Siddhasana (Sanskrit: सिद्धासन; IAST: siddhāsana) or Accomplished Pose, is an ancient seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise suitable for meditation. When performed by women it is also called Siddha Yoni Asana. The name Muktasana (Sanskrit: मुक्तासन, Liberated Pose) is sometimes given to the same pose, sometimes to an easier variant.
Etymology and origins
The name comes from the Sanskrit words siddha (सिद्ध) meaning both "perfect" and "adept", and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat". The name Muktasana comes from मुक्त "mukta" meaning "liberation".
Siddhasana is one of the oldest asanas, being described as a meditation seat in the 10th century Goraksha Sataka 1.10-12.
From a seated position, one heel is brought to press on the perineum with the sole of the foot flat against the inner thigh. The body sits on top of this heel. Adjustments are made until the body is comfortable and the pressure is firmly applied. Then the opposite ankle is placed over the first, so the ankle bones are touching and the heels are above one another with the top heel pressing the pubis directly above the genitals. The genitals will then lie in between the two heels. The toes and outer edge of the top foot are pushed down into the space between the calf and thigh muscles. The toes of the bottom foot are pulled up into the similar space on the opposite side. The spine is held erect. A small meditation cushion or zafu is sometimes used to help align the back vertically. The same pose for women is sometimes called Siddha Yoni Asana.
Siddhasana and Padmasana (Lotus Pose) are traditionally used for dhyana (meditation) and pranayama (breath) exercises. Sukhasana (Easy Pose) and Muktasana (with both knees and both feet on the floor) are easier alternatives.
When siddhasana is mastered, of what use are the various other postures?
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