Should I Be Opening My Knees for Lotus?

Christine Yoga Postures, Your Questions 1 Comment

Transcript Below Of: Should I Be Opening My Knees for Lotus?

Alright everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. This month I answer a question about ways to open the hips for lotus. As you know, every month I answer a question that has been submitted through the website. If you want to submit your own question, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and you can submit a question for me to answer on video.

The Question:

Alright, this month’s question comes from Alexis Tressler.
“I’m wondering if there are any postures/stretches/drills to help create some softness and opening in and around the knee joint. I find extreme difficulty in any lotus type shape and also supta virasana – postures that need a closing off of the space behind the knee to create the shape.
Is simply practicing the shapes the best way to achieve them, or are there research postures or additional exercises that one might find useful to train the body into these shapes?”

The Answer:

Well, Alexis, I’ve got loads of resources regarding how to open the hips for lotus or padmasana. I never say opening the knee joint. You don’t want to open your knee joint. You don’t want to destabilize your knee joint. But I’ve got loads of resources that will teach you how to open the hips for lotus, so that the knees sit more comfortably. That’s the way you want to think about any of these lotus type postures.

If supta virasana is a problem for you, there could be some other stuff going on. Usually it has to do with tight quadriceps, so it depends on what kind of activities you’re doing besides yoga postures, because you said “drills” there, so you might be doing CrossFit or something along those lines.

The second part: “Is simply practicing the shapes the best way to achieve them?” That is generally true, but it’s not always true and some of these “shapes” as we’re calling them at the moment are a bit tentative and tricky and if you don’t have the right opening as you try to take the shape, you’re more likely to cause problems. Working to open the hips for lotus is one of those situations.

One of the main resources I have, is a whole lotus workshop on my website. You can go to it, you can buy it. It’s downloads. You can stream; you can watch those videos. Not only do I describe all of the anatomy in and around the knee, how to open the hips for lotus and what good technique looks like, but I take you through a class of my favorite preparations that open the hips for lotus, if we’re talking about that one specifically.

Other than that, there are loads of articles that are free on my website as well, just type in knee or type in lotus and you’re going to find those resources very easily.

Alright, I hope that answered your question. Anybody else, if you’ve got questions, once again, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion.

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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 1

  1. Hi David, thank you for being so clear about from where the opening should come. From my experience i can recommend all the hip opening exercises you suggest. – The anatomy teacher in my tt, who is a yogi, has a medical degree and did some anthropometry suggests, that only about 50% of the westerners hip shapes are really fit for padmasana. Would you agree?
    Thank you & namaste, Anja

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