Siddhasana, also known as “perfect pose,” is one of the most common poses for meditation used in hatha yoga and other yoga forms. A simple seated posture, siddhasana can be maintained for a long period of time, making it a good asana in which to practice breathing, meditation, and focus. Though the basic position is quite simplistic, some yoga experts believe that siddhasana strengthens the pelvic floor and muscles of the thighs, and also suggest that it can stimulate sexual energy.
To achieve siddhasana, the practitioner should sit in a comfortable position with the legs outstretched and the spine held straight. Bending the left knee, the left foot is brought toward the pelvis. Ideally, the left heel should rest against the perineum. The right leg is bent and the right heel rests on top of the left foot, pressing into the pubic area. Beginners may have difficulty getting the feet into the right positions; it is important to remember that the position should be sustainable and comfortable, so practitioners should only stretch the legs as far as is comfortable at first.
The arms in siddhasana can be placed in several different positions. Some people prefer to allow their hands to rest on their thighs, letting the arms hang loosely from the shoulders. Others may prefer to put hands in prayer position, or hold them one atop the other in front of the stomach. To help straighten the spine while in perfect pose, it may help to place hands on the floor behind the body, pushing down on the hands to lengthen the spine.
Once properly aligned within the pose, focus turns inward to meditative practices and focus on the breath. Siddhasana is often performed at the beginning of yoga practice, as a means of focusing the mind on the practice ahead. It may also be done near the end of a yoga session, as an attempt to seal the mindset and tranquility of the practice in the mind and the body. Sinking into the pose at any time can be a good way to relieve stress, calm the mind, and avoid panic or anxiety.
For those that suffer from lower back injuries, it may help to perform the pose seated on a folded blanket or propped up against a wall. Those with inflexible hips or thighs can place a foam block under each knee to help release tension throughout the legs and hips. People that have difficulty with cross-legged postures may want to try varjasana as an alternative to siddhasana. Varjasana is a meditative pose performed in a kneeling position and may be more comfortable for those with hip, thigh, or lower back problems.