Bhujangasana and Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

I have started my Yoga Journey with Tirisula. While I had been learning many poses I found some poses which are very engaging. These poses has variation and a small change in the pattern makes a big difference. I would like to write about one such variation of poses which is very common during Sun Salutations.  

Bhujanga means snake in Sanskrit. There is a pose which is associated with the snake like structure which is called as Bhujangasana – which is also called as Cobra Pose. 

I have learned to engage the abdomen in this pose. The abdomen can protect and support the lower back while you reach for more opening into the upper back. Once your lower back is stable you can focus on contracting your upper back.

Getting into bhujangasana :

1) Start by lying on your stomach and place your forehead on the floor.  Keep your feet’s apart from each other , the toes and the fingers are pressing the ground

2) Place your hand near to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Your breathing should be normal.

3) Inhale – raise or lift your head on trunk and lift your chest. Your arms should be bent at your elbows

4) Exhale – Arch your neck backward to replicate a Cobra like position. Your shoulder should be steady and away from ears. Your thighs and feets are touching the ground and you need to press them against the ground. 

5) You can hold this asana for 30-60 seconds while breathing normally. An ideal way will be to hold it for around 02 minutes.

6) To release the pose ,slowly bring your hands back to the sides. Rest your head on the ground by bringing your forehead in contact with the floor. 

7) This pose can be further extended to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward facing Dog). This pose is more intense than the Bhujangasana:

  • In this pose, the only difference is that your thighs & stomach is not touching the ground
  • Before you lift your head from the ground, we need to push your body in front and then make a arch on your spine
  • Your hands in this pose should be straight 


Bhujangasana & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana : benefits following muscles and joints 


  1. Lattssismus dorsi
  2. Gluteal muscles 
  3. Abdomen / Core
  4. Psoas 
  5. Thighs 
  6. Deltoid 
  7. Biceps & Triceps
  8. Chest 
  9. Neck
  10. Pelvic


  1. Hip joints
  2. Shoulder & arms
  3. Heart 
  4. Lungs

Benefits of cobra pose / bhujangasana  & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

  1. Stretches the muscles in the shoulder , chest and abdominals. 
  2. Decreases stiffness of the lower back. 
  3. Improves menstrual irregularities. 
  4. Firms and tones the Gluteus Maximus. 
  5. Improves circulation of blood and oxygen, especially throughout the spinal and pelvic regions. 
  6. Improves digestion 
  7. Strengthens the spine. 
  8. Soothes the sciatica

Contradictions of Bhujangasana & Urdhva Mukha Svanasana:

  1. Severe back Problems
  2. Neck problems relating to spondylitis
  3. Not to be attempted by a pregnant woman at all costs
  4. A person suffering from hernia should not practice this at all
  5. Woman who are menstruting should avoid the pose


The Magic of Standing Forward Bend

I think most of us experienced a friend of ours asking to perform an asana when they first hearing that we are practicing yoga. At most circumstances, I would quietly fold myself forward to a standing forward bend (in Sanskrit, uttanasana) and surprisingly, this always does the trick and they started to acclaim.

For most people, the long hours of sitting in office or studies have slowly constraints the flexibility of their spine and hip joints, to bend forward and able to touch the toes appears to be an impossible task.

The spine, also known as vertebrae column is a part of the axial skeleton in the human body to maintain the upright posture and to protect the spinal cord, a long, thin, tubular structure made up of nervous tissue. From top, the cervical vertebrae is connecting the skull to the torso, the thoracic vertebrae is the upper and middle back of the torso, the lumbar vertebrae is the lower back, the sacrum is at the hip, and lastly the coccyx is commonly known as the tailbone.

In between the vertebrae, there are intervertebral disc, or disc in short. These are the spongy cushions that separate the bones of the spine and provide shock absorption, keep the spine stable and give the vertebrae ‘gliding points’ to allow movement. Disc changes happen across our lifetime as connective tissues change with age, and the structures of the spine adapt to cope with the physical loads of daily life. These changes happened even in healthy people with no back pain and they are common age-related changes. The changes include disc bulge, narrowing of the disc space (loss of disc height) and disc dehydration. Overtime, the disc would develop from spongy cushion to a harden cushion if the persons are rarely moving their spine. To prevent the disc become harden, regularly exercising and stretching the spine is the key.

