Talk about an “all-in-one” fitness stretch for any sport. Half bound lotus is a hamstring, hip, and shoulder opener all wrapped into one juicy package.
After a thorough warm up to open the hamstrings, hips, and shoulders, here are the steps I use to get into this pose.
1) Start from a seated forward fold. Sit up as tall as you can, pull the belly in towards your spine, and push your heels away with the toes flexed back.
2) Cross your knee of the ankle with toes engaged towards the same knee. This is a great place to stop or back off if you feel any knee discomfort. Stay here for a few breaths to open the hip. Avoid pushing the knee down. If you are active in sports or fitness, the hips can become tight because most activities require hip movement. Approach this with as much care toward the knee joint as possible.
3) If there is no knee pain, lift the shin with the toes firmly engaged. Pull your bell in strongly while you direct the heel towards the bellybutton. You can always go back to the position that does not create discomfort in the knee.
4) If the heel is comfortably able to pull in towards the bellybutton, start to move the knife edge of the foot to the crease of your upper thigh to allow the toes to hook on the outside of the thigh. The knee will rotate down and outward, the foot is in half lotus. If you start to feel anything abnormal in your knee, back out of the pose.
4) Begin to reach the lotus side arm around your back, seek to find the bind. You can use a strap to help close the distance to the foot, or simply reaching in the direction of the bind is successful too.
5) If you successfully have the bind, pull the belly up and in even more and start to fold.
Stay here for 5-8 breaths, then repeat on the other side. Enjoy this awesome stretch after any sport or fitness activity!