What’s the difference between Padmasana and an asana?

By | August 24, 2021

What is the difference between an asana and Padmasana?

As soon as your yoga practice is revealed, you will likely be asked the question: “So, can you do that pretzel with your legs?” Padmasana (Lotus Pose), a.k.a. Padmasana (Lotus Pose), also known as “the pretzel”, is synonymous with yoga practice. If you, like me, are unable to attain Padmasana even after 10 years of practicing, then you will have to insist that you do not do Lotus and face suspicions that you may be a hatha yoga dilettante.

Although many of my conditions improved, 22 years later I am still amazed at the stubborn nature of certain parts of my body. Although Hatha yoga is an effective way to balance the mind and body, I have found that certain parts of my body remain problematic. My congenitally weak lower back makes it difficult to backbend and demands respect; my neck, shoulders, and upper back tend toward stiffness; my right hip was severely injured in a dance injury that made Lotus Pose for me a unique challenge for many years.

It’s all in the Hips

This is how I warm up for Padmasana. This sequence assumes you have mastered deep hip opening movements and can do Half Lotus without injury to your knee. You may find yourself stuck between Half Lotus and raising your second leg into the real McCoy, as many practitioners do. Standing poses are the best way to do these movements, especially if your body is already warm. You may find it easier to practice in the afternoon if you are very tight. Start by committing to each position for at least one minute. 12-15 breaths are a good starting point.

Ardhi Buddha Padmottanasana

Standing in Tanasan (Mountain Pose), gently lift your right leg into Ardhi Padmasana. Slowly bend forward and extend your right leg from the heel of your right foot to the groin. For balance, place your hands on the ground and adjust the hips to be level with the floor. With the help of gravity, focus your attention on releasing the femur from the Lotus leg downward. Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen and allow the pelvis to move around the femur.What's the difference between Padmasana and an asana

Ardhi Padmasana

Half Lotus is a transitional state where your left leg moves forward. Rotate the leg outward to make it easier. Place your left foot under your right knee. Flex your left ankle. You should not be able to see the soles of your feet from this position. You should maintain this integrity by bending forward and putting your weight on your fingertips. A folded blanket may help you to bend forward.


You are ready to attempt full Padmasana if your right knee is close to or touching your left leg in Ardhi Padmasana. Dona Holleman taught me a safer way to enter Padmasana. It involves pulling your second leg up into the pose. Half Lotus: Lean back so that your right leg is off the ground. Place your left hand under your left lower leg. Grab the outside of your leg with your right hand.

oga Asana vs Basic Body Position

Do you know how your posture changes when you are standing, sitting, lying down, or sleeping? You probably aren’t!

Contrary to popular belief, when we find ourselves in a pose of yoga we are conscious that we are there.

Take, for example, a regular pose while we sleep vs. a Yoga pose (Sav asana). Both cases are similar in that the body is physically in the same position.

To bend your knees

To bring your thighs parallel to ground

Finally, take a moment to pose

This effort is not required to reach a certain level or achieve a chair pose we already know. Instead, the effort is felt in the knees and thighs. This prompts the mind’s attention to this spot. This effort is a key to directing your mind away from the pose and allowing it to focus on one thing.

When the mind is focused on the pose or certain parts of the pose, the effort becomes insignificant and the pose becomes easy. This stage is very similar to sitting on a chair.

Better Respiratory System

Asanas that combine breathing and asana are great for your lungs. Asanas of sitting yoga increase the elasticity of your lungs.

For people with asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), it is beneficial to practice supine and sitting yoga poses with yogic breath. These asanas improve lung flexibility and capacity.

What does Padmasana actually mean?

Padmasana, also known as Lotus Pose in Sanskrit, is the Sanskrit name of a well-known yoga asana. This is a seated position in which the legs cross and the feet are on top of the opposing thighs at the hip crease. It is derived from two Sanskrit roots: Padma (meaning “lotus”) and asana (meaning “seat” or posture).

To practice Padmasana

Start by laying down with your legs extended and your spine straight.

To bring your left foot towards the left thigh, bend your right knee and cradle your lower right leg.

Place your right foot’s outer edge in your left hip crease, with the sole facing you.

Continue this process with the left leg. Bring it up on top of your right leg so that they are crossed.

You can place your hands on the knees to rest them, or you can form a mudra.

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