Back to the yoga asana, standing forward bend, a pose where we align the long axis of the femur and tibia bones with the direction of the gravity and allow the spine to elongate in a comfortable or effortless position. This asana help us in releasing the pressure on the disc that it sustains from long hours of sitting during the daily activities. It also helps to activate the movement of the spine. An active spine benefits the spinal cord and in result keeping the brain cells active.

     How to get in and out of the pose?
  1. Stand in tadasana, a normal and relax standing position. Feet together or slightly apart.
  2. On inhalation, tilt the pelvis and arch the lumbar. Grab hold on the side of the lower waist to feel the anterior tilt of the pelvis.
  3. Keeping the anterior pelvis tilt and on exhalation, slowly bend the torso forward, belly touching the thigh.
  4. Place the hands on the outer side of the feet, or holding on the back of the calves.
  5. Continue normal breathing in this intense stretch pose. Lengthen the spine in every inhalation and try to bring the chin closer to the knee in every exhalation.
  6. To get out of the pose, place the hands back to the side of the pelvis bone, inhale and slowly raise the head up and bring the torso back to the upright position.
  7. Relax the hands to side of the body and take a few breaths in the standing position to feel the benefit of the stretch.

What are the muscles that we are stretching on while in this position? Mainly we will feel like the pose is stretching on the hamstrings and the external rotators of the hips because these muscles are the factors that normally limit a person from going deeper into the forward bend if he or she has a tight hamstrings or hip rotators. Even so, we shall always try to shift our attention to stretch on the back muscles, such as erector spinae, latissimus dorsi and trapezius because the main aim of the pose is to elongate the spine. A healthy erector spinae muscle will help in preventing the spine from rounding when lifting heavy weights. The latissimus dorsi stabilise the lumbar spine and the trapezius will greatly influence the smoothness of the neck movement because it is an important shoulder mover and stabiliser.

For contraindication, a person who is having slipped disc shall avoid from doing this pose because the herniated disc may pressurise the nerve when bending forward and cause pain. 

The application of the Cat and Cow Pose

The Cat and Cow Pose is a perfect beginner yoga pose if you are looking to warm up your spine and abdomen. The simple step-by-step instructions would be to to start in “tabletop” position (palms and knees aligned, shoulder distant apart). Center your head in a neutral position, eyes gazing to the floor. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, with shoulders and knees in position. Relax the head toward the floor. Inhaling, lift your hip bones and chest toward the ceiling, with the belly sinking towards the floor. Lift your head to look straight up to the ceiling. Repeat a few more times as desired. To end, exhale, coming back to neutral “tabletop” position.

The muscles:

The cat pose strengthens your abdominal muscles, the rectus and transversus abdominis, the chest area, particularly the pectoralis major and minor and stretches the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi. The cow pose is the reverse, tightening the rhomboids and latissimus dorsi and stretching the abdominal and chest muscles. In addition, it also works on the hip muscles, the iliopsoas and iliacus and the quadratus lumborum.


  • Strengthens the Spine: With the repeated movement of the back, the pose strengthens and allow flexibility of the spine to release lower back pains as well as improve posture.
  • Massages your Internal Organs: The pose gently massages and stimulates organs in the belly, particularly the kidneys and adrenal glands. This also helps with the digestion.
  • Women’s Reproductive System: With the repeated movement of the lower back and abdomen, the gentle massage of the muscles around the reproductive system keeps the hormone level in balance and help elevates the cramps during the menstrual cycle.
  • Breathing for Pregnant Women: The inhale and exhale breathing involved keeps the mental state of the woman calm, allowing a better growth of the fetus.


