The Lotus position (Sanskrit: Padmasanam — “lotus posture“) is a cross-legged sitting posture which originated in representations and meditative practices of Hinduism. It is an established part of the Hindu Yoga tradition, Zen and other meditative disciplines. The position is said to resemble a lotus, encourage “proper” breathing and foster physical stability.
It is perhaps the marquee image of the Eastern religious figure. Famous depictions of the lotus-posture include Shiva, the meditating ascetic god of Hinduism, and Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The first pictorial representation of padmasana is seen in the ancient Indian depiction of Shiva as Pashupati, Lord of Beasts, in Harrapa.
In this position the right foot is placed on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh with the soles of the feet turned up, the spine is straight (note the difference in the position of the feet between this and the “Indian” or “Tailor” style sitting position). In Hinduism the hands are placed on the knees whereas in zazen the hands form the cosmic mudra hand position.
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