From the advanced Ashtanga yoga series is the Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Pose) revered for its profound physical, mental, and emotional rewards. Open the hips and stretch the hamstrings –this pose is designed to teach the importance of minimizing violence and maximizing mindfulness while being on a yoga mat.
Challenging the flexibility levels of the practitioners, Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana has modifications that allow the practitioners to embrace this pose despite the challenges. Let’s take a look at the instructions for performing the pose and the benefits of Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana.
Step 1: Begin in the mountain pose (Tadasana) and breathe. Now, transfer the body weight to the left foot and press the toes into the yoga mat.
Step 2: Maintaining the balance on the left foot, bend the right knee and lift the leg so that it touches the heart. Straighten the right leg and place the heel on the thigh of the standing leg. The sole of the right foot should face the ceiling.
Step 3: Grab the right toe with your left hand. Raise the right arm up for elongating the torso.
Step 4: Wrap the right hand from behind the back to hold the right foot toe.
Step 5: Come into a forward fold position by bending forward at the hips. Place the left hand on the floor beside the left foot.
Step 6: Tuck the chin to the chest and try to place the forehead on the floor or the shin.
Step7: Hold the pose for 20 seconds. To come out of the pose, bring the torso in an upright stance, unbind the right and left hand, and place the right leg on the floor in the Tadasana.
Practicing Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana is a test of one’s strength and flexibility. So, there are modifications and variations to help the practitioners.
1. For a proper alignment of the body in the half bound lotus pose, it is advisable that practitioners rest their left hand (vice-a-versa) on a block and can gradually work on resting it on the floor beside the left foot.
2. The Beginner level Yogis can perform Ardha Padma Vrksasana or Half Lotus Tree Pose and gently build up your way to perform the Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana.
Contraindications Of The Pose:
1. Strong and Flexible Knees are the keys to performing this intense yoga posture. If you are suffering from any knee problem or joint discomfort, the pose should be avoided until the symptoms persist.
2. People with a headache, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and hip injuries should also avoid doing the pose.
Here the five best health benefits of half bound lotus pose:
1. Activates the Digestion: As an individual fold forward, the abdominal organ is contracted, the digestive organs are activated and supplied with freshly oxygenated blood. This aids in peristaltic movement, eliminating toxins, and removing stuck materials in the intestines.
2. Enhanced Blood Supply: The semi-inverted stance of the body in the Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana enhances the blood flow to the upper region of the body, specifically the head that soothes the nerves and releases stress. The flow of blood rich in nutrients to the face helps in removing skin problems and brings a glow to the face.
3. Flexible Joints: The movement of the body in the half-bound lotus pose works on lubricating the knees, legs, and hips. The balancing movement strengthens the leg and the folding of the knee releases stiffness from the knee joint and increases its flexibility. The pose excellently works on amplifying the pliancy of the hips as well.
4. Opens the Shoulders and Chest: With one arm wrapped behind the back, the shoulders get exercised, and there is an increased supply of blood to the shoulder joints. This then opens the chest and facilitates better respiration.
5. Storehouse of Benefits: At last, the half bound lotus pose is a storehouse of rewards. In the long list, the benefits of Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana includes: toning the legs, enhancing concentration levels, shedding extra fat stored on the body, and cultivating body balance.
Provoke your flexibility and patience in the Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana for the greater good of the body, mind, and soul.