Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Seated Forward Bend) registers as 8* on the 60* scale of difficulty. A hybrid pose, it incorporates binding, half of Padmasana, and half of Paschimottanasana (Pose 67, yet to come).
Iyengar tell us that Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana ignites the second chakra, Svadhisthana Chakra, located at the perineum. Svadhisthana Chakra is involved with the functioning of the sexual organs and the adrenals at the base of the spine. Psychologically, this chakra is associated with relationships, violence, addictions, and pleasure. Svadhistana Chakra is also considered the seat of our creative force.
Personally, I tend to think of deeper hip opening poses when considering asanas that stimulate the second chakra. But, poses like Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana provide the perfect introduction to deep hip opening. The half lotus position of the bent leg helps you focus on outward rotation of one hip at a time, providing space to observe and work with the unique conditions of each side of your body. Exploring each hip joint individually begins to stimulate Svadhisthana Chakra so that, when you attempt deeper hip opening in Padmasana or Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend, Pose 66, stay tuned!), your hips will be more supple.
Gently awakening Svadisthana in this way, you invoke the creative force of your body. May the temple of your body reward the gentleness of your invocation with new levels ofÂ depth in the asanas – a new depths, perhaps, beyond your imagination.
What’s your favorite pose for igniting Svadhisthana Chakra?