alan little’s weblog

lotus without tears iii

6th May 2005 permanent link

I just found this very good article by Donna Farhi with lots of good advice, both on the physical aspects of how to approach lotus safely and the mental aspects of how to cope with yoga “challenges” generally.

To lift the leg into Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose), reach your right hand under your calf to grasp the outside of the right lower leg near the ankle. Flex the foot so that you can no longer see the sole, and slowly lift the leg up, rotating the shin and thigh outwards as you do so. Carefully place the ankle on the upper thigh near your groin, with the outer ball of the ankle joint supported by your thigh. Continue to draw the little toe of your right foot back towards your outer knee to prevent the rotation from coming at the ankle or knee. If you pull the leg up by grasping the top of the foot and allowing the foot to sickle, you will only overstretch the ligaments of your ankle and knee rather than opening your hip.

I wish somebody had told me this when I was learning lotus. The trouble is, the people teaching me probably had had open enough hips when they started that they did it without having to think about it or struggle with it, and so didn’t need to explicitly know these things. (It’s also possible that they did tell me, but I was too busy cranking my foot towards “the goal” by brute force to listen to them)

Lotus Without Tears Part 1, Part 2

UPDATE Christmas 2007: my original link to Donna Farhi’s article was broken. Peter Horst kindly pointed me to another copy of the same or a very similar article.

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