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Right Hip

Al
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01/14/2010 - 8:30am
Right Hip
Hi Esther,

I wasn't sure where to place this question, so I placed it here.  I have very limited external rotation in my right hip.  Years of stretching has not helped it at all.

This is important to me for one reason: Full Lotus. I already know that you'll probably tell me to forget the full lotus and if I wasn't such a hard headed zen student I'd listen.  I want to(First Noble truth)be able to sit full lotus regularly for my zazen.  I can do half lotus with out any problem at all if my left is on top, but this adversely affects my pelvis therefore my back.

I'm insistent on this because I hate burmese and seiza.  Absolutely hate them.  I feel like the lotus postures support the spine for long hours of sitting better than the other postures. Everytime I've switched to burmese in zazen, I feel like I'm sliding off my cushion, giving myself a wedgie, creating neck tension, and my breath is irregular.  I sit half lotus most of the time and if it were not for the lateral tilt of my pelvis, I'd sit that way all the time.  It is really comfortable.

I don't want to force it and hurt my self.  What would be your suggestions for opening up my right hip to eventually get to full lotus with ease?

Gassho,

Al
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How about plain cross-legged pose? I too really like lotus - it has a cozy, self-contained and stable feel. But I also like plain cross- legged pose - the foot soles stay nice and warm against your thighs and it has the same symmetry and almost the satisfaction of lotus.

To work on your right hip, I recommend pigeon pose from the yoga tradition. It is a much stronger stretch than paper clip (shown in [i]8 steps[/i]), which it sounds you will need to achieve lotus.
Al
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Thanks Esther.  Exuse my ignorance, with the cross legged pose are you describing a burmese type of position?

How long would you recommend to hold the pidgeon pose for?  Do you prefer the upright version or the version where you lay prone?

Regards,

Al
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No, I mean something different from Burmese. I am trying to describe the simplest of all cross legged positions: Neither foot sole is visible; both foot soles are in full contact with the underside of the opposite thigh.

For pigeon pose, I like leaning forward (prone), but only as far as you can go without rounding your back. Also pay some attention to leaving your pelvis level.
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