Lotus Pose

lotus pose

‘Padma’ means ‘Lotus’. When this yoga pose is demonstrated, the body has appearance of a ‘Lotus’ and hence the name ‘Lotus Pose’. Padmasana or Lotus Pose is also sometimes called ‘Kamalasana’. Amongst the four poses prescribed for Japa and Dhyana, Lotus Pose is considered the foremost. The basic goal of all the asana practice is finding and maintaining a comfortable Padmasana for meditation. The foundations of this pose are sitting cross-legged and being comfortable sitting on the floor on sit bones. With a firm foundation, yoga practitioner will find an upward energy and lift in the spine which will make ‘Lotus Pose’ effortless.

Lotus Pose is considered a base pose as lotus pose variations can be derived from this pose.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
From Staff Pose, bend your right knee and use your hands to bring the right ankle to the left hip crease with the sole of the right foot facing upward. Settle the foot in the hip crease.
Step 2
Bend your left knee and use your hands to cross the left ankle over to the right hip crease with the sole of the left foot facing up.
Step 3
Sit up tall with a long spine and your shoulders moving away from your ears.
Step 4
Relax your knees toward the floor.
Step 5
After 10 to 20 breaths, release the legs and repeat the posture with your left foot on the bottom and your right foot on top.

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Opens up the hips

Stretches the ankles and knees

Calms the brain

Increases awareness and attentiveness

Keeps the spine straight

Helps develop good posture

Eases menstrual discomfort and sciatica

Helps keeps joints and ligaments flexible

Stimulates the spine, pelvis, abdomen, and bladder

Restores energy levels

Contraindications

Avoid or modify if you have any knee pain, knee injuries (particularly knee ligament injuries), knee arthritis, knee replacement, or any other knee limitations or concerns.

Avoid, be cautious, or modify if you have hip arthritis, pain, injury, or replacement.

Don’t force your body into the pose; instead, move slowly and mindfully in and out of the pose.

If you have any pain with the pose or other limitations, try pose variations and modifications, or visualize doing the full expression of the pose in any position. Always ask your health care team if you are unsure of what you can and cannot do with your particular health concerns. Also, seek a qualified yoga instructor or yoga therapist to help you individually adapt the pose for safety.

Photo poses in different angles

Modification

First become comfortable with Half Lotus. You can also prepare with Cobbler’s Pose, Hero Pose, and Head-to-Knee Pose. Continue to practice regularly and your hips will open more over time.

Tips

If Padmasana is not comfortable for you, try some other yoga poses to prepare for it. Sukhasana or Easy pose (pictured above) is a great way to build a stable base for the pose with less stretch on the hips.

Ardha padmasana (literally meaning half lotus) requires you to only place one foot in the opposite hip crease at a time. Again, another great way to build muscle memory and prepare to reach the full Padmasana safely and comfortably!

It may be tempting to try and enter straight into this pose without warm up. This depends on your hip flexibility. Be sure to warm up the hips before you begin, and avoid this posture and its variations if you have hip, knee or ankle injuries.

Variations
  • Blossoming Lotus Pose
  • Bound Lotus Pose
  • Elevated Lotus Pose
  • Half Lotus Pose
  • Half Lotus Pose Raised Arms
  • Half Lotus Pose Side Bend
  • Half Lotus Pose Twist Raised Arms
  • Upward Lotus Pose
  • Half Lotus Tip Toe Pose Hands Blocks
  • Bound Lotus Pose On Stomach
  • Cock Pose
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Cock Pose
  • Cow Face Pose with Eagle Arms
  • Half Bound Lotus Forward Fold
  • Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Seated Forward Bend Pose
  • Corpse Pose

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.