(but put your hands or elbows down, take your shoes off… and relax!)
I used to be the guy who sat like Quasimodo, but now I can comfortably take full lotus for an hour or more at a time, and it was primarily these two poses that opened me up. If you do these postures as I’ve described, you’ll be blown away with the results!
A Couple of Tips:
– Don’t push or use force… relax completely!
– Practice these stretches 6 days per week (consistency is essential)
– Breath normally
A BIT OF ANATOMY
The two big muscles that are often blamed for tight hips (though they’re not the only culprits) are the iliacus and the psoas–sometimes called the hip flexors or iliopsoas. These tough tissues enable us to lift our legs when we’re lying on our back, or lift up our torso in a sit-up.
The iliacus originates on the inner bowl of the pelvis, the psoas (the weird one) on the lumbar spine. Both cross the floor of the pelvis, the outer edges of the pubic bones, and insert on the inner upper femur (thighbone).
NOT MAKING ANY SENSE?
Basically, you’ve got this big bundle of muscle/tissue that starts at your lower back, extends over your pelvis, and finally connects to your legs. If this tissue gets tight and shortened, you can’t do lotus (or a bunch of other poses either).