Alan Little has again come to the rescue with more advice on how to ready yourself to get into Padmasana (Lotus position) without injuring yourself. Coincidentally, last night I read an excellent article, “Yogi Beware: Hidden dangers can lurk within even the most familiar pose,” in February 2005 Yoga Journal by Judith Hanson Lasater. The article is not yet online or I would point to it. She also warns about three other poses: Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), Marichyasana III (pose dedicated to the sage Marichi), and Chaturanga Dandasana (four-limbed staff pose).
Lasater’s article is useful because it points to other yoga poses that will help prepare you for Padmasana. She specifically mentions Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) and Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend), as well was others. In my case, I can’t get either of these positions right so I am far from attempting Lotus itself. The beauty of yoga is that there are a variety of poses that address the same muscle groups, some more advanced than others. In addition, there are modifications that can be made to poses to make them more approachable for beginners.
Like Alan, it may take me seven years (or more) to feel comfortable in Lotus pose. You start by accepting your own limits and use awareness to explore those limits without harming yourself. It’s not “no pain, no gain.” You patiently put in the time on the mat, and you will be rewarded in due course.