Yoga Pose of the Week: Lotus "Padmasana"

Lotus is considered to an intermediate to advanced yoga posture.  

Due to the difficulty of Full Lotus, I would recommend trying the half lotus pose "ardha padmasana" before attempting a FULL Lotus.   Most yoga students aspire to conquer the full lotus, however, it takes lots of practice, open hips and patience to master this one.  

How to get into half lotus

1. Begin by sitting on the floor in a criss cross position.  Draw both feet in toward your body, as close to your hips as possible.

2.  Take your right foot and bring toward your left hip crease, then place the outer edge of your right foot onto your left thigh.  

3. Ground through the earth, sit up tall, lift your heart up and continue to make space between your tailbone and the crown of your head.

4.  Hold this posture for 3-5 breath cycles, then switch sides. Allow your hands to rest on your knees, thighs or lap.  If you feel any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediatley.

Once you are able to sit in half lotus "arch padmasana" comfortably for 3-5 minutes, then you may be ready to try a Full lotus "Padmasana".  Take your time, have an open mind and focus on your breath cycle on this one.  I would encourage an auditory exhale while in this posture, allowing you to completely let go.  

How to get into full lotus

1. Begin by sitting in a criss cross position.  Draw both feet in toward your body, as close to your hips as possible.

2. Take your right foot and bring toward your left hip crease, then place the outer edge of your right foot onto your left thigh.  

3. Take your left foot and bring toward your right hip crease, then place the outer edge of your left foot onto your right thigh.  

4. Ground through the earth, sit up tall, lift your heart up and continue to make space between your tailbone and the crown of your head.

5.  Hold this posture for 3-5 breath cycles.  Allow your hands to rest freely on your knees, thighs or lap.  Then switch the position of the top leg, providing equal opening for both hips.  

6. As you practice this posture, you will begin to lengthen the amount of time in he pose from 3-5 breath cycles to 3-5 minutes.  If you feel any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose immediatley.

A few tips and tricks to keeping both sides opened evenly -  If is is an even day begin with the left leg and on odd days, begin with the right one.  Do not expect to master this pose overnight.  Every body is built differently; some have naturally open hips, while others do not.  Continue to revisit the poses that challenge you and over time these poses will become your favorites.