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Advanced Yoga Practices
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Note: For the complete lessons, with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.

Lesson 127 - Q&A – Siddhasana or padmasana?

From: Yogani
Date: Tue Feb 24, 2004 0:49pm

New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: I had been doing meditation in Padmasana (Lotus Pose) for a long time. After reading your message I realised that it doesn't bring any pressure to perineum. Do I need to switch to Sidhasana? I tried it but looks like it would take quite some time for me to get accustomed to it. Let me know how should I proceed. In Padmasana, one limitation which I find is after sitting for 45 minutes or so, my legs become slightly numb and it distracts me a little bit.

A: Padmasana is a very good seat with its own benefits, though not many can sit in it comfortably for long. Siddhasana in the simplified form given in the lessons is an easier seat to stay in, once achieved. Its effects can also be achieved using a prosthetic at the perineum. See lessons #33 and #75 for details.

Which is best? It depends on your preference and approach to achieving your goals in yoga. If you are not inclined to directly stimulate sexual energy to raise kundalini, then siddhasana is not something to rush into. On the other hand, if you are inclined bring up sexual energy by direct means, then siddhasana is very desirable, more desirable than padmasana.

It is a matter of where we fall on the "tantra scale" at a point in time. Siddhasana is left of center on this scale, while padmasana is right of center. Left is working more with sensuality in practices, and right is working less with sensuality. As you know, we go far left in the tantra group. Siddhasana is in that direction. How inclined we are to go into siddhasana is a function of our bhakti, which is related to how much purification we have in our nervous system. It is interesting that more purification encourages us to be more involved in directly cultivating sexual energy upward in spiritual practices.

In yoga it is not possible to avoid dealing with sexual energy indefinitely, because sooner or later the nervous system becomes activated by the rise of kundalini, and inner ecstasy explodes inside. There is nothing more sensual than that. All of the advanced yoga practices are designed to promote ecstasy's natural rise in the nervous system. Even meditation is ultimately for that, coming from deep inner silence to union in ecstatic bliss everywhere in the body and beyond. That is why we call advancedyogapractices, "easy lessons for ecstatic living."

Yet, everyone has their own inclinations in yoga practice, and honoring each person's tendencies is much more important than giving everyone the same "cookie cutter" approach to enlightenment. A technology is good only if it is flexible enough so anyone can use it. That is why we keep all the practices as simple and direct as possible, and talk a lot about self-pacing. Each must travel their own way, at their own speed. The tool kit is here to be used, or not used, as you see fit. If we don't need a tool now, maybe we will need it later. Like that.

Given your interest, perhaps what you should consider doing is developing siddhasana. Work your way into it gradually, and see if it works for you energy-wise. If it doesn't, you can go back to padmasana. It won't hurt to know both seats. I went though a similar testing phase many years ago, and ended up in siddhasana for the long haul. I have stayed a bit left of center because, experientially, it has made perfect sense to do so. Whatever it is for you will be fully respected.

The guru is in you.

Note: For instructions on siddhasana, see the Asanas, Mudras and Bandas book.

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