Asanas for Pranayama
PADMASANA (LOTUS POSE)
This is also known by the name Kamalasana. Kamala means lotus. When the Asana is demonstrated it presents the appearance of a lotus in a way. Hence the name Padmasana.
Amongst the four poses prescribed for Japa and Dhyana, Padmasana comes foremost. It is the best Asana for contemplation. Rishis like Gheranda, Sandilya, speak very highly of this important Asana. This is highly agreeable for householders. Even ladies can sit in this Asana. Padmasana is suitable for lean persons and for youths as well.
Sit on the ground by spreading the legs forward. Then place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Place the hands on the knee-joints. You can make a finger-lock and keep the locked hands over the left ankle. This is very convenient for some persons. Or you can place the left hand over the left knee and the right hand over the right knee with the palm facing upwards and the index finger touching the middle portion of the thumb (Chinmudra).
SIDDHASANA (THE PERFECT POSE)
Next to Padmasana comes Siddhasana in importance. Some eulogise this Asana as even superior to Padmasana for the purpose of Dhyana (contemplation). If you get mastery over this Asana you will acquire many Siddhis. Further, it was being practised by many Siddhas (perfected Yogins) of yore. Hence the name Siddhasana.
Even fatty persons with big thighs can practise this Asana daily. In fact this is better for some persons than Padmasana. Young Brahmacharins, who attempt to get established in celibacy, should practise this Asana. This is not suitable for ladies.
Place the left heel at the anus or Guda, the terminal opening of the alimentary canal or digestive tube. Keep the right heel on the root of the generative organs; the feet or legs should be so nicely arranged that the ankle-joints should touch each other. Hands can be placed as in Padmasana.
SVASTIKASANA (PROSPEROUS POSE)
Svastika is sitting at ease with the body erect. Spread the legs forward. Fold the left leg and place the foot near the right thigh muscles. Similarly, bend the right leg and push the foot in the space between the thigh and calf muscles. Now you will find the feet between the thighs and calves of the legs. This is very comfortable for meditation. Keep the hands as instructed in Padmasana.
SAMASANA (EQUAL POSE)
Place the left heel at the beginning of the right thigh and the right heel at the beginning of the left thigh. Sit at ease. Do not bend either on the left or right. This is called as Samasana.