Half Lotus Explorations

Articulations for Your Hips, Knees, and Ankles

hip mobility


Lotus Pose may become accessible at different phases of your practice, but it might not ever become attainable. Half Lotus Pose and variations are a great way to see what is possible. Practicing these preparatory postures and/or actions also provides what is actually useful: nourishment for the hips. Ultimately, creating health, longevity, and  functionality in the hips is much more rewarding than just being able to say “Hey, I’m in Lotus Pose!” 

The only way to get to know yourself and your body is to be willing to experiment in your practice. Diving into the options Matt provides in this video tutorial of Half Lotus explorations is the perfect opportunity. They are still deep hip openers, but they may provide more scope for how to articulate the hips, knees, and ankles.

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Executing Half Lotus doesn’t mean that you will find it easier; it’s simply an alternative entry that allows you to maybe more fully examine each side of your body in more isolation. Early in today’s clip, Matt breaks down “Half Lotus Half Hero Pose” as one of these Half Lotus explorations. Here, you have one leg in external rotation and the other in deep internal rotation. This is not only an excellent variation to explore if it is more accessible to you but also a way to examine where you are along the spectrum of the posture. More importantly though, it helps you increase mobility in your hips by working on both internal and external rotation. The hips are in external rotation in Lotus, but working on the opposite internal rotation creates more balance and health in the hip joint overall.




In this Lotus article , I discuss how Matt explains the importance of the “closed” angle of the knees. This is vital, and there are some specifics to look at in these Half Lotus variations, especially regarding the use of props. Some ways to utilize props support the variations, and other ways can defer your progress. First, Matt recommends that you elevate your hips by sitting on a block or blanket. Bringing the hips higher allows you to keep your knees at a safer angle. Initially, once you externally rotate your hip, your knee might be quite high, so placing a block underneath it for support can also be beneficial. Matt explains that once you increase your range and develop the ability to bring your foot further across your body, you may notice that your knee will rest closer to the ground.

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There are also specific joint actions that are necessary at the ankle. One of the ways to practice this is in “Half Virasana Half Cobbler’s Pose.” At the end of the video, Matt shows how to create eversion of the ankle. Having one leg in Cobbler’s Pose gives you a little bit more freedom to articulate this movement. You’ll see a demonstration of eversion of the ankle early on in the clip, but that variation may be less accessible. Why is eversion essential? It takes the stretch away from the outside of the ankle, which may cause injury. With eversion, you are shortening the outer ankle. When coming into any Lotus variation, performing this action can inform where to place your attention, which may be to create more opening at the hip and/or further closure at the knee.   

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Words like “resilience” and “fortitude” come to mind when we think about the Lotus flower or posture. In life, these qualities are essential to push through adversity and overcome obstacles. Sometimes working on finding more mobility in the hips can feel like a laborious task, but it’s through adversity, whether on or off the mat, that we truly learn about ourselves. Approaching these Half Lotus variations may take you right into the mud, so to speak, and it may be quite mucky and taxing, but when your experience begins to shift and you start to notice the possibilities, this is when you’ll rise and come into the light of your potential. Achieving Half Lotus may be exciting, but being able to say “Hey, I’m able to do all of the activities I love” is the true reward.

Register for Matt’s March 2023 Immersion Lotus to unleash your potential.

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Hips & Hamstrings Immersion


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