  • Weak wrists and shoulders: Someone with weak wrists and shoulders move to the simpler version of Seated Cat Cow Pose to avoid injuring the muscles or bones there.
  • Injury at the shoulders: If you have an injury on the shoulders, remember not to put too much pressure during the poses to avoid straining it further. Practice with caution.
  • Pregnant women: Avoid doing this on your own if you are a first time practitioner, as the breathing needs aligned along with the body alignment.


Hypermobility in Yoga

Have you ever wondered how are some people so naturally flexible? They can walk into a yoga class and without warming up go into a full forward fold. These people may be hypermobile. While they can perform asanas that require flexibility effortlessly, they are also at risk of injuring themselves.

Hypermobility is where joints can easily move beyond their normal range. This is because the tissues that hold them in place, the ligaments, are too loose or “lax”. Sometimes that could be due to the bone structures in the joints. Weak muscles around the joint may exacerbate hypermobility.

Hypermobility may also be a result of diseases affecting connective tissues (e.g. ligaments) such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Most of the time, hypermobility is inherited and cannot be prevented. Many people with hypermobile joints do not face any issues throughout life, in fact, most of us are on the spectrum on hypermobility – some of us have naturally hyperextended elbows and knees. But for those who experience pain and complications – on the other end of the spectrum – they may be considered to have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.

Hypermobile people usually find themselves naturally “good” in yoga as they are able to get into many difficult poses that require flexibility. In fact, some of them can do a full split without warming up! However, with hypermobility comes instability. One way to visualise this is to look at our shoulder, which is the most mobile joint in our body and also the most commonly injured and dislocated.

In a non-hypermobile body, the ligaments are naturally “tight” to restrict our joint movements to a certain range. This creates joint stability. In hypermobile people, they lack this natural signal of tightness to stop them from going beyond the normal range of motion, thus risking injuries. With the deeper range of motion, they may overstretch their muscles which besides hurting the muscles, also weakens them, making the muscles less efficient at supporting their weight during impact activities.

So… can hypermobile people still do yoga?

Yes they can! Here are some things they should note to protect themselves:

  • Use muscle control to prevent excessive hyperextension e.g. engage the quadriceps to ensure that knees are not locked in standing postures
  • Micro-bend the knees and elbows
  • There is no need to feel a stretch in every pose. Just because they can go further, doesn’t mean that they should or that it is safe to do so. If no stretch is felt in a pose, it just means that stretching is not their work in that pose. They can shift their focus to stabilising themselves and their breathing.
  • In poses, think of bringing the joints into the centre of the body e.g. in Warrior II, think of the arms moving into the shoulder sockets
  • Strengthen the muscles around the joints through light resistance in yoga. Complement the yoga practice with a strengthening routine at the gym.

If you are a teacher, you can do the following to ensure a safe practice for your hypermobile students:

  • As always, pay close attention. Notice their joints and how their bodies move during the warm up.
  • Create stability for them. If a student seems to be going beyond a safe range of motion, gently encourage them to do “less”. At the same time, understand that for hypermobile students, it may be more difficult to “back off” than to go deeper as stabilising requires more strength.
  • Cue micro-bends in elbows/knees and engagement of the muscles surrounding the joints.
  • It may be helpful to give hypermobile students some resistance, for example, give them something to push into like their elbows into your palms while in Downward Facing Dog
  • Remind students that it’s not about how far we go in an asana, but how we get there

Hypermobility is also something to take note of in other physical activities such as high impact exercises, gymnastics, dance etc where injuries may occur if joints are not taken care of.

Are you now wondering if you are hypermobile? You can find out how mobile your joints are by doing the Beighton Score Test, which is a simple system to quantify joint laxity and hypermobility. It uses a 9-point system, where the higher the score the higher the laxity. However, scoring a 9 doesn’t mean you are hypermobile. It is always recommended to have a diagnosis confirmed by a medical professional.

