Lotus Pose Variations (That Will not Overtax Your Knees)

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Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, is a standard yoga posture by which our legs are crossed on high of 1 different with every foot resting towards the other hip. When practiced rigorously, the leg bind of Lotus creates a powerful and steady seat from which the backbone can lengthen upward and the breath is ready to circulation freely, permitting us to enter the subtler limbs of pranayama and meditation.

Nonetheless, we should honor our particular person our bodies in any pose. Forcing your legs into Lotus can injury your knees. Damage isn’t the purpose of yoga! The intention of the apply is to domesticate a gradual breath and a gradual thoughts.

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Lotus Pose can simply be modified so you’ll be able to nonetheless discover that steadiness. For many people who sit in chairs all day lengthy, these less-intense variations of the basic form can supply large advantages by opening our hips. Moreover, these modifications permit us to apply bodily difficult postures that start with Lotus place, together with modified variations of Garbha Pindasana within the main collection of Ashtanga yoga, Karandavasana within the second collection, and Urdhva Kukkutasana within the third collection.

The next seated sequence, impressed by the Ashtanga yoga main collection, will can help you discover a variation that feels applicable for you and, should you need, show you how to work towards Padmasana.

5 options to Lotus Pose

As you apply, convey cautious consideration to your knees. In case you observe any ache or pinching sensations, these are indicators to again off and discover a gentler manner.

Between postures, you might wish to take a vinyasa or convey your legs into Navasana (Boat Pose) for a couple of breaths. One other posture that’s therapeutic for the knees in between poses is Virasana (Hero Pose), practiced both along with your hips on the bottom or elevated on a block, relying in your flexibility.

(Picture: Ty Milford)

1. Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana (Half Certain Lotus Ahead Fold)

Sit with each legs prolonged straight in entrance of you. Bend your proper leg, externally rotating your proper hip, and place your proper ankle simply above your left knee. Flex your proper foot, which prompts the muscle tissue round your proper knee and protects it. Keep upright.

In case you really feel snug right here, you’ll be able to fold ahead out of your hips to no matter extent feels applicable for you and attain each arms in your left foot. (In case your arms don’t simply attain your foot, use a shawl, towel, or strap round your left foot.) Take 5-10 regular breaths right here. Repeat on the opposite aspect.

Woman sitting on her yoga mat with one leg straight and the other knee bent while leaning forward in a Lotus Pose modification
(Picture: Ty Milford)

In case your knees felt good within the variation above, then discover a barely extra intense model of Half Lotus. Begin once more with each legs prolonged straight in entrance of you. Bend your proper leg, externally rotate at your hip, and place your proper foot on high of your left thigh as near your left hip as is snug. Attain your proper arm behind your again and attempt to grasp your proper foot.

Woman on a yoga mat practicing a modification of Lotus Pose and using a blue scarf to connect her right hand and right foot
(Picture: Ty Milford)
In case your proper foot is out of attain, use a shawl, towel, or strap to assist create the bind. Keep upright or fold ahead out of your hips over your left leg and take 5-10 regular breaths right here. Repeat on the opposite aspect.

Tip
If you’re recovering from an damage or experiencing stiffness in your knees however would nonetheless wish to discover Half Lotus, roll a shawl or towel and place it within the crease behind your bent knee earlier than coming into the place. I’ve discovered that this acts as a spacer for the knee joint and sometimes permits me and college students I work with to return into Half Lotus positions extra comfortably. It additionally prevents us from overdoing it by limiting our mobility.

Woman sitting on a yoga mat with her right knee bent in a modification of Lotus Pose
(Picture: Ty Milford)

2. Marichyasana B (Pose Devoted to the Sage Marichi B)

Sit with each legs prolonged straight in entrance of you. Bend your left knee and open it out to the aspect as you convey your left heel near your physique. Place your proper foot on the mat in entrance of your left foot along with your proper knee pointing upward. Attain your proper arm ahead inside your proper leg. Keep right here in a mild ahead bend or wrap your proper arm behind your again, attain your left arm behind you as properly, and both clasp your arms or use a shawl, towel, or strap to assist create the bind. Keep upright in Marichyasana B or fold ahead and take 5-10 regular breaths. Repeat on the opposite aspect.

