Originally published on July 21, 2011 here.
I video taped this like 6 months ago and finally finished the edits necessary. It was part of an experiment to see how easily I could deal with subject matter that seems to be missing out there or is presented in ways that could perhaps be more clear and concise.
Regarding Padmasana or Lotus posture. I often find when teaching my yoga and anatomy workshops that people are sometimes focused on the wrong areas to open in order to allow or make space for either the knees or ankles in a lotus posture.
In the video I offer the preparation as an experiment. Treat it like one and see what happens.
If someone is experiencing knee pain, it’s related to the hip joint. If in this pose someone feels pressure between their shins, it’s also related to tension in the hips. If their ankles hurt, it’s also related to tension in the hips. Many people are focused on their adductors but I think the most amount of restriction comes from the deeper muscles in the buttocks as I show in the video.
The prep that I use here should lengthen the deep 6 external rotators as well as the gluteus minimus and medius. When we put our leg into the configuration that you see in the video we get pressure on and “stretch” these tissues. Most people will feel the pressure in the buttocks of the leg that has the foot on top. I have however seen exceptions to this. In my mind, the stretch will simply show you where you have the most amount of tension. If you have a tighter right hip, it’s possible that you will feel the sensation in the right buttocks regardless of which leg is on top. You’ll be an exception but it’s certainly possible.
Please use common sense and adapt as you need to for your own body and/or conditions and experience. I can’t deal with every situation if it’s not in front of me.
If you have any suggestions for anatomical breakdown of a posture in video format… send me an email through the website… just click on contact and send me the suggestion. If I can… I’ll get it done for you.
David Keil is an Ashtanga practitioner and Authorized to teach by KPJAYI in Mysore. David has traveled around the world teaching yoga workshops as well as anatomy to yoga teachers and practitioners since 2001. David is known for his simplicity in such a complex subject. He has a straight forward and no frills delivery that makes the anatomy come alive in a way you’ve never experienced. He leaves space for you to make your own connections to your practice. For more, visit his website here.