Included in this Video are some of my favorite patterns and preparations for Lotus pose that I both teach and practice frequently. I like these patterns because they include leg stretches, hip openers, chest expanders, shoulder stretches, various twisting positions, and forward folds, and by the time you're done, you are ready for Lotus. Some of the patterns are easier, some are more difficult. Simply do what you can safely without being overly ambitious on your own behalf. The trick in working safely toward lotus is to do lots and lots of preparatory exercises. Practice safely. Persist gently. Be patient. Breathe. And listen inwardly to your own experience so you can learn to be guided from within.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose) is another offering from renowned yoga instructor Erich Schiffmann; it is part of his Backyard Series, videos that are personally produced and filmed by Erich himself in his backyard. This practice is clearly designed for intermediate to advanced yoga practitioners, as only those with a substantial amount of prior yoga experience should consider working towards lotus. In his opening instructions, Erich encourages you to proceed slowly and gently with what he calls his “patterns and preparations” for lotus. Through the practice of leg stretches, hip openers, chest expanders, shoulder stretches, various twisting postures, and forward folds, Erich’s always-methodical instruction slowly prepares the body for this challenging posture.This video is performed almost entirely on the floor. Although you are likely to be pleasantly surprised by the amount of the upper body work included, your lower body will certainly feel all of those leg stretches and hip opening work—don’t be surprised if you have trouble walking the day after you first try this practice! There are 13 total chapters, and the sequences are arranged as follows: Opening (seated forward folds), Seated Lotus Preparation Cycle (hip openers, chest expanders, and leg stretches), Sukhasana Pattern (reclined hip openers), Pigeon from Dog (leg and hip stretches), Yoga Dandasana Stages (more chest expanders and forward folds), Half Lotus Patterns (hip opening emphasis and a unique method for getting into lotus), Reclining Lotus Preparations (more lotus work), Upward Facing Lotus, and Relaxation.Erich first performs full lotus at the end of the second series, which he states is to “see where we’re at.” Don’t be discouraged if you are unable to get into lotus at this point! Gently persist in the sequences which follow, and by the end of the Half Lotus Patterns, you just might surprise yourself by slipping into lotus (which is what happened to me). Although you shouldn’t push or strain (and Erich frequently reminds you of this), if you are careful, you may well be able to achieve full lotus through use of this video. Erich is a master at yoga sequencing: he is particularly effective in his use of preparatory work culminating in a pinnacle pose, as with lotus here. I would highly recommend this video to experienced yoga practitioners who know their own limits and who are willing to closely and carefully follow Erich's excellent instruction.