The communication practice was very effective at helping overcome initial barriers/ apprehensions with the group. A forum for honest expression of thoughts and feelings, really appreciated .
Siddhasana | Perfect or Accomplished Pose
What is Siddhasana?
What Are The benefits Of Siddhasana?
Practicing Siddhasana on a regular basis produces many tangible benefits. Everyone experiences improvements differently, depending on their own unique spiritual and physiological signature. Some effects are very obvious and some more subtle. Some of most widely reported benefits of Siddhasana are as follows:
Siddhasana directs the energy from the lower psychic centers. This energy travels upwards through the spine, stimulating the brain and calming the entire nervous system.
The pose redirects blood circulation to the lower spine and abdomen. This has the effect of toning the lumbar region of the spine, the pelvis and the abdominal organs. It also balances the energies within the reproductive system and improves issues with blood pressure.
Siddhasana stabilizes and purifies sexual energy. This is because of the position of the feet with respect to the genitals.
Contraindications/Cautions for Those Practicing Siddhasana
Siddhasana is a relatively easy pose to attain. When done correctly, it's usually very safe. However, there are some contraindications and cautions that should be considered before practicing this asana:
Siddhasana should not be practiced by those with sciatica. Any lower back pain should be investigated to rule out problems with the sciatic nerve before practicing this asana.
Men who intend to maintain an active sex life (those who have no long-term commitment to celibacy) should use a soft sitting support whilst practicing Siddhasana. This is to lift the genitals so the base of the penis is not compressed. Care should be taken to position the heels perfectly in the midline.
How To Get Into Siddhasana
As with all asanas, move gently and slowly into position, especially when you are new to the practice. Use the following instructions to ensure you get into Siddhasana easily, safely and correctly:
1 From Dandasana, spread your legs apart slightly. Then, bend your left knee and slide your left heel into your groin. Next, release your left knee down towards the floor, rotating from the hip joint. Ideally, your heel should be in the area between your genitals and your anus. For men, the base of your penis should rest against the heel. For women, the heel should be placed against the soft tissues of the external genitals (labia majora).
2 Now for your other leg. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on top of your left foot. Release your right knee to the floor, rotating from your hip joint. Place your right ankle on top of your left ankle. Tuck your right foot between your left calf and hamstrings. The placement of the bottom heel is an important aspect of Siddhasana. Slowly adjust the body until it is comfortable and you can feel the firm pressure of your heel. Both ankle bones should be touching and one heel should be directly on top of the other. Press against your pubis bone with your top heel, this is directly above the genitals. For men, your genitals should lie between your two heels.
3 Place your hands in gyana mudra. This involves lightly touching the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and extending the other three fingers. Rest your hands on top of your knees with your palms facing upwards.
4 Focus on your breathing. Try to breathe smoothly and naturally. As you hold the pose, affirm mentally, "I set ablaze the fire of inner joy." Alternatively, you can: inhale the thought "let" and exhale the thought "go". This is a simple mantra.
5 Remain in this pose and recite the mantra for as long as you desire, or for as long as it feels comfortable. With practice, this position will feel comfortable for increasing amounts of time. The positions of your feet should be switched on alternate days or sittings. A suggestion for maintaining a state of equilibrium is to sit with your right foot in the top position at the beginning of the class, switching to your left foot in the top position at the end of the session.
6 To exit Siddhasana, slide your top foot forward off the bottom foot. Now, slowly straighten your top leg and then do the same with other, returning back into Dandasana. Remember, Siddhasana may be performed with either leg uppermost and it's good practice to alternate legs. Don't worry if it feels easier with one leg to start with, with time you will become adept at the position with either leg in the top position.
The Energetic Effects of Siddhasana
Although Siddhasana is relatively simple, it has a powerful effect on the body and energy centers. The position of the lower foot at the perineum presses the Muladhara Chakra (the Root Chakra). This stimulates Mula Bandha. The pressure applied to the pubic bone presses the trigger point for Swadhisthana, automatically activating Vajroli/Sahajoli Mudra. These two psycho-muscular locks redirect sexual nervous impulses back up the spinal cord to the brain. This has the effect of establishing control over the reproductive hormones, which is necessary to maintain Brahmacharya for spiritual purposes.
Prolonged periods in Siddhasana may result in noticeable tingling sensations in the Muladhara region. This can sometimes last for fifteen to twenty minutes. This is caused by a reduction in the blood supply to the area and by the rebalancing of the pranic flow in the lower Chakras. Some practitioners worry that this trauma to the nerves can potentially lead to impotence in men. If this is a concern, adjust your sitting position using soft sitting supports that change the position of the genitals.
Modifications to Siddhasana
Some people experience discomfort due to the pressure applied where the ankles cross over each other. If your ankles feel uncomfortable, place a folded cloth or piece of sponge between them where they press together.
You may also find the pressure at the perineum uncomfortable at first, especially when you've held the position for some time. With practice, this discomfort with ease until it dissipates entirely. As with all yoga positions, if you feel really uncomfortable, stop and reposition your body. Eventually, your movements will become fluid and any discomfort with ease as your body becomes more supple and accustomed to the poses.