lotus_prep

Simple Preparation for Lotus Posture – Video

David Keil Anatomy, Lower Limb, Yoga Postures 21 Comments

Work Your Lotus Posture

I video taped this like 6 months ago and finally finished the edits necessary. It was part of an experiment to see how easily I could deal with subject matter that seems to be missing out there or is presented in ways that could perhaps be more clear and concise. After all, the lotus yoga posture is seen as the penultimate of yogic postures.

Regarding Padmasana or Lotus posture. I often find when teaching my yoga and anatomy workshops that people are sometimes focused on the wrong areas to open in order to allow or make space for either the knees or ankles in a lotus posture.

In the video I offer the preparation as an experiment. Treat it like one and see what happens.

If someone is experiencing knee pain, it’s related to the hip joint. If in this pose someone feels pressure between their shins, it’s also related to tension in the hips. If their ankles hurt, it’s also related to tension in the hips. Many people are focused on their adductors but I think the most amount of restriction comes from the deeper muscles in the buttocks as I show in the video.

The prep that I use here should lengthen the deep 6 external rotators as well as the gluteus minimus and medius. When we put our leg into the configuration that you see in the video we get pressure on and “stretch” these tissues. Most people will feel the pressure in the buttocks of the leg that has the foot on top. I have however seen exceptions to this. In my mind, the stretch will simply show you where you have the most amount of tension. If you have a tighter right hip, it’s possible that you will feel the sensation in the right buttocks regardless of which leg is on top. You’ll be an exception but it’s certainly possible.

Please use common sense and adapt as you need to for your own body and/or conditions and experience. I can’t deal with every situation if it’s not in front of me.

If you have any suggestions for anatomical breakdown of a yoga posture in video format… send me an email through the website… just click on contact and send me the suggestion. If I can… I’ll get it done for you.

Om Shanti,

David

Many of the concepts in this article are discussed in:
Functional Anatomy of Yoga

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About David Keil

david keil yoga anatomyThis website is simply about delivering yoga anatomy to the yoga community in a simple and understandable way. It has always been about you, the reader, understanding the complexity and diversity of our own humanness as well as our anatomy.

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Comments 21

  1. David first it is wonderful to see you even if it’s on a video! This was excellent and I’m going to share this with a friend who has a tight lotus. When I did Yin Yoga that was always included in the routine. You always share good and helpful information! Thanks we look forward to more.

    Debbie from Cherry Hill NJ

  2. David,
    Your Preparation for lotus is simple but it is excellent. I have really shared your way with my students. After the preparation, most of them could get their first lotus.Thank you for your sharing!
    Looking forward to take your class in Hong Kong again!

    Polly from Hong KOng

  3. Hi David

    Thanks for all the info you put out there. Very quick question related to your lotus posture video above. The question is something I have noticed in both you and some other yogis. The question is why is it that some people, yourself included, the left knee is slightly off the floor when in full lotus, but other people don’t get that effect (that is for them both knees seem in contact with the floor equally)? You are obviously, very flexible, and so are other people who have this “problem”; is it just due to having “big leg muscles” so the muscular bulk keeps the knee from touching the floor even though the flexibility is there to do this? Just curious as I’m not there yet with this posture but am wondering about the “finer points”

    Many thanks for taking the time to answer this

    Take care

    Andrew

  4. Andrew,

    Thank you for posting the question here on the blog. The simple answer is yes, it has to do with the size of my legs. In reality, my entire outside of my thigh is touching the floor… it’s only where the tissues start to converge around the knee that it looks like it’s floating.

    There is a second component to mix in which is that the left knee is also less grounded because the left leg has gone in second. If I were to put my left leg into lotus followed by my right, you would see the same thing but with the right knee floating a bit. I wouldn’t refer to this as a “problem.”

    Be Well,
    David

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  8. David i have to thank you very much for the video – i was so fixated on trying to loosen up my hip extensors for padmasana that i never realized the problem might be somewhere else – your video has changed that and i have perfected my lotus pose now! Thanks once again!!

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  10. I always do Agnistambhasana is the best prep pose i found helpful for Padmasana….I usually have a really hard hard pain on my chins, i have to put a piece of towel to relieve the pain,most and of course the bones of the left leg harm my rigth chin 🙁 it turns purple latter..Maybe is because of my scoliosis ? i have more tightness on the rigth side of my body
    Suggestions??..
    And my second questions; is OK to roll the skin of the chins up? to have more space behind the knee?
    Thank you for this video tutorial,amazing…

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Most people have one side of their body that is tighter than the other. It could be that way for a number of reasons, sometimes it’s just our dominant side, being right handed for instance that makes that side tighter. In your case, perhaps it’s because of the pelvic imbalance that often goes along with scoliosis.
      Yes it’s ok to roll the calf muscles out of the way a bit. The tighter the hips, the more pressure is generated on the SHINS. Also, if the hips are tight, the foot can be pressing on and restricting the blood supply to the legs. The blood and nerve supply (neurovascular bundle) that feeds the leg is on the inner thigh and up high in the groin.
      I hope that helps…
      Keep your chin up 😉
      David

  11. This is helping me alot Thanks. I do have a related issue though. In Lotus or half lotus I find it very uncomfortable on the ankles. I’m hoping this will go away in time through increased range of motion ( I have only been practicing yoga 2 months). Will just sitting in half lotus (eventually full Lotus) help with tight ankles?
    Thank you!

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  13. ciao from Italy!! i love your helpful videos and articles and am looking forward tp your book. I have a question regarding lotus.. I have been practicing yoga for years and just can not get into lotus or fire log.. could it be due to one of the 3 hip ligaments? And if so what could help…thanks soonmuch!

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