Finally, the rest from all the jump back and throughs, the work on opening the hips in all the lotus postures in standing and sitting has paid off, tonight I managed utpluthih for the first time ever! Yay! This is the first time in the life of my yoga practice that I got into what looked and felt like a proper lotus posture, my hips rotated outward and downward just enough to let the tops of my feet rest comfortably on my thighs and, thank god, not one twinge in my knees!
So how did I get there? Well, I have stopped all this jump back and through on every side nonsense in my home practice and have spent more time concentrating on 'opening' my hips. This has involved spending more time carefully entering the postures such as ardha baddha padma paschi, marichi a, b, c and d, and making sure that the knee is completely closed, the heel is brought high into the belly button then the hip is allowed to slowly rotate forward, out and down allowing for the top of the foot to sit on the thigh.
The extra breaths spent in these postures, coupled with concentrating on where I'm feeling the tension, has strangely enabled me to let go of any tension (or is it fear?) in the knee joint and the hips have consequently opened up. This has obviously had a knock on effect for the likes of kurmasana and supta k; and at the weekend I actually managed to get the feet behind the head (even it is was one at a time!)..
It was funny because I sat and thought about utpluthih for a couple of seconds (I normally just do crossed legs in the 3 final lotuses) and then thought, lets give it a go, and hey! There it was! I took a deep breath and thought am I going to be able to hold myself off the floor? And yes I could! All I can say is, it is a bit of an achievement and highlight of my last couple of months of practice. I might become one of these people you see sitting in half or full lotus on their chairs at work, just to keep working on it! I might give that a go tomorrow.
Whilst I know it sounds a bit sad, I kinda feel like a proper yogi now I have done a full lotus without having my knees somewhere round my ears! But I know it's not about that, it's about time and patience and man, have I given these hips of mine time and patience - 4 bloody years! My practice has got to a stage where everything seems to be falling into place and it feels good!