But whether we are hypermobile or not, we can make a conscious effort to engage our muscles and not lock our joints in our yoga practice 🙂

Beighton Score Test:

Image source


Class batch: RYT200hrs, P/T, Apr – Jun 2017

Project title: Anatomy

Project theme: Iliocostalis

Project by: Andre Neo Tai Chin

I’ve practiced Wall Rope Yoga all along. I was told to ‘Drop down and let go my body’ at the side as one of the poses in Wall Rope Yoga. Everything went smooth until the next day when I was practicing Ashtanga Yoga especially in Paschimattanasana I could feel a sharp pain at my side back muscle and when in all Marichyasana poses the twist made the pain even worse. Subsequently for the next one week, I could not sleep soundly and in pain. On the second week, I decided to find out where was the exact cause of pain at my side back muscle’s pull. 

  With the help of ‘The Key Muscles of Yoga’ reference book, back muscles area is ‘Erector-Spinae’ which has three muscles running parallel to the Vertebral column where one of the muscle is called iliocostalis. Forward bend and supine twist asanas target on Iliocostalis. iliocostalis was the answer to my finding. Now that I’d known the caused of my injury. It would be easier for me to recover using the right method (chinese medicine) to target the pain area. It’ll be a slow process to heal, but no pain, no gain.

I’ve to be careful in the future when it comes to ‘Drop down and let go my body’ pose where my body can take to its maximum in ‘Half way drop down and half way body let go’ kinda pose- literally as a saying…  

Tension & Compression

Some yoga postures are designed to beneficially stress the joints of the body to stimulate their strength and flexibility. There are two fundamentally different types of stress: tension and compression. Yogis should learn the difference between the two.

Tension is the familiar sensation of tissues being stretched. Compression is the sensation of tissues being pressed or pushed together. Both of these stresses are beneficial if done in moderation.

When a yogi is stretching a joint, he is stretching a ligament, a tendon, or both. When a yogi is compressing a joint, he is compressing bones. 

When performing yang styles of yoga (i.e. power, vinyasa, or ashtanga) you primarily activate muscle tissue to stabilize and protect your joints (this is because muscular tension compresses the joints and thereby limit your range of motion). An example would be the warrior pose, in which the quadriceps hamstrings, etc are engaged to take stress off the knee joint. 

When practising yin yoga, you primarily activate connective tissues by deliberately relaxing your muscles and putting safe stresses on your joints. An example would be Butterfly pose where you relax your legs and back muscles to allow the connective tissues in you groin, knees, lower back & ankles to gently open up & receive some stresses.

When bone is compressed, it stimulates new bone growth. Too much compression results in pain, irritation and inflammation. When muscle tissue and connective tissue is stressed (tension), it creates micro-tears in the fibers, which enables those tissues to grow longer and stronger. 

In addition to stretching and strengthening your connective tissues, you can also carefully & methodically break up scar tissues and adhesions with a regular yoga practice. You can slowly increase your range of motion by increasing the length and strength of your connective tissues. 

If you feel discomfort while practicing yoga, there are two possibilities — you are either experiencing compression or tension. If you are experiencing compression, you will not gain much by forcing the movement and you may even hurt yourself. To do the pose safely, you will either need to find a different way to do that pose or you can simply back off a little bit.

If you are experiencing tension, then this may be an opportunity to open up your body – if you listen to your body and do it safely. The key is to know the difference between placing a healthy stress on your connective tissues or muscles and straining these tissues. 

Yoga is not about being the most flexible or strongest person in the class who can do the coolest variations. Asana is simply a way of calming your mind, becoming more connected with your body, and improving your day-to-day life by having a stronger and more flexible body (according to your natural limits). Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing yoga for many years, you likely already know that your body feels different each day, so you need to approach your practice with a new set of eyes each time. If in doubt, it is always better to under do the pose rather than overdo it. You can always sink down a little further once you are settled into the pose, but it is hard to undo an injury if you over do it.

