Parshva Padmasana (Side Lotus in Shoulder Stand)

Side Lotus in Shoulder Stand
Level: Advanced

Parshva = side of the body, or flank. Padma = a lotus flower.

As with Parshva Sarvangasana (Side Shoulder Stand), this is also a core balance and can be easier to achieve on low blankets or from the floor. If you are unable to come into a full Padmasana, it is also possible to do the pose with legs bound in Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose) or Sukhasana (Comfortable Pose) with a belt, or with the feet together and the knees apart in Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose).

Organizing the Pose

  1. Come into the pose from Halasana (Plough Pose).
  2. Cross the legs in Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
  3. With the hands on the back, stretch the thighs up towards the ceiling into Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose).
  4. Turn the legs, pelvis and trunk to the right and lower the legs behind you on the left side of the body.
  5. Keep the right hand on the back and slide the left hand down under the sacrum.
  6. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
  7. Lift back up to Urdhva Padmasana and repeat on the second side, holding for 20 to 30 seconds.
  8. Lift back up to Urdhva Padmasana, re-cross the legs and repeat the whole sequence on the second side.
  9. Either continue on with other Halasana (Plough Pose) or Sarvangasana variations, or exhale and come down, using the arms to control yourself as you roll down through the back.
  10. Slide off the blankets towards the head until the shoulders come to the floor and the hips are raised on the blankets. Rest there for a few breaths.
  11. Roll over onto the right side and press yourself up.

Practice Points

  • Soften and widen the buttocks.
  • Anchor down evenly through the upper arm bones.
  • Turn the ribs to make the sides of the trunk as parallel as possible.
  • Turn the pelvis to make it horizontal.
  • Reach strongly through both inner thighs towards the knees.
  • Lengthen the sides of the waist towards the head.
  • Broaden and lift the back ribs as evenly as possible.
  • Broaden the collarbones.
  • Soften and widen the chest, neck and throat.