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 Asansa, The Lotus Position, Impossible?
Mchawi
post Feb 14 2009, 11:28 AM
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Have been sitting in asana for a good few yers now, basically corss legged and yet after all this time I still can't manage to sit properly for more than a few minutes. Can basically do a 1/4 lotus, not a full half, leg on upper thigh but its fustrating. Sat comfortably the other day and realized that its the essence to a good practice, all that shifting and shuffling during the MP or general meditation just dosen't cut it... throws everythnig off. Main thing I'm trying for now is a full lotus, a stable position that keeps the back straight and energy flowing for an undisclosed period of time.

Can anyone here do the full lotus? How did you achive it and how long did it take?

Peace
.M.

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Vagrant Dreamer
post Feb 14 2009, 05:31 PM
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Work on the flexibility of your ankles, knees, and hips, outside of lotus position. There are dozens of exercises you can do, and pictures describe them best so I won't try to go over them here, but they should be easy enough to find. Lotus position puts stress on these three joints, and if you haven't developed sufficient flexibility there, it will be nearly impossible to settle comfortably into lotus position, no matter how long you attempt it. The problem is that your body naturally resists extended periods of stretching, so the best you can do when stretching your tendons and ligaments is to stretch for about 30 seconds to a minute, at wide intervals - twice a day every 12 hours for instance.

In yoga there are poses meant to be held, called Bandhas, and poses meant to be moved through smoothly. Most of the asanas fall into this category, and you are not supposed to hold most asanas more than a minute. Seated postures are different and lotus position is a lock, intended to hold your body naturally in a position where you can be relaxed and supported at the same time.

That is my advice. I used to get pain in my ankles and knees until I started focusing stretches that mobilized those joints, now I can sit in lotus for as long as I meditate.

Another thing that might help is making sure you're doing the position correctly. Try pulling your legs/feet into the correct position, and then sliding your sacrum/pelvis back a little bit. This creates a slightly wider area to support you and if your body can relax in that position there will be less discomfort.

peace


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Mchawi
post Feb 17 2009, 07:34 AM
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Seem to be getting the method wrong... suprised myself the other night, realized that, firstly, I've been sitting in 1/4 lotus or something not half lotus as I had thought but that I can arc my leg round into a half lotus (pretty much). From there I can feel the benfit of sitting with the lower body locked up like that but as one leg is sitting on the other it traps it so the other can't be put into the position to make it a full lotus.

Bit more streaching to do I guess. Ultimate goal is to be able to pull off the headstand move while in lotus, comfotably as the teacher in this video demonstrates;



Bit ameturish but their videos are good.

This post has been edited by Mchawi: Feb 17 2009, 07:36 AM

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Mchawi
post Mar 10 2009, 04:20 PM
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Finally.... achived the impossible! WIth a triumphant, almost bone breaking lift and bend I managed to sit in full lotus position.

Managed it a few days ago. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/Laie_58.gif)

Please resist the temptation to congratulate me, goes aginst my self training.

Thanks for the advice.

Peace
.M.

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Kath
post Oct 11 2009, 05:03 AM
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I have long used the quarter lotus. I've tried the half lotus and full lotus (with a lot of effort in the latter case), but I did not find them helpful. the latter is very 'stable' but that's never been much of an issue for me. Personally, if I am meditating, or if I astral project, leaving no consciousness in the body, my body seems to "just sit there" in a catatonic state. It's plenty stable for me.

I am not very 'body' focused in my energy work or even chakra work. But I don't personally think that it's terribly important. I'd make a bad yogi eh?

Also, as of last year, I had to have my left hip reconstructed after a car accident, which effectively leaves me unable to sit in a full lotus ever again.

When I meditate, I have only 2 requirements for my body position, that it be reasonably comfortable to remove distraction, but not so comfortable that I fall asleep. quarter lotus works fine for me, but then my sights are set on the end result rather than the details of the method. And I tend to bring a bit of buddhist sensibility to hindu beliefs/practices. Anyway, in my impression from practicing with it, I find that spine posture is more important than leg position. maybe I'm odd.


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bym
post Oct 11 2009, 06:40 AM
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History would tend to agree with you. The spine being the conduit or channel that aligns the main chakras, it stands to reason that you'd want to keep it aligned. I've heard stories about the legs that are misaligned with the spine can cause the energy flow to be perverted from its intended course. I'm not sure how much of that is just hubris caused by 'heretical' practices from the prescribed course(s). Live and learn!


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Cris
post Jun 4 2010, 04:42 AM
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QUOTE(Vagrant Dreamer @ Feb 14 2009, 11:31 PM) *

Work on the flexibility of your ankles, knees, and hips, outside of lotus position. There are dozens of exercises you can do, and pictures describe them best so I won't try to go over them here, but they should be easy enough to find. Lotus position puts stress on these three joints, and if you haven't developed sufficient flexibility there, it will be nearly impossible to settle comfortably into lotus position, no matter how long you attempt it. The problem is that your body naturally resists extended periods of stretching, so the best you can do when stretching your tendons and ligaments is to stretch for about 30 seconds to a minute, at wide intervals - twice a day every 12 hours for instance.

