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5 poses to prepare you for Lotus.

Yoga

5 poses to prepare you for Lotus.

Lotus is one of those poses that everyone wants to do but is difficult for people to achieve. But don’t give up on it—it’s a very important posture for both yoga and meditation. It’s not only considered to be an advanced yoga posture, but it’s also thought to be the best sitting posture for meditation because it allows you to feel stable, grounded, and alert. If you do these 5 stretches and poses regularly, your hips will gradually open, and eventually, you will find yourself sitting in full lotus.

1. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

This pose will stretch out your inner thigh muscles (abductors). Doing it regularly will allow your knees to gradually drop towards the floor and make getting into lotus easier.

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To do this pose:

Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your knees and pull your heels as close to your pelvis as you can. Allow your knees to fall out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. Grasp both feet with your hands while keeping your back straight. To deepen the stretch, slowly fold forward. Hold for ten deep breaths.

2. Revolved Head to Knee Pose (Parivrivritta Janu Sirsasana)

This pose targets the inner thigh muscles, the quads, and the often stiff muscles and tissues along the side of the torso that connects the waist and hip area.

To do this pose:

From a seated posture, bend your left leg and bring your left foot to the inside of your right thigh. Keeping your torso rotated to the left and your chest open, bend toward your right leg. Allow the right side of your body to sink toward your right leg, and try to take hold of your right toes with your right hand. If you can, stretch your left arm over your head to meet the right. Hold for ten deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.

3. Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Pigeon pose stretches the same areas as the eye of the needle, but it allows you to stretch a bit deeper as you’re using the weight of your body to sink further into the hips. If you only have time to do one pose, make it this one!

To do this pose:

From downward-facing dog, step your left leg forward and lower your left thigh and shin onto the mat. Flex your left ankle to protect your knee. Keep your right leg straight behind you on the mat. When you feel ready, stretch your arms out in front of you and slowly lower your torso towards the floor. Hold for at least ten deep breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

4. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

This intense hip opener targets both the external and internal hip rotators, making it an ideal pose to prepare for lotus.

To do this pose:

Cross one leg over the other so that both ankles are resting next to the opposite hip, and your knees are stacked. For our purposes, you can do the pose with your arms in any comfortable position. Stay here for a few breaths, and then walk your hands in front of you and begin to fold forward. Hold for ten deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.

5. Half lotus pose (Ardha Padmasana)

Before attempting full lotus, you should be able to sit comfortably in half lotus on both

sides for at least several minutes, with both knees in contact with or almost touching the floor.

To do this pose:

Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Bring your right foot close to your groin. Place the outside of your left ankle onto your right thigh, close to your hip.  Allow your hands to rest on your thighs or knees. Straighten your back, and try to sit comfortably here for at least 5 minutes.

Full lotus pose (Padmasana):

Once you feel comfortable doing half lotus on both sides, you are ready to attempt full lotus. Never force yourself into this posture, and if you feel pain, especially in your knees, STOP, and keep doing the preparatory stretches until you can get into the posture comfortably.

To do this pose:  

Sit comfortably with your legs crossed. Place the outside of your right foot on top of your left thigh, close to your groin. If you feel comfortable here, gently and carefully bring your left foot up and over your shin, and place it on your right thigh. Allow your hands to rest freely on your knees, thighs, or in your lap. Straighten your back and hold the pose for as long as you comfortably can.

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