By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Utthita Padmasana, in this pose the practitioner assumes the pose of a raised lotus and hence the name ‘raised lotus pose’. Here he first takes the lotus pose and then lifts his body in the same pose with the help of his hands grounded on the floor and pressing against it while lifting his body into the air. It is one of the major poses included in Hatha Yoga practices. It greatly strengthens core and improves digestive functions. it also provides strength and energy to muscles and bones.
Read – Padmasana Lotus Pose, How to do, Benefits, Side Effects, Ayurveda View
Utthita = raised
Padma = lotus
Asana = pose
It is also called by different names –
- Tulasana = Tula means balance, Asana means pose. Since the pose looks like an ancient balance used to weigh things, it is called as ‘balance pose’.
- Dolasana = Dola means to swing, Asana means pose. Since in the final pose after taking the lift in the air, the practitioner swings to and fro. Therefore it is called as ‘swing pose’.
- Tolasana = Tola means scale. Since the final pose looks like a weighing scale it is called as ‘scale pose’.
It is an intermediate to advance level pose and is a balancing hip opener.
Preparation for Utthita Padmasana
- This pose should be done on empty stomach preferably early in the morning.
- Food should be consumed 3-4 hours before taking the pose if it is practiced at some other part of the day.
- The bowel and bladder should be kept empty while taking on to the pose.
Method of doing
1. Starting from Ardha Padmasana / Half Lotus Pose (beginner’s pose)
Positioning for the pose
Sit in Dandasana. Come into the half lotus pose.
Start with crossing left leg over right upper thigh such that foot is placed near the right groin. Now bend right leg and tuck it beneath left leg. Right knee and ankle are touching the floor. This is half lotus pose.
Read – Ardha Padmasana – Half Lotus Pose, How To Do, Benefits, Dosha Effects
Performing the pose
Keep hands on either side pressing on the floor. You may use the blocks if you cannot do it with hands pressing against the floor. Either way, the intention is to keep the spine vertical and straight.
From here pressing hands and with their support you should lift up body off the floor. At the beginner level you may just lift butts while resting right knee and feet in contact with the floor. Later you may try with complete lift.
As you master the pose a little you may lift up using core first with only right foot / toes touching the floor and later with a total lift in half lotus. Open chest. Your neck and shoulders are relaxed and shoulders are down. Avoid squeezing neck and shoulders. Keep neck long and facial muscles relaxed. Importantly don’t tighten body.
Be here for few seconds.
Read – Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana – How To Do, Benefits
Release from the pose
- Release by coming down.
- Now repeat the steps on the opposite side i.e. by keeping right foot on the top of left thigh / groin to complete one round of the pose.
- After completing the pose on both sides you may release half lotus and come back to the staff pose and finish.
2. Variation – Starting from Padmasana / Lotus Pose (advance pose)
You may start from staff pose or directly from the lotus pose.
Sit comfortably on the mat in cross legged posture.
To easily get into the ‘lotus pose’, keep hips a little higher than knees. Cross the foot of both legs over the thighs of other legs. Now left foot is crossed and placed on right thigh such that the heel is close to the right hip joint crease / groin. Right foot is crossed and placed on left thigh such that the heel is close to left hip joint crease / groin. Now you are in lotus pose.
Turn the sole of each foot upwards, so that you can lengthen the leg effectively through ankles. Ankles should be pressed firmly on thighs.
Now place hands beside the hips. Press palms firmly on the ground.
Open chest, lower shoulders. Gradually lift butts off the ground while pressing hands on the ground. You may also use the blocks to place hands instead of on the floor. Now body is lifted off the ground in lotus pose with the help of hands.
Hold in this pose for 30-60 seconds.
Release from the pose –
- Gently come down to the ground.
- Lift hands off the ground.
- Relax and breathe freely.
Read – Akarna Dhanurasana – Archer’s Pose, How To Do, Benefits
- You can further challenge yourself in the pose.
- After lifting yourself off the floor in lotus pose, you may swing legs ahead and take it back, to and fro.
- Now this becomes a swing pose since you are swinging to and fro.
- Do the swings engaging the core for 8-10 times.
- Release and come back to the floor.
- It is a good hip opener
- Stretches the legs and outer hips
- Stretches and tones the abdominal muscles
- Helps to boost the core functionality of the body
- Strengthens the muscles of the shoulders and hands
- Regulates the blood circulation in the hands, shoulders, elbows and shoulders
- Helps to remove belly fat, good for those who are overweight
- Helps in detoxifying the body
- Helps to improve functioning of the digestive system
- Strengthens the heart and lungs
- Boosts the working efficiency of the urinary bladder
- Helps to remove stress and anxiety, establishes mental peace
- Helps in developing a strong sense of balance along with awareness of the body in a good way
- It brings a strong sense and a feel of being grounded
- It helps in building determination and confidence when this pose is practiced with uddiyana bandha and mula bandha
Read – Achara Rasayana – Behavioral Therapy For Calm Mind And Long Life
- Garudasana – Eagle Pose
- Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half lord of fishes pose
- Janu Sirsasana – Head-to-knee Pose
- Virasana – Hero Pose
- Padmasana – Lotus Pose
- Baddha Konasana – Baddha Konasana
Follow Up Poses
Kukkutasana – Cockerel / Cock Pose
Time spent in doing Dolasana
Be in the pose for 30-60 seconds. You need to perform the pose for the same duration even on the opposite side.
Read – Faulty Thinking – Types Of Cognitive Distortions, Remedy In Ayurveda
Impact on the Chakras
This pose activates Swadhisthana Chakra – Sacral Chakra, Muladhara Chakra and Manipura Chakra – Navel Chakra.
Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Dolasana –
- Shoulder injury
- Wrist injury
- Knee injury
- Ankle injury
- People having tight hips or thighs
Watch this video to follow the method of doing Utthita Padmasana
Impact on doshas and tissues
Impact on Doshas and its subtypes – Since it helps in improving the functions of digestive system, this pose balances the functions of samana vata, pachaka pitta and kledaka kapha. The pose also strengthens heart and lungs and hence balances the chest doshas i.e. avalambaka kapha, vyana vata and udana vata. It helps in removing stress, improving concentration and establishing mental peace, the pose balances prana vata, sadhaka pitta and tarpaka kapha and their mutual chemistry. The pose balances apana vata functions since it is good for functioning of urinary bladder.
Read – Types Of Doshas And Their Functions
Impact on tissues – This pose strengthens and stretches muscles and soft tissues and hence good for maintaining the health of muscle tissues in the body. It is also good for blood tissue and for the channels of transportation of rasa tissue since it helps in regulating blood circulation. It is good for balancing the fat tissue in the body since it helps in removes excessive fat from the body.