A perfect injury free Padmasana and its sustenance for a longer period of time requires optimal flexibility of adductors, ankles & hips.  Stiffness in any one of these could be harmful to the involved joints and muscles and could lead to severe injuries. Hence, it is important to prepare these supporting muscles, as a part of preparatory practice, before one embarks on this journey.

Our last two blogs focused on increasing the flexibility of adductors, ankle joints and the frontal part of the feet. This blog encompasses hip opening and tensor fascia latae practices. Regular practice of these movements will not only help one prepare for the posture but also will warm up the muscles, when done just before performing Padmasana.

Baddhakonasana (Variation of Baddhakonasana) (Angle Bound)

Cradling your leg like a baby

  1. Sit on the floor, stretch your legs out, maintain a neutral spine position and place your palms by the side of your hips (Dandasana).
  2. Use your hands and pull out your left buttock out to the left and  the right buttock out to the right to create more space
  3. Fold your left leg at the knee
  4. Place the edge of your left little toe in the crease of your right folded elbow
  5. Then support your left knee with the crease of the folded left elbow
  6. Support your left leg with both palms like you are about to cradle a baby; left leg is parallel to the floor and close to your chest
  7. Now swing the held leg left to right and right to left as if you are rocking a baby; perform 5-10 rounds and repeat with the right leg

 This will help open up your hips and tensor fascia latae

Ardha Baddhakonasana (Half Angle Bound Posture)

  1. Sit on the floor, stretch your legs out, maintain a neutral spine position and place your palms by the side of your hips (Dandasana).
  2. Use your hands and pull out your left buttock out to the left and  the right buttock out to the right to create more space
  3. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the left thigh
  4. Press your right toes against your left thigh with the left palm
  5. Place your right palm against the outer edge  of your right knee (facing the floor); raise your right knee up to bring it close to the right side of the chest; at this position, move your right palm from the outer edge of the right knee to the inner edge of the right knee; push the right palm against the knee to bring it back on the floor; change your right palm position to perform the movement for the second time
  6. Perform 10 rounds of this movement
  7. Change the leg and follow the sequence

Vastus Lateralis (outer edge of knee joint) is highly involved during the performance of Padmasana. The above stretch helps increase the flexibility of this muscle and therefore, is one of the most important stretches to be performed in the preparation process for performing Padmasana.

Toes to Third Eye

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  1. Sit on the floor, stretch your legs out, maintain a neutral spine position and place your palms by the side of your hips (Dandasana).
  2. Use your hands and pull out your left buttock out to the left and  right buttocks out to the right to create more space
  3. Bend right knee and place the right foot at the root of the left leg;
  4. Place your palms (one stacked at the top of the other) at the outer side of the right ankle (one facing the floor) as if you are holding your ankle region on your palms; both the palms have gone from inside of the right leg and not from outside
  5. Maintain the length of the spine and raise your ankle up with the support of the palms to bring your toes in between your eyebrows
  6. Bring the foot down to its beginning position. Perform 10 rounds of this before moving on to the next leg

The common mistakes while lifting the toes to forehead are – curling up of the back, abdomen, lower neck and hypertension of the neck i.e. dropping it toward the foot. Please note it is NOT the forehead touching the foot but vice versa. That means engagement of leg i.e. hips to toes is crucial and one needs to make sure that the back, neck and head are neutral and perpendicular to the floor.

It is important to note that the joints of the leg i.e. knees and ankles are involved only to give rotational movements and there are no jerks or extreme pull on these joints.

The important areas to focus are opening up of hips, extension of outer hip, flexion of inner thighs and pubis area.

Baddhakonasana Flapping

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  1. Sit on the floor, stretch your legs out, maintain a neutral spine position and place your palms by the side of your hips (Dandasana).
  2. Use your hands and pull out your left buttock out to the left and  the right buttock out to the right to create more space
  3. Fold your legs from the knees in such a way that the underside of your feet is in contact with each other.
  4. Just like a butterfly flaps its wings up and down, slowly move your knees up and down. Raise your knees off the floor and while dropping them down, mentally use the strength of the inner thigh (near groin) to push it down with wide opening
  5. The thighs and calves should touch the ground as much as possible (it is ok if it does not touch the ground)
  6. Repeat 50-100 times with full awareness

This will not only open your hips but also release the extreme tightness of the inner thighs.

Practicing all these exercises daily will make your body ready for Ardh Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose) in few a weeks and then prepare you further for achieving Padmasana. The benefits of these practices, however, are much more than just Padmasana. These practices help mobilize the back of your hips and legs completely which would be beneficial for people who are chair bound for hours as well as for the people who are in dynamic activities and end up with stiffness due to the lack of inadequate stretches.

Practicing these stretches is like investing in a healthy lifestyle where your body and joints would perform to their optimal capacity without any aches or pains.

Disclaimer: Approach your practice with a submissive approach.  Do not try to reach the final stage in haste as they may be injurious to your muscles & joints.

For any query, write to “Ask Shammi” on www.shammisyogalaya.com For other blogs on related subject, check www.shammisyogalayablog.com


Shammi GuptaShammi Gupta, founder of Shammi’s Yogalaya holds an MA in Yoga Shastra, is a certified Yogic Therapist and Naturopath, has completed an Advanced Yoga Course and holds a Diploma in Yoga Education from Mumbai University. She is a certified trainer from American College of Sports Medicine and holds an MBA in HR & MBA in Finance from The University of Akron, Ohio, USA. She conducts Health Awareness Workshops for Corporate, Yogasana Workshops for Athletes and Yoga Therapy Workshops on different medical issues for patients. Among the celebrities Shammi trains are eminent personalities from the film and television industry and corporate world.