Prepare for Lotus

Standing Postures for Deep Hip Opening

flexibility

PREPARE FOR LOTUS

There are multiple ways to prepare for Lotus Pose. The 5 standing postures and the techniques that are highlighted today are from a portion of a sequence Matt shares in the first class of his current Lotus Immersion. Here, it’s not just about doing the postures themselves; it’s more about the execution and intention behind them. If your goal is to create a healthy range of motion in your hips, going through the motions simply won’t offer all that you need. In order to increase hip mobility, especially for a posture like Lotus, you must prepare your body. An integral part of the preparation is to strengthen the gluteal and abductor muscles. Utilizing techniques in standing postures like Forward Fold, Crescent Pose, Warrior 2, Extended Side Angle, and “Crisscross Pyramid” can be a wonderful first step in creating a solid foundation.

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FORWARD FOLD & CRESCENT POSE PREPARATION

External rotation and hip abduction are essential movements for Lotus Pose, as is a generous degree of hip flexibility. In order to prepare for Lotus, increasing flexibility requires strengthening first. You can start this process by strengthening your abductors in Forward Fold. In the video, Matt demonstrates a simple technique, in which you place your hands on your outer shins, that lights up your abductors.  

Strong glute muscles are also essential for Lotus because they assist in externally rotating your hip. For this reason, the next standing posture is Crescent Pose. Once again, a few simple actions help activate the glutes. Two of the main actions are the posterior tilt of the pelvis and the pressing down of the front heel. You’ll see in the video that beyond just “doing” the posture, taking the right actions brings your intentions for strength to life.

WATCH THE VIDEO

PREPARE FOR LOTUS: 5 STANDING POSTURES FOR DEEP HIP OPENING

WARRIOR 2 & EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE PREPARATION

What’s lovely about the techniques Matt offers for strengthening the glutes and abductors is that they are all self-adjustments. You have total control over the intensity, which is often conservative but still goes a long way to increase strength. Along with the self-adjustment in Warrior 2, Matt mentions paying special attention to the rotation of the back of the pelvis. Maintaining the proper direction of your pelvis is the difference between actually being able to activate your glutes and failing to achieve the desired result. You carry the same direction of the pelvis into Side Angle preparation. The techniques demonstrated here are great: Depending on the placement of your front arm, you can focus more on the glute activation or you can invite in more stretch for your adductors. Lengthening the adductors is also imperative in preparing for Lotus.

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“CRISSCROSS PYRAMID”

Whenever Matt instructs this kind of “cross action” in a given posture, it’s always so intriguing. He provides cues for certain actions that offer more than you anticipate. In “Crisscross Pyramid,” for example, you’ll experience a stretch sensation and therefore a lengthening in the outer hips. Because Matt always advises strengthening before lengthening, this posture is well placed in the sequence! Beyond the hips, if you want to truly prepare for Lotus, you must also consider the positioning of your feet and ankles. While Matt explores this in seated postures, he also begins to prepare you in this standing posture earlier in the practice. He advises you to press the big toe of your front foot into the mat while simultaneously lifting your middle toes. This action takes your ankle into eversion, which is the same as the articulation required in Lotus Pose.

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THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY

Even though Matt carefully offers the techniques within these standing postures and demonstrates how extremely effective they are in strengthening and lengthening the muscles that are required to be primed for Lotus Pose, he also reminds you to carve your own path. Ultimately, you will have your own tendencies, patterns, and challenges that you may need to rewire, so incorporating other ways that will help prepare for Lotus are very much welcomed. That’s the beauty of being able to explore multiple techniques, postures, and actions within one immersion focused on Lotus Pose. Matt’s Lotus Immersion is packed with a multitude of ways to approach hip opening from an anatomical perspective. These 5 standing postures open the door, but there is always more to uncover. Register for Lotus in order to broaden your toolkit for better hip mobility.

See you on the mat!

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Article by Trish Curling

Video Extracted From: Lotus Immersion

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