Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, registers as 4* on the 60* scale of difficulty and is a common posed used in meditation.
Iyengar quotes the Hatha Yoga Pradipika to describe Padmasana and breath control within the asana. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika instructs the practitioner to focus on drawing the apana (one of the vayus, or winds of the body, which is situated in the lower abdomen and is typically associated with downward energy, including digestion and elimination) upward by contracting the anus. Simultaneously, the practitioner should draw the prana (the life force, commonly associated with the breath) downward by contracting the throat. Through these two actions, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states, the practitioner “‘obtains unequalled knowledge through the favour of Kundalini (which is roused by this process).’”
Kundalini is more than just a type of yoga practice. Often symbolized as a snake coiled at the base of the spine, kundalini is a cosmic energy residing in all bodies. Many of the pranayama and asana practices focus on awakening the latent kundalini energy that resides within each of us and allowing that energy to travel up the spine through the six chakras, or energy centers within the body.
Personally, I’ve never associated Padmasana with awakening of kundalini. Like many practitioners, I’m often so focused on the safety and happiness of my knees in this asana that I neglect subtler energetic foci within the pose. However, if and when you find yourself in a comfortable seat in Padmasana, give the Hatha Yoga Pradipika instructions your consideration. At the very least, you’ll find a new viewpoint in your practice. And who knows? Maybe your focus will charm the kundalini energy out of its resting place and up through your body.