In yoga there are poses meant to be held, called Bandhas, and poses meant to be moved through smoothly. Most of the asanas fall into this category, and you are not supposed to hold most asanas more than a minute. Seated postures are different and lotus position is a lock, intended to hold your body naturally in a position where you can be relaxed and supported at the same time.

That is my advice. I used to get pain in my ankles and knees until I started focusing stretches that mobilized those joints, now I can sit in lotus for as long as I meditate.

Another thing that might help is making sure you're doing the position correctly. Try pulling your legs/feet into the correct position, and then sliding your sacrum/pelvis back a little bit. This creates a slightly wider area to support you and if your body can relax in that position there will be less discomfort.

peace


If I may correct, Bandhas are what in the english language some people call "LOCKS". They are muscle areas (and or muscle groups) contracted in irder to increase energy or alter the flow of energy in the body. Some say Bandhas are the secret to attain balance, security and comfort during Asana Sadhana. For example, Mula Bandha is done contracting the Pelvis, shooting energy upwards from the root chakra. It is a bandha that also improves balance while in Tree pose, for instance.


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Cris
post Jun 4 2010, 04:51 AM
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Also... if the Lotus posture is discomfortable, there is always Savasana. Just lie on your back, with arms aside, legs a bit open, with feet resting to the sides. One of its downsides is you aren't able to move as efficiently, if needed... But I don't think that's the case. The second downside is if you get sleepy from being in a "sleeping position".


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"You are a Mentalist. Your magic depends on strength of will. You could be a memory-reading Mind-Mage, a lethally telekentic Force-Wizard, or a helpful Transmage for your abilities are a result of sheer stubborn will and intensely keen intellect. Your mind has been honed by learning and practice into the perfect tool for examining and dissecting reality and altering it to suit your needs. You are intelligent and scholarly with a tendency to distance yourself from others."

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Dulcea
post Jul 4 2010, 10:46 AM
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QUOTE(Mchawi @ Feb 14 2009, 01:28 PM) *

Have been sitting in asana for a good few yers now, basically corss legged and yet after all this time I still can't manage to sit properly for more than a few minutes. Can basically do a 1/4 lotus, not a full half, leg on upper thigh but its fustrating. Sat comfortably the other day and realized that its the essence to a good practice, all that shifting and shuffling during the MP or general meditation just dosen't cut it... throws everythnig off. Main thing I'm trying for now is a full lotus, a stable position that keeps the back straight and energy flowing for an undisclosed period of time.

Can anyone here do the full lotus? How did you achive it and how long did it take?

Peace
.M.


I've been able to do it since I was a kid. We were all more flexible then, but also I took gymnastics, so Im sure that helped.

I recommend you start practicing yoga to (if for nothing else) to increase your general flexibility and energy flow.

Now that Im older, I can still do Full Lotus, but not as comfortably. When Im worried about my legs falling asleep, I roll up my yoga mat and sit on it, letting your knees rest more lightly on the floor. It lets your hips be a little more extended and comfortable, allowing you to sit in that position for longer periods of time.

You can also do 1/2 lotus, if the full one isn't comfortable. In this case, your feet will only be pressing on the acu-points on one of your inner thighs, but it's better than nothing.

Hope that helps some!!



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imaginos
post Jul 6 2010, 12:19 PM
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QUOTE(Twilight Siren @ Jul 4 2010, 09:46 AM) *

When Im worried about my legs falling asleep, I roll up my yoga mat and sit on it, letting your knees rest more lightly on the floor. It lets your hips be a little more extended and comfortable, allowing you to sit in that position for longer periods of time.

Spot on!
As an avid practitioner of Yoga and meditation, I totally agree with your advice.

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Mchawi
post Oct 21 2010, 04:05 AM
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Interesting, thanks for the comments... don't normally chart my progress by way of time, take my journal for granted, but from February 2009 to now October 2010 with a near daily practice I can now do the full lotus and hook my feet around my thighs... ok... that sounds lame perhaps, such a long time attempting a position but it wasn't my only focus during that period of time .lol. granted I can't sit in it for long but it'll get there now I can do it.

Note that like many yoga positions its more about the thighs than the knees. Yoga seems to be all ball socket stuff when you look at it.

.M.

