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Find your seat and release physical and emotional tension by moving mindfully, step by step, into Padmasana.
Opens the hips, stretches the hip flexors, and fosters a sense of grounding, preparing you for seated meditation
1. Start in Baddha Konasana, rooting down through your sitting bones and pressing your heels together. Open the balls of your feet with your hands and let your knees open to the sides. Inhale to find length in your spine.
2. Lift your right leg, sliding your left knee in closer to your midline. Place your right foot high on the left thigh. Be careful not to sickle the right foot, instead keeping it flexed with the sole facing upward. The angle of your foot reflects the rotation of your leg in relationship to your hip: If the foot isn’t turned up, you are trying to rotate your leg from the knee down, which could cause strain and injury.
See also Watch + Learn: Bound Angle Pose
3. Lift your left leg, with the thigh rotated outward. Again, be careful not to rotate from the knee, but rather from the hip. Keep the sternum lifted, extending the spine.
4. Place the left foot high on the right thigh for the full expression of Padmasana. Try not to let the ankles sickle. Release your knees toward the floor and lengthen your spine. If your knees are far from the floor, and your spine is rounding, sit on the edge of a folded blanket. Take slow, deep breaths and stay in the pose for at least 5 breaths, holding it for as long as is comfortable.
While wonderfully effective hip openers, these poses can be harmful to the knees if practiced in the wrong way. If you feel any pain in the knees, back off immediately. The knees should never be made to rotate; they are designed to primarily hinge forward and backward. On the other hand, your hips have a huge range of motion and can rotate many degrees. In Baddha Konasana, you learn the proper hip rotation for Padmasana, so you can avoid knee pain and injury in this final pose.