Lotus Pose and Beyond

What’s pop’n diesel dolls & dudes? I recently received a request for a tutorial about getting into Lotus pose, or Padmasana. Lotus is a powerful hip opener often seen in yoga and meditation classes. The pose consists of sitting with both feet crossed over their opposite thighs with the spine straight and chest tall. This is considered an intermediate to advanced pose and should be approached with reverence.

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Benefits

Lotus pose is great for stretching your knees, ankles, glutes, and especially hips. This pose is said to help relieve menstrual discomfort and sciatica as well as calms the mind for meditation.

The preparatory progressions toward lotus can potentially take days, weeks, or even years to master. Aim to hold each lead-up step anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute to allow your body to open up naturally. Don’t force yourself into any pose that you are not completely ready for. Ease into it, and let’s get started!

Standing Half Lotus 

Standing 1:2 lotus

Begin by standing on one leg, then lift the other leg and gently place your foot against the top of your opposite thigh. Flex your foot powerfully as you attempt to balance. The point of the pose is to stretch your outer hip  and inner thigh, and to use the strength of your ankle joint to keep your foot in place as you will in lotus. Remember to practice on both sides.

Butterfly

Butterfly

Sit on the ground and bring the soles of your feet together. Using your hands, manually pull your ankles in to sit up tall and guide your heels towards your groin. Keep pushing your knees down towards the ground. You should feel a deep stretch in your groin and inner thighs.

Modified Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Pose) 

Janusirsasana

Begin sitting on the ground with one leg extended out onto the mat and the sole of the foot of your opposite leg pressed into your inner thigh. From here, attempt to place the top of your foot onto your thigh, again flexing your ankle so your toes wrap around your leg. Reach for the toes of your extended leg and hold. Remember to switch sides.

Half Lotus 

1:2 lotus

Start in a seated position with your legs extended. Place your hands on your hips and find your hip bones. Attempt to “roll your hips forward,” so your hip bones are pointing straight ahead like headlights. This is to ensure your pelvis is in proper position for this pose.

Cross your legs, then lift one leg, placing it on top of your opposite thigh so the foot winds up in your thigh-knee crease. If you have discomfort in your knee at this point, you may not be ready for this pose yet. If you have the mobility to eventually pull your top foot closer towards your hip socket, gently do so. Again, flex that foot to maintain your position and back off if you experience knee pain. Remember to switch legs and practice on both sides.

Reclining Lotus 

Reclining lotus

Lying on your back can be a helpful way to ease into a full lotus. There is less stabilization of the spine involved this way since your back is supported by the ground.

Lie on the ground with your legs extended upwards. Attempt to fill the space between your lower back and the floor by drawing your pelvis back into a neutral position and sucking your belly button in towards your spine. Just as you did in the previous position, start by crossing one leg over the other. After you’ve done both sides, manually guide each foot in towards the full lotus position. You can bend at the waist more as you flex both feet and hold.

Full Lotus 

Fulllotus.JPG

If you were able to get into lotus from the reclining position, then you should have the mobility to try it from a seated position. Gently guide each leg into position so your heels align with your hips. Flex both feet and sit up tall. Congratulations, yoga-ninja, you’re in full lotus!

And Beyond!

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Once you get the hang of lotus, you can take it to the next level by trying to go into it from different yoga poses. Try it in a headstand, forearm stand, a crow, or even from a human flag! The possibilities are endless!

Thanks for joining me today! Til next time, Peace, ❤ & Ninja Kicks!

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3 Replies to “Lotus Pose and Beyond”

  1. Thanks Grace. Good tutorial this has always been challenging for me and my hips😬Sometimes I feel knee pain and always back off. Any suggestions? Peace joyce

    1. Hey Joyce,
      Did you happen to try any of the progressions I mentioned in the post? I suggest practicing each step, (the ones that don’t cause you any pain) for maybe a month, and just ease into the lotus when you can perform all the lead-up steps comfortably. You can add these in as “mobility stretches” after a leg day or a heavy squat day after your legs are nice and warm!
      Let me know how it goes.
      Thanks for reading!
      Grace

  2. Another great post and thanks again for the content Grace. Looking forward to the next “workout Wednesday”.

    Best regards, T

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