Mavis Tan 200hr January to May 2014 Batch


Yoga, Sama and the Spine

Spine in sama is when the spine is in line and taking its natural curve. The spine needs to be practice towards the state of sama as the “conditioned” spine is not yet there.
So what is sama and what are the natural curves of the spine?
The meaning of sama is not grasped by one word in English but takes many words to point towards the same meaning. Such as similar, balance, evenness, union, equanimity, wholeness, one, etc. In my opinion, the word sama and yoga point towards the same direction.
There are three natural curves in a healthy spine –
1. the neck (cervical spine) curves gently inward – lordosis.
2. the mid back (thoracic spine) curves slightly outwards – kyphosis
3. the lower back (lumbar spine) also curves inward – lordosis.
These natural curves of the spine are caused by the muscles, ligaments and tendons that are connected to the vertebrate of the spine. These structures support the spine and without the, the spine would collapse. Learning how to maintain a neutral spinal alignment helps to stabilize the spine during daily activities, i.e. sitting, walking, standing and doing yoga asanas.
Due to different reasons, not many people has a healthy spine that has front-to-back curves. To avoid misalignment in our spine when standing for instance, we need ‘align’, followed by ‘stabilise’ and then ‘lift’ the following 3 platforms.
1. Foot and ankle:
– broaden the metatarsals
– press all four sides of the feet down into the ground evenly
– outer ankle to be drawn in and up, while inner ankle lifts up and out
– lift up through the legs to protect the knee and never lock the knee.
2. Pelvic girdle
– press back the femurs
– lift up the frontal hip bones
– broadens the sacrum and keep the side pelvis forward
After getting the alignment in placed, elongate through the torso and side ribs. Stabilise by drawing the side hips and thighs to draw in to the midline. Avoid hypo-extension (rounding lumbar spine) and hyper-extending (over arching the lower back).
3. Shoulder Girdle:
– lift the top of the sternum and broaden across the collar bones
– depress the shoulder blades and move the scapula down the back
– move the upper arm bones slightly back in line with the coronal plane
-draw the trapezius muscles down the back
After getting into the alignment, soften and drop the bottom front ribs and elongate through the thoracic spine and neck. This will help to protect the cervical spine. In cases of hunch in the back, strengthen the upper back postural muscles and pull the shoulders outwards and move the scapula down the back. At the same time, check for wrinkles on joints of humerus to avoid excess shoulders pull.
A crooked or compressed spine will result in poor alignment in the asana and it is highly unlikely that the yogi can find sama in any of the asanas.
Claudine Yong
200 hr – July – Aug

UTTANASANA (Deep standing forward bend)

Meaning: Intense stretch
–  This is one of the poses within the sun salutation sequence
Dristi: Nosetip
Preparation poses:
1)   Paschimottanasana  (West posterior stretch pose)
2)   Ardha Uttanasana (Standing half forward bend)
3)   Forward bend leaning on a chair
4)   Uttanasana with knees bent, then slowly engage quads to straighten
1)   Stand in Tadasana with feet hip width apart and hands on the hip
2)   Breathe in and lengthen the spine by arching back
3)   Exhale and flex the hip forward by contracting the hip flexors (including psoas, pectineus and rectus femoris muscles)
4)   When bending forward, shift weight slightly to the toes
5)   Pronate both arms and press palms into the mat
6)   Activate the lower part of the trapezius to draw shoulders away from the neck
7)   Contract deltoids and biceps to flex the elbow
8)   Contract rectus abdominis muscles slightly to deepen the stretch and to protect the lower back
9)   Engage the quadriceps by pulling the kneecaps (patella) up to prevent knees from bending.
10)  Aim to flatten your torso against your thighs
11)   Hold in Uttanasana for 5 Ujjayi breaths, with eyes gazing at the nosetip
12)   Attempt to deepen the stretch with each exhalation
13)   After 5 breaths, slowly inhale and extend the hip joint by engaging the abdomen
14)   Return to Tadasana
Variations to Uttanasana:
Padangusthasana (Standing forward bend with bound toe)
Padahasthasana (Standing forward bend with palms under the feet)
Counter poses to Uttanasana:
Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
Purvottanasana (East anterior stretch pose)
Muscles lengthening/Stretching:
Erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus (posterior), hamstrings, gastrocnemius
Muscles contracting:
Psoas, pectieus, rectus femoris, trapezius, deltoids, biceps, rectus abdominis, quadriceps
Stretch reflex in Uttanasana:
When bending forward, the muscles being stretched (namely hamstrings, gluteus maximus and erector spinae) will involuntarily contract in order to resist over lengthening. This is a protective response to avoid injury to the muscles. When the erector spinae contracts, the back rounds and this prevents deepening of the stretch in Uttanasana. When the hamstrings contract, the knees flex and this again prevents deepening of the stretch. Rounding of the back and flexing of the knees are very common mistakes when executing this Asana. In order to lessen the stretch reflex, relax into the stretch and practice passive stretching in forward bend. This allows the muscles to adjust to the stretch.
Contraindications to the pose:
1)   People with back injuries – Attempt pose with bent knees and move into the pose cautiously
2)   People with neck injuries – Always lengthen the neck and avoid compressing the back of the neck as you look forward
3)   People with Osteoporosis
A disc bulge may occur if too much weight is borne by the Lumbar spine. To prevent this, avoid rounding the lower back.
Benefits of the pose:
1)   Helps to reduce stress and calm the mind
2)   Stimulates the Pineal, Hypothalamus and Pituitary endocrine glands in the brain
3)   Stimulates the liver and kidney
4)   Improves digestion
5)   Relieves headaches, menstrual cramps and insomnia
6)   Helps correct spinal problems such as scoliosis

