robert

'hanging' ankle gets sore in lotus

7 posts in this topic

As I've mentioned before, in class I discovered that I can do lotus pose. Since that day I've been using it more, as it's a very stable seat for meditation. However if I hold it without putting some padding under the 'hanging' ankle - the one which crosses below, it becomes sore rather quickly, seemingly due to the above leg pressing on it.

Using the padding is fine, but I've never seen anyone else needing it. Is this a normal thing/something you get used to, or is it an indication I'm doing something wrong?

Hildegard likes this

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While I can't remember exactly, as a recent lotus "graduate" (I began yoga one year ago), I seem to recall that it was uncomfortable...until it wasn't. My best advice, as with all moves that cause discomfort, is to ."not push it". If it feels better with a cushion...use a cushion. Over time, most poses feel better, so I'd say keep practicing it from time to time, stop when it's uncomfortable and read up on the proper way to achieve the pose. If you go to a class, show your instructor and ask their opinion. 

You could also use YouTube instructions. Kino has some very good detailing on how to build up to poses. Start with half lotus which you might want to practice before leading up to full lotus.

Here is full lotus 

Again, I'm a beginner and would hope more advanced folk could provide better advice, but having recently dealt with the learning process for lotus, the struggles are relatively fresh in my mind 

afriske and robert like this

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, stop when it's uncomfortable and read up on the proper way to achieve the pose. If you go to a class, show your instructor and ask their opinion. 

 

It is really important to never force Lotus or any pose. Having pressure between the two legs or supporting the ankle that way puts a great deal of pressure on the knee joint, injuries, meniscus tears, ligament damage. Like Kino says “never force the knee joints” It is best to be able to put the legs into Lotus without using your hands. This uses the muscles instead of the pulling on the ligaments. Try some more comfortable versions of the pose. This will strengthen the leg and hip muscles and make the hip more flexible.
Never force the knee to do something the hip is not able.
robert and afriske like this

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As someone who somewhat accidentally discovered I was capable of doing lotus, I'd second Larry and Anahata's advice of going slowly and not forcing the pose. The potential for injury and discomfort is just too great. I've found it's something of an ego pose for me: more about the feeling of 'look what I can do' rather than how right it feels unless I'm very careful. I've had to step back and convince myself to slowly build the strength and flexibility for the full pose  rather than give in to the impulse of placing my legs into the position and hold it for longer than feels right. Sometimes a single breath is all my body wants to do and I have to accept that's it for the day.

I prefer to do half lotus on each leg at first, and then see what my body is like, if full lotus is an option at that given day/moment or not rather than jump in. Half lotus allows me to build more balance and strength on both sides of my hips, which in turn helps not to put too much weight on one leg, thus potentially causing the discomfort Robert mentions.

I'm not quite up to getting into the pose without using my hands, as Anahata suggests, but it's something else to work on.

afriske and robert like this

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I need to work on hip flexibility so crossing my legs is more comfortable on my knees. Going slow is very important. 

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...I've found it's something of an ego pose for me: more about the feeling of 'look what I can do' ...

+1!!

I take it to the next level with Scale, especially around beginners or people who don't do yoga at all! 

 

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I find it best to do a few hip openers beforehand. Actually in my class today, the teacher had us externally rotate the legs and bringing the hips to the naval before going into the pose. So, we came into a seated straddle position, bent one of the knees, grabbed the foot and brought the leg to the naval and did the same on the other side if that makes sense.

Sometimes when I do lotus, it just doesn't happen for me, so I do half lotus instead or just cross at the shins. It depends on the day. Sometimes, I'll feel tension in the knees or the ankles, in which case I (hopefully) decide to stop. The sensitive areas of the knees and ankles need protection. Sometimes, we have to mentally choose to protect them. Like everyone said, don't push anything. Keep opening up the hips with other poses and eventually it will get easier in my experience. But until then, don't force it!

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