Archive for December, 2006

anicca, yoga and the lotus

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Ahh.. the truth of impermanence and my ego manifests again.

So my practice has reached a whole new level.. it is often the sign of great things or transformation to come in the evolution of a yogi’s practice and training when this happens.

From what I have gleamed, many a teacher in training has come to this point…


I’m fine now..fortunately it wasn’t serious at all (at this point of the game anyways). It was very humbling experience and an important lesson is being learned.

The lotus aka Padmasana..we all know what this looks like..the pose all yogis and enlightened ones seem to prefer.  Looks comfy no? 

Why does it seem like full enlightenment tends to be reached by only those individuals with really open hips? :)

One day in practice as I was admittedly yanking on my leg to get my foot up high in lotus, I felt a little pop and sharp shooting pain that was gone immediately. I was warmed up and thought it was just a little shift of some ligament or something.  I practiced on maintaining “my version” of full lotus through the fish pose and Padmasana sequence.

However, the next day the pain manifested and I had to slightly alter the way I walked to avoid it. So I decided to take a few days off to figure out what it was, why it happened and give it some time to heal.

So it became obvious when I began discussing this with fellow students and teachers;  I had been “sickling” or supinating my ankle in order to get my feet and ankles high enough to get into the pose. Instead of having the soles of my feet  pointing more to the sides and back of the room they were twisted to face up to the ceiling. I was compensating for my lack of outward rotation of the femur in the hip socket by twisting my ankle. 

From what I can figure out using my anatomy sources and pictures, I was pinching my medial meniscus and overstretching my lateral collateral ligament (ooh..look at me using fancy anatomy terms), which can result in serious injuries down the road.

Two steps forward, one step back. I am now far more mindful in this asana.  The lotus posture that I thought was beginning to blossom through in my practice, is actually just a little bud in the murky depths still making its way through the mud that is my ego.   

So now I am keeping my knee closed by ensuring my shin is in tight to the back of my thigh, keeping my ankle flexed so it looks like this ” L “  when placed on my upper leg and I am focusing on encouraging the external rotation of my thighbone in my hip socket.

As I recall in my last blog I was marking some of my progress and noting that I was “ binding in all the Marichyasana variations” umm..nope.  Back to square one.

But as I have been told by wise teachers “don’t push it, enjoy, observe, breathe, you have a whole lifetime (or as I would see it ”lifetimes”) to practice ahead of you”