The Lotus pose is arguably the most iconic and recognised position outside of the yoga community. It is not only used in yoga, but in meditation as it is the most stable sitting pose. It is also one of the best sitting positions as it encourages you to keep your spine in good posture. Although being highly recognised, the Lotus pose is in fact a relatively advanced position to achieve, however other alternative poses such as Half Lotus, Hero pose or Easy pose can be practiced and perfected prior to achieving the full Lotus pose. The Lotus pose is achieved by having good external rotation of both hips and having good knee and ankle range of movement. If the external rotation is not sufficient you will either not be able to achieve the position, or you will get discomfort in your knees, ankles and sometimes your lower back, as these joints aim to accommodate for the lack of hip movement available. As mentioned above, the Lotus pose is a good stable sitting pose, and with a stable base allows sitting in a good posture to be achieved easier with less effort. There are two main reasons for having a good posture. Most obviously, it reduces the chances of injuring your lower back. Slightly less obvious is that a good posture is vital to be able to breathe effectively and efficiently. When slumped forward in a bad posture, you are unable to breathe fully. This is due to the position of the ribs preventing the lungs expanding fully. All of the ribs attach onto the spine and the majority attach round onto the sternum, forming the rib cage. When the spine is flexed forwards in a bad posture the ribs bunch together at the front and when trying to take a deep breath in, the ribcage will not be able to expand fully. This results in the lungs not being able to expand fully within the ribcage. Try taking a full breath in with bad posture, then repeat with a good posture and notice the difference yourselves! As breathing techniques are a vital aspect to yoga, posture is therefore vital also.
• Good posture is vital to reduce chances of lower back pain and is essential to enable effective breathing techniques to be executed efficiently.
• Very good external rotation is required in the hips to perform this position.
• A deep stretch into ankle inversion and large rotational forces into the knees will occur. These two joints often cause most discomfort whilst in this pose.