The Lotus Flower Grows in Still Water


It is said that the mind, like the Lotus, will only come to full bloom within stillness.  In our desire to be good students, many of us increase the challenge and pace of our asana practice.    When we “get better” at yoga, we are meant to move less, not more.  As beginners, we are like the puppy; playful and bouncy.  A puppy has energy to spare- therefore there is no need for efficiency.  Most of us yogis are already spread pretty thin.  We need to conserve our energy, and place it where and when we want to.   The wise dog only makes necessary movements.  Learning how to become still on command, is a way of preserving our vital life force- and it takes practice.


Sara Ivanhoe

It is said that the ultimate meditation position is Padmasana (Full Lotus) as its symmetry creates a balanced foundation.  As further inspiration, the bloom itself, thermo-regulates- meaning that no matter the outer climate- it retains its inner balance.  Yogasana is a practice of feeling our “one-ness” with whatever pose we invoke.  If the lotus flower literally sustains its temperature no matter the outer landscape, practicing lotus give us the opportunity to learn this important lesson.

Stillness and equanimity are fundamental components of a yoga practice.  One doesn’t need to have flexible hips or bend their knees into submission.  A simple seated posture will capture the spirit, as the legs can still represent petals.  The importance is not the shape our bodies take- but the energy with which we embody all shapes.  As the lotus takes time to grow, our appreciation of its gifts takes time as well.  While stillness may not seem outwardly impressive, it is a flower that blossoms within.

I bow to the Jewel in the Lotus: Om Mani Padme Hum.

By Sara Ivanhoe
Learn more about Sara on her website Yoga Nation and read more of her posts on her blog!

Sara Elizabeth Ivanhoe is the Yoga Spokesperson for Weight Watchers, most recently releasing the “Weight Watchers Yoga Starter Kit.” She began teaching in 1995, shortly after graduating with honors from New York University. She has completed the Yoga Works teacher training, a specialized Therapeutics program and is also certified by Erich Schiffmann in his Freeform Style. Sara is the instructor for the "Yoga for Dummies" series, the "Crunch Yoga" series as well as the collaboration with Russell Simmons "Yoga Live." She had an extended run on Fit TV with "All Star Workouts" and on Exercise TV with "Yoga on the Edge." Sara was a regular on Vh1's "Dr. Drew's Celebrity Rehab" and has been featured on all the major news channels. She is highlighted in the acclaimed documentary "Titans of Yoga" and "Women of Bhakti." Ivanhoe is one of the few teachers certified by the Green Yoga Association to teach Yoga and Ecology. In addition, Loyola Marymount University has awarded Sara a Certification in Yoga Philosophy. This fall she will matriculate in LMU's Master's Degree in Yoga Philosophy program.

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