Anatomy and asana – Vriksasana (Tree pose)

The tree pose is one of the first pose that drawn me into yoga.
Although it is not part of the Asthanga serie, it is an emblematic pose worth noting and exploring.
I appreciate the contrast of strength and balance which is needed to hold the pose and the gracefulness that can be expressed with the arms and the upper part of the body. With enough focus, one can really feel the tree analogy, the energy connection with the earth when properly rooted and the lightness of the arms micro balancing like branches slowly moved by the wind.
How to get into the pose?
Start in Tadasana (mountain pose), lift the right knee 90′, using the wall for support if needed, place the sole of the feet against the inner left tight, or below the left knee if need be – make sure the pressure is NOT on the knee.

Make sure both sides of the trink are equally stretched. Breathe slowly and steadily.

Keep the hands on the hips or folded together in prayer position in front of the chest. Control your hips and pelvic region and ensure they are in neutral position and balanced, tuck the tailbone in if need be.
On an inhale, lift the arms up, alongside the ears, with the palms still pressing on one another. Steady the gaze. Smile. Stay in the pose for several deep breaths. Enjoy, and feel free to open the arms and stretch them. Do you feel the wind?
Exit the pose by releasing the hands and the knee with control, back into Tadasana. Switch legs.
Watch out areas:
– Standing knee, make sure it doesn’t hyperextend and that the folded leg doesn’t put any direct pressure on the joint.
– Control the flexion of the folded knee, and rest the sole of the feet below the knee of the standing leg if flexion is too strong.
– If any lower back pain or injury, control the balance and stability of the hips and pelvic region, control the level of flexion of the folded knee.
– Shoulders: if lifting the hands and arms straight over the head is not possible or painful, keep the hands in prayer position at chest level.

Meniscus and lotus pose

Knee pain problem is very common especially for marathon runners &  elderly people. Of course, there are also other groups of people which I did not mention here.
Majority of the people complaint about the pain in their knee which is the medial side of the knee. However, there are a minority group expressing the pain is outside of their knee & also about pain running through thte centerline of the knee or around the knee cap. These 3 areas mentioned are due to stress in the knee in different ways.
In yoga, pain inside the knee is the most common problem and is mostly associated to the leg being in a half or full lotus position. This is mainly due to the compression of the medial meniscus. However, it does not mean that the meniscus is torn , it could simply mean that this area has been irritated repeatedly.This knee pain could also be related to  hamstring or adductor  & hence, a good assessment is the key for knee injury.
 In this article, only medial meniscus will be discussed as there are many stories of knee problem in the lotus position. This could be indicated by the swellingin the back of the knee and sometimes regular clicking sound that follows the pop. However, again, good assessment of the injury is needed and the best option is to seek the doctor and if needed a MRI  will be done.
 Before we go deeper into meniscus, below is a brief explanation in anatomy context:

 In anatomy, a meniscus (from Greek μηνίσκος meniskos, “crescent”[1]) is a crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that, in contrast to articular disks, only partly divides a joint cavity.[2] In humans it is present in the knee, acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular, and temporomandibular joints;[3] in other organisms they may be present in other joints (e.g., between the forearm bones of birds). A small meniscus also occurs in the radio-carpal joint.

