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Strike a Yoga Pose: Lotus

Lotus = yoga, right? This is such an iconic pose, but it's also one of the hardest! If you wonder how people can sit so calmly meditating with their legs tied in a pretzel, here are some tricks for opening up your hips so you too can do Lotus with ease (well, without pain, anyway).

Sanskrit Name: Padmasana
English Translation: Lotus
Also Called: Pretzel
  • Begin sitting on your mat and come into Butterfly with the soles of the feet together. Stay here for five breaths.
  • If you need a little more help opening the hips, do Double Pigeon, stacking your shins with your left knee on top of the right ankle. Hold here for another five.
  • Pull the left heel all the way into the right hip (or as close to your hip as you can) and extend your right leg on the floor in front of you. Fold forward over your right leg in Half Lotus for five breaths.
  • Sit up and bend your right knee, and if you can, use your hands to pull the right heel into your left hip, coming into Lotus. If that's not happening, just tuck your right foot under your left thigh.
  • Touch your thumb and index finger together, and extend your other three fingers down toward the floor. Tuck your chin in slightly toward your chest and gaze softly at your nose.
  • Use your abdominal muscles to keep the spine strong and tall. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, and concentrate on breathing for 10 deep breaths.
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