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Saquian
post May 3 2013, 09:51 AM
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Hello,
I have a question about this... I'm also trying to achieve stillness with an asana, but I have scoliosis, not that critical (i think) but if you pay atention to my back It's posible to spot it. And when I try to sit with my back straight, I often find it hard to have the neck and the back aligned (and i also feel the shoulders are at diferent heights). Anyone had this problem o knew of someone who did? How did you solve it?
I really want to overcome this problem, since I can't meditate lying in the floor because i fall asleep.
Thanks in advance
Saquian

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Vagrant Dreamer
post May 3 2013, 10:19 AM
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QUOTE(Saquian @ May 3 2013, 11:51 AM) *

Hello,
I have a question about this... I'm also trying to achieve stillness with an asana, but I have scoliosis, not that critical (i think) but if you pay atention to my back It's posible to spot it. And when I try to sit with my back straight, I often find it hard to have the neck and the back aligned (and i also feel the shoulders are at diferent heights). Anyone had this problem o knew of someone who did? How did you solve it?
I really want to overcome this problem, since I can't meditate lying in the floor because i fall asleep.
Thanks in advance
Saquian


I have had many clients improve and even correct scoliosis with regular yoga practice. If you can find a school or class near you, it would be a very good idea to learn and practice regularly. Getting some massage once in a while would help accelerate this correction process as well.

Peace


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Saquian
post May 3 2013, 07:27 PM
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Thank you, Practicus, I will try now to get classes of Yoga.

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fatherjhon
post May 4 2013, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE(Saquian @ May 3 2013, 11:51 AM) *

Hello,
I have a question about this... I'm also trying to achieve stillness with an asana, but I have scoliosis, not that critical (i think) but if you pay atention to my back It's posible to spot it. And when I try to sit with my back straight, I often find it hard to have the neck and the back aligned (and i also feel the shoulders are at different heights). Anyone had this problem o knew of someone who did? How did you solve it?
I really want to overcome this problem, since I can't meditate lying in the floor because i fall asleep.
Thanks in advance
Saquian



I also have scoliosis; Asansa helps some but it will not fix the underlying spinal formation unless you are under 16. After that your spine does not grow fast enough to change much. Asansa is very good for correcting the resulting mismatched muscle tension though. The concave side of the back will have tighter, shorter muscles then the convex side. Most assana classes do not help much with that unless you know how to modify the poses. Some of the better classes are taught by people with good understanding of scoliosis most are only superficially acquainted. Try hatha for scoliosis dvds or a yoga therapist if you can. If you are not careful hatha will pull your back further out of alignment. My yoga practice got much better once I started working with an applied kinesiology chiropractor and very diligently stretching my concave side.

If you can get you body to accept as normal that one side is a few centimeters shorter then the other you will be well on your way. In my case, the shoulder issue was elevated by lots of chiropractic and shoulder strengthening work. I spent many years in a back brace which basically atrophied my back. If you can develop the muscles to hold the correct alignment you will have a much better time.

From time to time the bones will tend to "slip" from alinement. There are techniques -yogic and taoist- to realign them. I man named Christopher Lee Matsuo who put out a few dvds on a related topic and goes into some depth about bone alinements. "Kuji kiri for healing" was the title I think.

On a related note, you should check to see what pasture you are using to meditate. Padmasana is not a meditation posture, hatha yoga pradipika classifies it as a Pranayama posture and therefore not fit for long sitting. Same with other postures - vajrasana and half lotus - yet people still use them. Siddhasana and swastikasana are considered the best and second best. Until you can sit in in a chair jack straight (without your back supported) it is best to use lots of cushions and blankets. You will not look like a sadu but you will progress further by not torturing you body by a difficult posture you are not ready for.

Best of luck.


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Cosmic consciousness is devoid of diversity; yet the universe of diversity exists in notion....
We contemplate that reality in which everything exists, to which everything belongs,
from which everything has emerged, which is the cause of everything and which is everything....
The light of [this] self-knowledge alone illumines all experiences. It shines by its own light.
This inner light appears to be outside and to illumine external objects.

-Sage Vasishtha

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Aunt Clair
post May 14 2013, 04:05 AM
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There are various effective asanas. Franz Bardon , the author of many Hermetic texts including Initiation into Hermetics, suggested a throne asana sitting supported in an armchair. I prefer this . I find that the lotus crosses limbs and cuts off energy flow the back of a chair can maintain a relaxed but erect spine without being uncomfortably contorted.

Here are some other postures;
http://forums.riverofenlightenment.com/ind...opic,312.0.html

Here are some links regarding altering asana to effect trance;

Positions of Prayerful Meditation Conducive to Development of the Energy Body
http://forums.riverofenlightenment.com/ind...opic,312.0.html
&
http://forums.riverofenlightenment.com/ind...opic,627.0.html

One suggested series of steps to begin Metaphysical Pathworking
http://forums.riverofenlightenment.com/ind...pic,1158.0.html
&
FLASH CARDS Visual Aids for Basic Magick Energy Work
http://forums.riverofenlightenment.com/ind...pic,4073.0.html


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~*~Love , Light n Laughter, Aunt Clair ~*~

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Saquian
post May 14 2013, 11:06 AM
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Thank you very much for the new information fatherjhon. Also the links from Aunt Clair were very useful. I was aquainted with the fact that I'm too old for correcting the spine but I have to do something to avoid worst things. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to achieve stillnes of body but hopefully I will get to that.

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