Lotus Pose  -Padmasana

Step by step

  • From a seated cross legged position, ground the hips. Inhale and lengthen through the spine.
  • Exhale, bring the right leg as far out to the right as possible, close the knee by bringing thigh and calf together.
  • Then inhale and bring the outside of the right foot to rest in the inner left groin. Ensure the rotation comes from the hip and not the knee joint.
  • Now pick up the left leg. Repeat the actions of cradling the leg to loosen the hip and closing the knee. Pivot the leg from the hip and slide the left leg over the right with your left foot into the right groin.
  • Draw the knees as close together as possible.
  • Bring the backs of the hands to the knees with your fingers in Jnana mudra - thumbs and first fingers touching.
  • Keep the spine long and the gaze to the floor ahead of you.
  • Stay in the pose for 10 breaths or longer.
  • Come out of the pose the reverse way you came in by uncrossing one leg carefully and then the next.
  • Start with the left foot next time.

Beginners tips

  • Both beginners and experienced students need to take extra care of the knees in this pose.
  • Always make sure you are rotating from the hip and not the knee.
  • Practice with awareness and patience.
  • Some teachers and researchers say that Lotus pose is not suitable for certain people’s skeletons and so another variation or pose should be used such as Cross-legged Pose / Sukhasana which can provide the same benefits.
  • Work on preparatory poses such as cradling the leg in the arm to open up the hips.

Benefits

  • Increases flexibility in the hips.
  • Used for Pranayama practice.

Watch out for

  • The knees and ankles - substitute Lotus Pose for Half-Lotus Pose or Easy Crossed-Legged Pose / Sukhasana if you have any problems with your knees or ankles.
  • Flex the foot and push out through the ball of the foot to help protect the knees.
  • The rotation needs to come from the hips, work on hip opening poses before Lotus or choose modifications - see Beginners Tips.

Variations

  • Push down through the arms and lift your body off the floor into Scales Pose / Tolasana.
  • Reach the arms around the back to to clasp the opposite foot or forearms. Fold forward into Bound Lotus Pose / Baddha Padmasana.