After 50 days of working my way into sitting in full lotus pose (read about that journey here), it was time to brave the pièce de résistance: bound lotus.
I read Mahankirn‘s and Harnam‘s advice, which was to err on the side of ‘very slowly does it’ with this posture. I gathered some supportive cushions close. I worked out a set of lovely hip-opening warm ups. And off I went.
Resting the higher knee on a meditation cushion, and my forehead on another, bigger meditation cushion, I did 15 minutes on each side. I sat in lotus for five minutes before moving into 10 minutes of bound lotus.
One word. OW!
This kriya is TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH! There is a continuous shouting match in my head: ‘I can’t stand the pain in my right hip!’ ‘Yes, you can!’ ‘I absolutely can’t!’ ‘This is your chance, stay down!’ ‘It’s going to take me YEARS to get into bound lotus at this rate!’ ‘If you want it, you’ve got to stay down!’ ‘AAAARRRRRGHHH!’ ‘Focus on the Mahamrityunjaya mantra!’ ‘It’s not helping!’ etc etc etc for the entire 10 minutes…
It gets ugly down there. It’s like wrestling with a crocodile… a euphemism for a very feisty temper-tantrum-y ego. And time is not at all kind; it oooooooozes by.
And then, about 10 days into the wrestling match, I injured my right upper hamstring. It happened as I was walking along the street rather than during bound lotus itself, but I knew that it stemmed from my morning practice. And what a precious lesson that is.
I’d been pushing myself so hard, with thoughts of ‘bound lotus bound lotus bound lotus’ galvanising me to outstay my welcome in the posture. I so wanted to reach the BL goal. Ha! I should really know by now that’s so not how it works.
So now I’m back to simple lotus, nursing my tender hamstring and chanting my beloved ‘Om Tryambakam Yajamahe‘… reminding me to surrender and release my bound lotus goals!
I had a lucky escape. On a scale of 1-10, my dodgy hamstring is a 5, so it could be much worse. There’s no forward bending for me for a long while, and DEFINITELY no bound lotus. I have relearnt something very valuable… never push, just flow. Slow and steady wins the race.
Sat nam x