Peek Behind the Pose- Mythology and Meaning Behind Padmasana.
Mythology is something that’s has always been interesting to me, so I was excited when I started learning of the mythology behind yoga poses. Each pose has a story and relates back to something from the Bhagavad Gita (basically the history of yoga.) Some poses stem directly from different parts of that text, and others are just a representation of symbolism from it. There are so many to talk about, I will only do one at a time and today I want to start with what might seem like a basic pose, but it is actually a difficult pose that takes practice and holds great meaning in the yogic world. Today we will start with Padmasana, or lotus pose.
The story goes, the Hindu God Vishnu was floating around the cosmic sea of possibility and the time came for the next cycle of creation, so out from his navel sprouted a lotus flower. After it grew tall the petals opened up to reveal the Hindu God of creation, Brahma. Brahma uttered the sound “OM”, and cosmic ocean swirled into the universe we have today.
Padmasana– lotus pose
So how does this relate to some cross legged meditation pose? Well, it’s all about using this pose and meditation to open up our minds and tap into who we are supposed to become. The lotus sprouting from Vishnu’s navel represents how we are fed and nourished from our mother through a cord at her navel, and that nourishment becomes a huge part in making us who are today, and who we will become in the future. The sound of “OM” being used to kick start creation is translated today to using OM in our meditation practice to help kick start us tapping into our own creative processes.
Now, let’s become the flower. The lotus is a flower that grows in murky waters, rises above from the very bottom, reaches up through deep water in search for light, and blooms above it, just high enough that when opened its petals do not fall down far enough to touch the murk below. To many, the lotus represents purity, beauty, and strength, and the beautiful open flower petals represent spiritual awakening. In the 8-fold path of yoga the act of meditating is something we must do to reach our own spiritual awakening. So with feet resting on top your legs, you are rooted down strong and firm, like the roots of the lotus flower rooted way down in the bottom of the pond. From the ground you sit tall, working to ascend yourself in your own practice and enlightenment, just like the lotus must grow tall and ascend towards the top to reach the light of the sun. In this pose, and though our practice of meditation, we open our minds and hearts. We push past the muck in our lives (the stress, the bills, the worry of what is to come in the future) and focus on blossoming into who we are meant to be, our true self. Once we can finally open up and reveal our beauty inside, we will then have risen above and with that enlightenment we will keep our beautiful petals from ever falling back into the murky waters of self doubt and unrelenting negativity.
For being such a simple looking pose, that actually takes a lot of work to get your hips soft enough to sit comfortably for meditation, the story and meaning behind it are so powerful and complex.
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Namaste my friends! ??❤️
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