 In the knee structure, there are two separate pieces of cartilage that make up the meniscus. Each is an additional piece of cartilage that sits between the femur and tibia and this is where the two bones come together and form the femorotibial joint ( knee joint). The function of this cartilage is to add cushioining to the joint and allow the knee to flex, extend and rotate.

The shape of the meniscus is crescent shaped and sits on top of the tibia which is referred to as tibial plateau. One of the meniscus is on the inside ( medial) while the other is on the outside ( lateral) which makes up the anterior & posterior.The MCL (medial collateral ligament) attaches to the medial meniscus, which is why injuries to these structures may occur at the same time. The MCL runs up the inside of the tibiofemoral joint. On the outside runs the LCL (lateral collateral ligament) which has no attachment to the lateral meniscus. The lateral meniscus does, however, attach to another structure called popliteus. Popliteus is a muscle that covers the back of the knee and helps “unlock” the knee from a fully straightened position. It is also thought to help pull the lateral meniscus out of the way during knee bending, so to avoid pinching and subsequent tearing of the meniscus .The area of the meniscus with the most problem is the posterior portion of the medial meniscus especially in the lotus scenario.
Can torn Meniscus heal?
This is a very common question and the answer is dependent on the degree to which the meniscus is torn.If the tears occur on the outer edge of the meniscus, it can heal on their own as there is a small blood supply that feeds the outer edge to help it heal.If the inner part is badly torn, surgery could be required as joints should not have friction and a tear will cause an increase in friction which will then result in swelling, irritation and pain. If unattended, the tear could grow in size and damage the cartilage on the femur that has slide over to the torn area.
 Medial meniscus and lotus pose
There are 2 movements that would put tremendous pressure on the medial meniscus which are the flexion of the knee and the internal( medial) rotation of the tibia.In lotus position both the femur and the tibia have to rotate externally. Hence, if the tibia does not have enough outward rotation, there should be enough in the hip to make it up.In order to avoid any injury while doing the lotus pose, we will need to understand the problem. The degree of mobility for Hip joint is very important in this pose. 
Lotus Pose (Padmasana) is a supreme position for meditation, and Lotus variations of other asanas can be profound. However, forcing the legs into Lotus is one of the most dangerous things you can do in yoga. Each year, many yogis seriously injure their knees this way. Often the culprit is not the student but an overenthusiastic teacher physically pushing a student into the pose. Below are some variations which we could do in the lotus pose:

    1. Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half-Bound Half-Lotus Forward Bend),
    2.  Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose):As one move from the Dandasana( staff pose) to baddha konasan,the ball-shaped head of the thigh bone must rotate outward In the hip socket about 100 degree
    3. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose):Bending the knee and  placing the foot in preparation for  Janu Sirsasana requires somewhat less external rotation, but as a student bends forward in the pose, the tilt of the pelvis relative to the femur brings the total rotation to about 115 degrees

Padmasana requires the same amount of external rotation (115 degrees) just sitting upright, and the angle of rotation is somewhat different, making it more challenging .When we combine the Padmasana action with a forward bend, as we do in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana, the total external rotation required at the hip joint jumps to about 145 degrees.

The above picture show the safe knee placement. Most of the people , the thighbone stops rotating partway into the pose due to tight muscles or ligaments( shown in the below picture). In some cases, it could be due to bone-to -bone limitations deep in the hip.When the femur stops rotating, the only way to get the foot up higher is to bend the knee sideways. Knees are not designed to do this-they are only designed to flex and extend.