How To Do Upward Lotus (Urdhva Padmasana)
Categorized an Ashtanga inversion, the Upward Lotus or Urdhva Padmasana falls under the Advanced Yoga territory. You are advised not to try this posture before mastering the classical headstand or Sirsasana first. Urdhva Padmasana benefits are for both the body and psyche, which you need to explore with a persistent practice and experience with a composed deportment.
You can find the Upward Lotus featured in the first series of Ashtanga Yoga.
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Perform This Asana:
1. Ensure support and safety for your head with a folded blanket kept to the top of the mat. Now, move into the classical headstand or Sirsasana by raising the knees off floor and drawing the toes heard-wards and finally upping the legs from the ground. Keep vertical alignment in your spine and thighs.
Tip: Use a wall for gathering support in going off the floor and up with the legs.
2. Fold your right knee, bringing the leg gently upon the left thigh. Interlock by placing the left leg on top of the right and thus form a lotus pose in the air.
3. There is initially going to be a struggle in maintaining a the balance. Breathe normally and fall back on the wall to stabilize.
4. Straighten your legs out synchronized with a deep exhale to discharge from the asana.
5. Put down the legs softly back on the floor and rest for some time in the Corpse Pose.
Modifications & Variations
Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana: Integrated in technique, doubly beneficial as well as doubly challenging, this exclusive modification of the Upward Lotus Headstand is a feat for the masters. Some great benefits of this yogic feat are—improved and optimized thyroid action, more direct impact in the abdominal and thoracic area, development of muscles along the spine, neck, and shoulder girdle, and extreme life force or prana jetting towards the head.
Perform Urdhva Padmasana in Sarvangasana by assuming Padmasana in a seated position and then turning on your laid back. Buoy up your torso from the floor with the support of hands kept to your back, joined together with interlaced fingers. Place your hands to the back of your buttocks and buoy it up too and all the while your legs interlocked in the lotus posture. Slowly, your upturned torso will come to rest upon the strength of your rock solid shoulders and spine. Now, take off the hand support from the back and bring them to the front. Support your folded knees aligned right over your shoulders with the hands now acting as pillars.
Upward Lotus Benefits & Advantages
Blood Flow Into the Optical Veins: The flip over does wonders for the blood flow in the scalp direction, a lot of which channels straight into the optical veins. Intensive and much needed, this blood onrush detoxifies the fine eye muscles and brings all the nutrients in the area.
Macular Degeneration, a disorder that causes blurriness and distortion in the middle of visual fields is quite common today and catches with many after a certain age. This syndrome shows deterioration in the macula or central retina due to under-nutrition and leads on to various other optical disorders. Proper blood channeling in the eye with Urdhva Padmasana makes way for a better retina health and immunity to cataract or glaucoma.
Decongest Sinuses with Blood Flow to the Head: The Lotus done upside down is a great way to reach gallons of rich blood through the head and spinal circuit. This onrush washes the sinuses clean and the toxin flush out brings a sense of freshness to headwork. It’s only natural to feel less stressed and maximized clarity in the thought process the sinuses are de-congested thus.
The blood transfer to the crown also works in effectively reaching rich nutrients to the hair follicles, making them strong and visibly more luscious.
Rock Solid Arms and Shoulders: A lot of people are oblivious to yoga as strength training. The truth is postures like the Urdhva Padmasana tick boxes major CDC criteria for it, that too by not employing anything but lift and support with your own body weight to build real grit.
Ramming down in the ground with support of your forearms while doing this posture can naturally harnesses from your arm, shoulders, and back strength. At the same time, you should strive to lay off excessive pressure from the head and neck to be safe and make the exercise completely upper body strength centric.
Digestion In a Churn: This upside-down pose sets the gravity on the reverse, setting a congested digestive tract in a churn. Result? Healthy bowel movements, release of gas, enhanced blood inside the digestive fabric, better ingestion and nutrient delivery at a cellular level. It is also highly advised to do intense pranayamic breathing during your headstand for an even better effect.
Lymphatic System Stimulation: The lymphatic system exists to channel out the pollutants from your blood, therefore requiring a fluid moving around throughout the body space. Once you bob head down doing the Upward Lotus, the lymphatic sap literally drains up and about, taking all the accumulated blood toxins with it. Result-you feel super fresh and clean from inside.
Performing this posture is a strict ‘no’ in case of an injury in the knee, ankles, shoulders, or hips and acute headache. The pose can also be detrimental for high blood pressure conditions.
To know about Urdhva Padmasana in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.