Asana of the Week: Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana

Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana is almost exactly like Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana except that the posture is seated.  Because of this, the core muscles -- the spinal extensors and abdominals -- must work harder to create extension of the spine without the aid of gravity to draw one deeper into the pose.

The half-lotus position of the top leg releases the internal rotators of the hip as the heel applies pressure to the abdomen, massaging the vital organs with the breath.  The binding of the arm opens the chest and shoulder, encouraging a feeling of extension and spaciousness in this forward bend rather than rounding or curling inward.

Care must be taken to protect the knees.  Always use caution when folding the legs to a lotus or half-lotus position with special awareness on sensation at the joints.  The effects of this posture should be felt at the hips and not in the knees or ankles.  If discomfort is felt at the joints, practice a preparatory posture or modification instead.  Stay for 5-10 breaths in your fullest expression and then repeat on the opposite side.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, and thank you for posting this beautiful pose. I am having difficulty in any seated forward bends that require external rotation of the hip. I feel it in my knees. Can you suggest the proper foot alignment or prep poses? Thank you.