Yep, still trying to achieve Lotus. While I’ve had some serious headway in other parts of my practice (my headstands are literally taking off, and I’m discovering flexibility that I’ve never even dreamed of experiecing before), Padmasana remains a distant dream. Being an endurance athlete, with triathlon being my drug of choice, I’m pretty sure that I am hindered by tightness that builds up in my hips, knees, and feet from pounding those long miles on the run and bike. Yoga has helped keep me strong and healthy as I prep for triathlons, but I can’t say that triathlon’s repetitive motions do much for my yoga practice.
Since I’m not willing to give up triathlon at this point, I’ve had to find other avenues towards flexibility. For a long time, I believed that my biggest hindrance was tightness in my knees and feet. However, I found a video yesterday that was something of a revelation.
Patrick Reynolds argues that the key to achieving Lotus lies almost exclusively in flexibility in the hip joints. While this may be a “duh” statement for most of you, I hadn’t put together that my tight hips has led to my Lotuslessness. While I’ve looked to my feet in the past, I’m now working on Wide Legged Forward Bends and other such hip openers.
This moment of insight makes me wonder what else I’ve missed. Of course, this is a huge question and doesn’t simply pertain to yoga. When it comes to seeing the forest or seeing the trees, I’m usually a big picture kind of girl, favoring wide vistas to individual pines, oaks, and birches. Yet it seems when it came to Padmasana, I got caught up on the details; I wanted to work on my feet and knees when I should have seen how open hips lead not only to Lotus, but to a wide variety of other poses as well.
So maybe the truth of the matter is I’m not as “big picture” as I’ve always thought. Maybe I’ve become hung up on trivialities (getting into certain poses, working on specific projects, worrying about momentary emotions) rather than seeing the big pay offs, such as finding repose in daily practice, or leading the kind of life that makes me happy, regardless of what others may think. And maybe there is no pay off; there’s just life. We can choose to sweat the small stuff, or we can live the big picture.
I’ll continue to work towards Lotus, but with the big picture in mind: playfulness, contentment, acceptance, and love, not just for those around me, but for myself.