Baddha Padmasana (Locked-up Lotus Pose)
This is a variety of Padmasana (Lotus Pose).
Sit in Padmasana with legs crossed. The heels should touch the lower part of the belly or abdomen. Then take your right hand behind the back. Catch hold of the right leg with the forefinger and middle finger of the right hand. Then take your left hand behind the back and catch hold of the toe of the left leg with the forefinger and middle finger of the left hand. Now press the chin against the chest. Look at the tip of the nose, Nasikagra Drishti. Breath slowly.
Some people find it difficult to catch hold of the two toes at a time. They can practise Ardha Baddha Padmasana (half-pose) to start with for a month. Afterwards they can take to the Purna Baddha Padmasana (full-pose). Practise this Ardha Baddha Padmasana on the right side. Then do alternately on the left side also. In doing the full pose, use little skill. Catch one toe first and when you attempt to catch the other one, slightly bend the body forwards. This will make matters easy in catching the other toe. During the half-pose, catch hold of one toe with one finger. Change the side afterwards. The half-pose is a preparatory stage for the full-pose.
This is not an Asana for meditation. This is chiefly intended for improving the health, vigour and vitality of the body to a considerable degree. The benefits of the Padmasana are derived in this Asana to an enormous extent. This must be practised regularly at least for six months. Then only maximum advantages can be realised. You cannot expect the full benefits of this Asana by merely sitting for a couple of minutes. You must practise this at least for half an hour. If you can do it for an hour or an hour and a half, you will doubtless derive immense benefit. There are persons who do this Asana for full three hours. How tenacious and patient these people are! They keep wonderful health and vigour and a high standard of vitality. Many diseases are cured by this Asana. Chronic diseases of the stomach, liver, spleen and intestines that are pronounced incurable by Allopaths and Ayurvedic Kavirajas are cured by a steady practice of this Asana. There is no doubt of this. Diseases of the stomach such as chronic gastritis, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic, dysentery, ascites, constipation, acidity, belching, chronic lumbago, are removed. As it keeps the Meru Danda erect, hunch-back is removed. The nerves of the waist, hip, feet and legs are purified. Enlargement of the spleen and liver is cured. Torpidity of the liver disappears. This Asana exercises a potent influence over the Surya Chakra (solar plexus of nerves) behind the Nabhi (navel) and stimulates it. You draw a great deal of energy.
Draw the belly backwards and upwards. Repeat Om or Rama mentally. Imagine that the seminal energy flows towards the brain for being stored up as Ojas-Sakti. Do this special practice for 10 minutes daily. You will have no wet-dreams. This process is a great help for keeping up Brahmacharya.