The last four postures instructed are "the essential four." (We also wrote blogs about the first 5 and the second group of 6.)
"Siddha, Padma, Simha, and Bhadra---these four are the best."
"Press the perineum with the heel of the foot. Place the other foot above the penis. Hold the chin steady on the heart. Remain motionless. Restrain the senses. Look with a steady gaze between the eyebrows."
This is another highly-regarded traditional meditation posture that has fallen out of popularity in modern yoga. Many old texts refer to Siddhasana as the single most important yoga posture.
13. Padmasana A
"Place the right foot above the left thigh and the left foot above the right thigh. Hold the big toes firmly with both hands from behind. Put the chin on the heart. Look at the tip of the nose."
This position, with the arms wound behind the back, has come to be known as Baddha Padmasana, or Bound Lotus, in the modern era.
"Drag the upturned feet onto the thighs. Place the upturned hands in the middle of the thighs. Keep the eyes on the tip of the nose. Hold the root of the front teeth with the tongue. Place the chin on the chest...Some call this Padmasana."
The text describes this second posture directly after the first Padmasana. It involves a different hand position and the tongue touching the teeth. Probably this variation was a posture that came from a different school or tradition than the first.
"Place the ankles below the scrotum on both sides of the perineum---the left ankle on the right, the right ankle on the left. Place the hands on the knees. Spread the fingers. Open the mouth. Gaze steadily at the tip of the nose with a well-concentrated mind."
The instructions of this posture are quite clear. It is rarely practiced in modern yoga, and when it is the legs are often uncrossed.
"Place the ankles below the scrotum on both sides of the perineum---the left ankle on the left, the right ankle on the right. Grasp the feet, which are on their sides, firmly with the hands. Remain motionless."
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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