Please read Just Sit There and do the sitting meditation for at least two weeks before starting lotus.
The lotus family and cross-legged variants are among the most popular meditation positions. They range in difficulty from the easy half-lotus to the more challenging full-lotus and the intense bound lotus. Successful lotus meditation demands flexibility and focus.
Without lotus flexibility, the back, knees, legs and feet suffer. The discomfort ranges from mild to severe pain. There might always be some discomfort or mild pain in full-lotus especially when done for very long.
Meditators have a tendency to block out the pain they feel when meditating in full-lotus. However this is not the correct approach as it undermines the purpose of developing equanimity. What you do depends on the level of pain and your level of flexibility.
Severe pain is a warning sign to stop.
Regular practice of the proper stretches minimizes physical discomfort and helps you to have a smooth session.
Lotus works best in a state of detachment and receptiveness. Detachment allows the meditator to let go of yearning for pleasurable sensations while experiencing discomfort. Instead the meditator is receptive to feelings as they come and go.
Lotus formation aligns with the stars like a pyramid, has the strength of a mountain and is rooted like a tree. With your lower half on the ground and your head in the sky you become a living link between heaven and earth. While the body remains still the unsupported awareness of the mind spreads out, expanding the field of consciousness.
Lotus allows for more absorption of earth energies than other postures. This energy is not easily absorbed by the inexperienced. Meditating in this position over time can awaken kundalini energy.
Advantages: When mastered, meditating in lotus can awaken kundalini and activate the chakras. It purges the body of impurities, kills disease, brings greater concentration and receptiveness to the mind. It builds strength and self-confidence.
Disadvantages: When done incorrectly it can cause serious injury and internal disturbance.
In some occult schools students fast for days while meditating in full-lotus for 40 minutes with 10 minute breaks. As the days go by sessions get more challenging. Eventually, knee pain makes it difficult for them to stand or even straighten their legs. Their empty stomachs complain. When the stress reaches a boiling point they snap and forget their purpose. Layer by layer their personalities start to peel off until they encounter a realization that cannot be described by words.
This type of training should not be tried at home. Thankfully you can have the same awakening without venturing to that extreme.
The following stretches are the prerequisite for developing the flexibility necessary for meditating in lotus position. The stretches condition your legs and hips. They may be incorporated into your fitness routine or practiced alone. The stretches help with all variants of lotus.
You may do stretches 1 – 6 against a wall for support. When doing the lotus you should not use a wall. Never go beyond the level of your current flexibility.
Repeat steps 1-5 on the other side.