Woman sitting on a yoga mat with her right knee bent and her left heel by her right hip in a modification of Lotus Pose

(Picture: Ty Milford)

In case you’d like just a little extra problem, attempt the identical posture along with your left leg folded in a Half Lotus place by putting your foot in your proper thigh as a substitute of folded on the bottom. On this variation, you will have to shift your weight to your left thigh and permit your proper hip to raise off the bottom when bringing your proper foot in towards your physique. Bind your arms if it feels applicable. Keep upright or fold ahead and take 5-10 regular breaths. Repeat on the opposite aspect.

Woman sitting on a yoga mat with her knees bent twisting to the side and looking over her shoulder in a Lotus Pose modification
(Picture: Ty Milford)

3. Marichyasana D (Pose Devoted to the Sage Marichi D)

On this posture, come into the identical leg place that felt most applicable for you whereas training Marichyasana B. Your proper leg will probably be folded on the bottom or in a Half Lotus Pose. Your left foot will probably be on the mat along with your knee pointing upward. From right here, rigorously twist to the left, bringing your proper arm to the skin of your left leg and your left hand behind you. If you’re acquainted with the arm bind, you’re welcome to take it by bending your proper arm and reaching your arms towards one another behind your again. In any other case, relaxation your left hand on the mat behind you. Keep right here for 5-10 regular breaths. Repeat on the opposite aspect.

Woman sitting on her yoga mat with her knees bent and her arms behind her in a Half Bound Lotus Pose modification
(Picture: Ty Milford)

4. Baddha Padmasana (Certain Lotus Pose)

Cross your legs comfortably right into a Half Lotus Pose with one leg on the mat and your different leg on high. If this looks like an excessive amount of, sit in a cross-legged place. You’ll be able to take much more strain off your knees by elevating your hips on a pillow or folded blanket. Take your arms behind you and clasp your reverse elbows along with your arms. Take a number of deep breaths right here, permitting your chest to increase as you inhale whilst you have interaction and raise the pelvic flooring.

Woman sitting on a yoga mat with her legs crossed in Lotus Pose and her arms behind her back
(Picture: Ty Milford)

Both repeat this place, switching which leg is on high, or, in case your knees have felt snug to date, come right into a full Lotus place. Take your arms behind you and both clasp your elbows or discover a bind by greedy your identical foot with every hand.

Woman sitting on a yoga mat grasping her big toe with her fingers while sitting cross-legged in Lotus Pose

In case your left leg is on high, take your left arm again first to seek out your left foot, after which your proper arm again to seek out your proper foot. If the suitable leg is on high, do the other. Take 10 deep breaths right here.

Woman sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat with hands on knees and her first finger touching her thumb
(Picture: Ty Milford)

5. Padmasana (Lotus Pose) with Jnana Mudra

Discover the most effective cross-legged place for you at this second—crossed legs, one leg in Half Lotus Pose, or each legs in full Lotus Pose. Really feel the bottom beneath you and elongate your backbone. Straighten your arms with out tensing and relaxation the backs of your arms in your knees. Convey your thumb and forefinger gently to the touch and lengthen your final three fingers straight. Be at liberty to shut your eyes or gaze softly previous your nostril. Take 10 deep and nourishing breaths right here.

Jnana mudra serves as an lively seal on the closing of asana apply. We sit and breathe with our arms on this place to combine the advantages of our apply. We accomplish that internally through the circle created by the thumb and forefinger, and externally through the remaining fingers that are prolonged outward.

About our contributor

Pranidhi Varshney is the founding father of Yoga Shala West, a community-supported Ashtanga Yoga studio in West Los Angeles. She can be mom to 2 youngsters who she describes as “brave and sensible little beings.” The thread that runs by all her work is the need to construct group and dwell from the guts.

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