Garbha P experiments

All that time ago when I injured my knee with my less than thought out attempt to do Garbha Pidasana, it’s taken until now for my knee to be almost back to full movement and to resume the experiments. Since the “incident” I have had a mini changing room tutorial from Susan and the David Kiel YouTube yoga anatomy video. But mainly it’s been about not doing anything that annoys my left knee, it’s only in the last month that I have let a teacher adjust me into the second side of Marichyasana D. 

With Mysore just around the corner, one more week to wait, I decided over the last couple of weeks to tentatively resume my experiments as I know full well that Garbha is my likely stopping point in India. I can once again do full Lotus, though the left knee still can’t get as high up the thigh as the right. One Sunday at the Shala when the sweat was dripping I decided to try and get my hands through the too small gaps and found I could just about get them through to the wrists, any further and the Lotus came undone.

I have tried at home every time I have got warm enough, water just doesn’t seem to have the lubrication properties that good old fashioned sweat does, I need to be running as I was at YP yesterday, where I managed to get both arms  a fair way through and roll around until it all came undone as I lost direction and headed for S mat next door.

At Breakfast it was suggested that perhaps Garbha works better with a tighter Lotus as opposed to my theory that the looser it is the more room there must be to get the arms through, previous suggestions from the blogosphere have included getting my legs waxed and using heavy duty moisturiser!

So today home alone in a sun warmed room I got to Garbha and decided to try the first of the suggestions, to tighten the lotus. My right foot can get high but although the left knee is much better the foot can’t get up into the crease. Surprisingly after a couple of attempts my right hand, then arm, then some more arm went through the too small gap, enough for the hand to touch my face. The left hand went through and a few inches of wrist, but then I was stuck, I needed someone to pull it through, but as I wriggled I could feel the Lotus again coming undone. But that’s some progress and my knee hasn’t objected to the experiments. 

So how do you keep the Lotus locked when struggling to get them arms through, do you put the hands through palms up which seems more logical for the final position, turning them over once through seems to be adding an extra level of difficulty. As for the second and third suggestions……


12 Responses to “Garbha P experiments”

  1. D Says:

    Hahahaha, I guess you’d be in favor of heavy-duty moisturizer before thinking about waxing eh? 😉

    I can get my arms through to the elbows, but there’s some huffing and puffing going on…it is tricky on some days though. I push my hands through palms down then turn them up once through. What I’ve found to keep the balance is that it’s important to ‘counter-balance’ the push of the arms with ‘pulling’ your thighs closer to your torso.

    Perhaps the key to keeping it all together is in being able to keep a comfortable lotus, which should happen as your hips and knees open up over time.

    • globie Says:

      Hi D,

      Yes moisturiser would be next.

      My Lotus is doable but certainly not comfortable. My knee is a lot better, but still not 100%, so I am trying really hard not to push it. I will have to try pulling the hips as you suggest, though at this stage it takes all my effort to try and get the arms through and then turn them over.

  2. daydreamingmel Says:

    I think the lotus is key, and of course not pushing if you’re knee isn’t ready is VITAL (as the last “experiment” proved!). As the originator of the tighter lotus advice I’ll say that I favour a palm up approach, pointing the fingers through just below the right knee, and once I get my arm through to the elbow if it seems stuck then I sort of pump it up and down to get the elbow through, and then slide on all the way up to tuck my hand under my chin. For the left side I slightly lift my shin to create a space and generally find my arm goes through more easily, but again if it gets stuck at the knee I pump my arm to work it through. maybe i should do a video!
    but as i say, i think if you don’t have a tight lotus on both sides it’s going to be tricky, and the last thing you want to do is push it! and remember all of my months of moaning, crying, bruising and beaching before I was able to do this…? i’m not saying this is easy by any means!!

    • globie Says:

      A video would be great Mel, I can’t remember the last time I watched anyone do it.

      By “Pumping” I presume you mean sort of back and forth with the stuck arm! So you have your palm up as you slide in, saves trying to turn it over once through.

      The right foot does come up high, but the left, with the knee still not quite there, is maybe a couple of inches lower down, which in theory should mean more space for the arm, but doesn’t seem to work that way.

      I was very surprised to get my right arm through that far, I did it again today and it was nothing like as humid and hot as the past few days. There is definite progress,but one side or the other only not both at the same time.

  3. Wayne Says:


    After getting my legs in lotus, I usually pick the “assembled package” up to about a 45 degree angle, then push right hand through (palm facing down) and wriggle it through. I then rotate the arm and use the leverage of that arm through to assist getting the other arm through. It seems to help to think of getting the legs and chest close together the whole time. Hope this helps more than confuses!


    • globie Says:

      Hi Wayne,

      Once I get the right through I seem to have to lift the left hip up to get the left hand through, I havn’t tried lifting the whole thing before trying to get the first hand through, will give it a go, but don’t think I would have the balance.

  4. Maria Says:

    Agree with Wayne. Lift the whole thing up to put arm through. Patience! I think everyone has their own way, but remember Garbha is a balance pose as well so its as important to work on that. Its way easier to get the arms through once you lift the knees /lotus towards you slightly

    • globie Says:

      I see it’s a balance pose once you are knotted up in it. Today I tried lifting the ensemble after pouring a load of water everywhere, but trying to balance and shove the arms through wasn’t happening. I did get the left through further today, but at the expense of not getting the right as far through as in the last few days.

  5. Maria Says:

    I’m sure you’ll have seen this – but maybe it’ll help?

  6. wr181513 Says:

    “next week” 😉

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