Half Lotus Pose - Ardha Padmasana


Half Lotus Pose or Ardha Padmasana (ara-dhah pahd-MAH-suh-nuh) is a sitting yoga posture which is considered the gateway to enter padmasana; the name comes from the Sanskrit words “ardha”, which means half, “padma”, meaning lotus and “asana” which means yoga or posture.
In this pose, one leg is folded in so that the foot touches the inner thigh of the opposite leg. Then the other leg bends in, the foot lifts up, and is placed on the opposite thigh. The hands may rest on the knees, thighs or lap.
This asana allows the body to remain still for long periods of time so that the mind can focus. Practice of this pose will cultivate greater awareness and mindfulness, which has significant benefits for mental and emotional well-being.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin by sitting on a yoga mat in Easy Pose, with your legs crossed and feet tucked under your legs.
Step 2
From Easy Pose, use your hands to bring your right foot on top of your left calf with the sole of the foot facing upwards.
Step 3
Adjust your right foot so that it is as high as possible on your left thigh. You can use your hands to encourage your foot into position. Eventually, the idea is to settle the top of the right foot into your left hip crease.
Step 4
Keep your left knee bent so that the left shin rests comfortably on the floor in a cross-legged position.
Step 5
Lift the crown of your head toward the ceiling and roll your shoulders away from your ears to keep the spine long. Your hands can rest on your thighs with the palms turned up or down.
Step 6
Take at least 10 breaths here.
Step 7
Release and set yourself up with the right foot on the bottom and the left foot on top. One side will probably feel easier, but try to do both sides whenever you sit in the pose for more than a few breaths.

Benefits and Contraindications


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


Chronic sciatica

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

Rheumatoid arthritis

Tailbone pain

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.

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.