Lotus Pose (Padmasana) is one of the most-recognized yoga postures. This advanced variation, Bound Revolved Lotus Pose, deeply twists the torso, which detoxifies and cleanses the internal organs.
The Sanskrit name for this pose, "Baddha Parivrtta Padmasana" (BAHD-uh PAH-ruh-VREE-tah pahd-MAHS-uh-nuh), comes from four words:
- "Baddha" — meaning "bound"
- “Parivrtta" — meaning “revolved”
- "Padma" — meaning "lotus"
- “Asana” — meaning “pose”
Only students who can already sit comfortably in full Lotus Pose for several minutes should practice this variation. If you are not yet able to perform Lotus Pose, practice Revolved Half Lotus Pose (Parivrtta Ardha Padmasana) until you have gained the necessary strength and flexibility for full Lotus Pose.
Benefits of Bound Revolved Lotus Pose
Mind is the king of the senses. One who has conquered his mind, senses, passions, thought, and reason is a king among men.
Baddha Parivrtta Padmasana provides a deep stretch to the spine, back, front torso, shoulders, and chest. This pose also stretches the knees, ankles, and hips. Revolving the torso around the spine stimulates the digestive organs to release toxins and flush away waste matter. Additionally, this deep, bound twist tones the upper and lower abdomen, improving digestion and metabolism. It also boosts energy. Sitting upright with your spine aligned also calms your mind, helping to prepare your brain and body for deep relaxation and seated meditation.
Avoid practicing this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to the spine, shoulders, knees, ankles, or hips. Only perform this variation if you can sit comfortably in full Lotus Pose. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended, spine straight, and arms resting at your sides. This is Seated Staff Pose (Dandasana).
- Bend your left knee and hug it to your chest. Then bring your left ankle to the crease of your right hip so the sole of your left foot faces the sky. The top of your foot should rest on your hip crease.
- Bend your right knee and cross your right ankle over the top of your left shin. The sole of your right foot should also face upwards, and the top of your foot and ankle should rest on your hip crease.
- Bring your knees as close together as possible. Press your groins toward the floor and sit up straight. This is Lotus Pose (Padmasana).
- Place your right hand on the floor behind you. Bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee, exhaling as you gently twist to the right.
- Inhale again to lengthen your spine. On an exhalation, reach your right arm all the way around your back. Clasp your right foot's toes with your right hand. Those with more flexibility can hold onto the top of the right foot.
- Sit up straight. Do not lean your torso forward in order to make the bind or to twist deeper. Instead, twist only as far as you can go while keeping your head aligned directly over your tailbone. If you cannot yet make the bind, rest your right hand on your left hip, instead.
- Hold for up to 10 breaths. Exhale and come back to center.
- Release the pose by very slowly and gently extending both legs along the floor in Staff Pose. Then repeat the pose for the same amount of time with the opposite leg on top. Come back to center, release your legs, and then come back into Staff Pose.
Modifications & Variations
Practicing Baddha Parivrtta Padmasana will help cleanse and re-balance your body from the inside out. If you are not yet able to perform Lotus Pose, do not practice this variation yet. Instead, practice Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana) until you have gained the flexibility and strength to sit comfortably in that pose. Then work your way toward Revolved Lotus Pose (Parivrtta Padmasana), and finally to Bound Revolved Lotus Pose.
This deep twist will add flexibility to your body and variety to your regular yoga practice. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Since Revolved Lotus Pose (Parivrtta Padmasana) is the foundation for this variation, it's important to get its alignment correct. Thoroughly review the information in the iSport guide, How to Do Revolved Lotus Pose in Yoga, before trying this variation!
- Twist to the right first, and then to the left. This mimics the natural flow of digestion and will boost the detoxifying benefits of the pose.
- Make sure you change the cross of your legs and twist for the same amount of time in both directions.
- Keep your spine vertical throughout the pose. The crown of your head should maintain its alignment directly over your tailbone.
- Never force the bind. If you cannot yet reach your foot with your hand, rest your hand on your hip. If you cannot reach that far, practice Revolved Lotus Pose (Parivrtta Padmasana), instead.
Cleanse from the Inside Out
Regularly practicing Bound Revolved Lotus Pose will help you keep your internal organs freshly cleansed and working at their optimum levels. When you release the twist, the organs are flushed with freshly oxygenated blood. This will help your body rid itself of waste matter, just like wringing out a dirty sponge. Remember never to force the pose and only take on this variation when you are adequately prepared for it. Add this pose to your practice and enjoy its balancing and cleansing benefits!