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Description of the Main Postures

"In the Bound Lotus posture, the right foot should be placed on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. The arms should go round the back and catch "hold of the toes. Press the chin against the chest, and focus the eyes on the tip of the nose. This posture cures illnesses and disorders." (Goraksha Samhita 1, 12.)

The Shiva Samhita (3, 106) adds that the tongue should touch the root of the teeth.

Thus, in the Free Lotus posture, the arms do not go round the back, but rest, palms up on the knees.

A very ancient tradition, however, explains that in both forms, bound and free, it is the left foot that should be placed first. There are therefore two variants of the Lotus postures and a man may, according to his temperament, choose the one he prefers. In all the forms the heels should be on either side of the navel and both knees touch the ground.

In this posture, the central artery of the subtle body remains naturally straight and respiration becomes rhythmical. It is therefore the best posture for breathing exercises.

Whilst practicing the posture, the tip of the tongue should be turned backwards towards its root and enter the cavity behind the glottis; this forms the gesture of the "moving in the void" (Khechari mudra).

The Lotus posture cures almost all ailments; heart and lung diseases, digestive troubles, fevers, skin affections, etc. but for curative purposes, the tip of the tongue should be merely placed against the roots of the teeth. This posture also helps to conquer laziness, sleep, mental weaknesses and other defects. It awakens the coiled energy and thus leads to transcendental knowledge. Before and after practicing the Lotus posture, much walking should be avoided.

(3) The Posture of Prosperity (Bhadrasana) or Cow-keeping Posture (Gorakshasana): "Place both ankles below the testicles (against the yoni place) the left heel on the left, the right on the right of the seam. (In the Liberated posture, the feet are pointing forward, whereas in this posture they are turned backward); the two hands should take hold of the toes (which protrude at the back). This is the posture of prosperity." (Trishikhi Brahmana Up. 45.)

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