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  • Writer's pictureChristina V. Mills

Getting the Legs into Lotus: Rock the Baby

I wanted to do a quick tutorial on Lotus, especially when it comes to poses like Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimattanasana, where you have one leg straight, one like half lotus, one hand behind the back, and then the other hand reaches for the straight leg.

This is one of the poses that we find in Ashtanga Half Primary Series that I teach to people at all levels, including beginners. And so what I find is that a lot of people, it's really, really common for people to have difficulty getting their legs into this position, and especially getting it into full lotus. This is really difficult for a lot of people at first, so I just want to explain a little bit of how to get into it.

The first thing is, when I see people come into any type of bringing their leg into lotus, a lot of times I seen them bring the foot just straight in. Now, what you notice is, if you saw remind me it was before it was touching the floor, but now it's not. And so a lot of people will be like, Look, I can't do it. But what it is is, is that what we're really trying to find Lotus is an external rotation of the leg, as opposed to just pulling it in forward. And so what we're really trying to do is call the leg out to the side, opening this hip joint, like externally, rotating the hip, and then pulling the foot inward. And then to see it totally different even for me.

One of the things that I teach when I've been like you might have Primary Series class is Rock the Baby. And so pretty much you're taking your leg and you're cradling it in your arms like you would a baby. And so the reason I do this is because it really helps you to get your external rotation, this one like out to the side. And then it also helps you get your leg down into limits. So the way you start with Rock The Baby, is you take your foot into the elbow crease of the opposite arm. So I'm pushing the edge like the actual edge of my foot, the whole foot on pressing into my arm. And then my knee is in like other albums. So my elbows are kind of holding my whole lower leg. And then you can just kind of hold the hands, you know, on your shin.

I'm doing two different movements here. The first one is using my arms to pull the leg out to the side. So this is all upper body movement, my leg is not active right, my leg is passive.

The second part of the movement is pushing the foot into the arm. So same position, but instead of the upper body being active in the leg not moving. And this time, the foot is active and the arms are not moving. So I'm using the strength, I'm pushing my foot using the strength of my side loops to push the foot into the arm. And when I do that, I feel a lot of engagement right over here, kind of in this hip joint like deep in here, and I feel like radius, kind of like side medius starting to be active. So we're working on pulling the leg out to the side, passively to the leg, and then actively using the leg to push this way. And both of these type of movements together really create a lot of diff deep hip mobility.

The reason I thought of doing this video is because one of my friends I shared this with like a year ago texted me like oh my God I've been doing Rock the Baby. And it's really helped and so I thought I would share that with you guys. And so when I teach classes, but a lot of times I'll tell them to do is take the leg way out to the side as far as you can. Then when you want to put your leg into Lotus, let the knee down from there and then start to bring the foot in from here.


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Peace & Pineapples!


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