Half Lotus Pose - Ardha Padmasana

Half Lotus Pose

Contents

Half Lotus Pose, also known as Ardha Padmasana (ara-dhah pahd-MAH-suh-nuh), is a seated yoga posture that serves as a pathway to achieve Padmasana. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words “ardha,” meaning half, “padma,” referring to lotus, and “asana,” denoting yoga or posture.

In this pose, one leg is folded in, allowing the foot to touch the inner thigh of the opposite leg. Subsequently, the other leg bends in, with the foot lifting and resting on the thigh of the opposite leg. The hands can be placed on the knees, thighs, or lap.

By assuming this asana, the body can maintain a still position for extended periods, enabling the mind to concentrate and focus. Regular practice of this pose enhances mindfulness and cultivates heightened awareness, which greatly contributes to mental and emotional well-being.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start by positioning yourself on a yoga mat, sitting in Easy Pose, where your legs are crossed and your feet are tucked under your legs.
Step 2
Transitioning from Easy Pose, use your hands to place your right foot on top of your left calf, ensuring that the sole of the foot is facing upward.
Step 3
Adjust your right foot to achieve maximum height on your left thigh. Utilize your hands to assist in positioning your foot. The ultimate goal is to settle the top of your right foot into the crease of your left hip.
Step 4
Maintain a bent left knee, allowing your left shin to rest comfortably on the floor in a cross-legged position.
Step 5
Elevate the crown of your head towards the ceiling while rolling your shoulders away from your ears, ensuring that your spine remains elongated. Your hands can rest on your thighs with the palms facing either up or down.
Step 6
Take a minimum of 10 breaths in this posture.
Step 7
Release the pose and readjust yourself, placing your right foot underneath and your left foot on top. It may feel easier on one side, but attempt to practice both sides whenever you remain in this pose for more than a few breaths.

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Stretches and strengthens your ankles, knees and inner thighs

Calms your mind and relaxes your body

Good pose for meditation and Pranayama also

Gives relief in sciatica and menstrual pain

Contraindications

Chronic sciatica

Injury or had recent surgery on the knees, ankles, spine, hips, or hamstrings

Rheumatoid arthritis

Tailbone pain

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props for Beginners

  • Placing a folded blanket underneath the hip of the leg that is folded underneath can help to elevate it and provide more support, making it easier to maintain the pose.
  • Placing a yoga block underneath the knee of the leg that is folded underneath can help to reduce the strain on the knee and make the pose more comfortable.
  • If reaching the foot of the leg that is on top of the thigh is challenging, you can use a yoga strap to hold onto the foot and bring it closer to the body.

Useful Tips

  • If you are holding the pose for breathwork, and meditation, make sure to change the cross of your legs so that you are practicing both sides for approximately the same period of time. You can either set a timer and change the cross of your legs during your meditation, or practice with a different leg on top every day.
  • If you feel any pinching or sharp pain in your knees or ankles, get out of the pose immediately.
  • Slightly engage your core by tucking the tailbone and drawing your belly button up and in.
    Try to stay grounded equally through both sitting bones.
  • Keep your chest lifted and extend through the top of your head.
    You can keep your hands in Prayer, rest them on your thighs, or try any other mudra you like.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can practice Half Lotus Pose?

Half Lotus Pose can be practiced by anyone, but it may be more challenging for those with tight hips or knee issues. Beginners should practice under the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher.

Can I do Half Lotus Pose during pregnancy?

It is generally not recommended to practice Half Lotus Pose during pregnancy as it puts pressure on the abdominal area and can cause discomfort. It is best to speak with a healthcare provider or a qualified yoga teacher before practicing any yoga poses during pregnancy.

How long should I hold Half Lotus Pose?

Hold the pose for as long as it is comfortable, but aim for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. You can gradually increase the duration over time.

What should I do if I experience discomfort in Half Lotus Pose?

If you experience discomfort or pain, come out of the pose slowly and gently. You can modify the pose with props or practice an easier variation such as Easy Pose. It is important to listen to your body and not force yourself into the pose beyond your limits.

Variations

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.