stress, anxiety, mild depression, and fatigue.
• Improves blood circulation and digestion.

Contraindications
1. Students with backaches should not stay in this pose for extended periods of time.
2. Students with hip and/or knee injury or inflammation, arthritis in the knees, had hip and/or knee surgery or replacement, spine issues, slip disc, sciatica, or have a headache or migraine should avoid this pose or seek guidance on modifications.
3. It is important that students do not force their knees into this pose as they can seriously injure themselves. If discomfort is felt at any time, they should slowly exit the pose and try one of the above modifications.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Six:Third-Eye or Ajna (to perceive) Chakra. This is the intuition and projection chakra. Its goals are psychic perception and imagination. Its location is the brow.
Chakra Seven:Crown or Sahasrara (Thousandfold) Chakra. This is the understanding and consciousness chakra. Its goals are wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual connection. Its location is the top of the head.



Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbook

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 8 – Seated Postures as “Padmasana – Lotus Pose”. It is listed as a variation under “Third Variation: Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus, or Tailor’s Seat)”.
    • Watch the Chapter 8 video “Agnistambhasana (Fire Log Pose)” found in the Web Resources that come with your textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini. This video gives you an additional example of how to practice this asana.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, a variation of this posture can be found in Chapter 9 – SITTING POSES as “PADMASANA – Lotus Posture”. It is listed at the beginning of the chapter with other variations of this asana. You will also see a section called “COMMON SKELETAL JOINT ACTIONS (FOR FIVE PREVIOUS POSES)” that will provide additional insight.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, a variation of this posture can be found in Chapter 9 – SITTING POSES as “SIDDHASANA – Adept’s Posture”. It is listed at the beginning of the chapter with other variations of this asana. You will also see a section called “COMMON SKELETAL JOINT ACTIONS (FOR FIVE PREVIOUS POSES)” that will provide additional insight.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, a variation of this posture can be found in Chapter 9 – SITTING POSES as “SVASTIKASANA – Auspicious Posture”. It is listed at the beginning of the chapter with other variations of this asana. You will also see a section called “COMMON SKELETAL JOINT ACTIONS (FOR FIVE PREVIOUS POSES)” that will provide additional insight.

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