How to Do Lotus Pose in Yoga (Guide to Padmasana)

Lotus Pose is an advanced cross-legged seated position in yoga. Even if it’s not part of your practice (yet), you’re likely familiar with Lotus because it is often depicted in various forms of art, most notably in sculpture and paintings.

“I think when it comes to Lotus Pose, it’s important to remember its purpose,” says Yoga Answered contributor Cat Harvey. “Padmasana is not a pose for showing off your hip flexibility, far from it. It’s a pose carefully crafted for contemplation.”

Lotus Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Padmasana
Pose Type: Seated Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Advanced pose
Targets: Hips, ankles, and groin
Benefits: From a purely physical standpoint, Lotus Pose is a great asana for a deep opening of the hips and groin. It requires severe levels of external hip rotation to bring the feet and ankles into the right position. However, Lotus Pose is most praised as a still pose reserved for meditation and breathwork. Before you master Lotus Pose, it may seem counterintuitive to use it for extended practice because it’s not very comfortable. However, with regular practice, it becomes not only manageable but enjoyable. It is said to open energy channels and align chakras, making it the optimal pose for meditation.
Preparatory Poses: Bound Angle Pose, Pigeon Pose, Fire log Pose, Half Lotus Pose

How to Do Lotus Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start seated on the ground or with your seat elevated to a meditation cushion. Ground through your sit bones and lengthen through the spine.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring your right ankle into the hip crease of your left leg. Flex your ankle and draw your right knee towards the floor.
  3. Bend your left knee and cross your left shin on top of the right. Rest your left ankle in the hip crease of the right leg and flex your ankle. Draw your left knee towards the floor to open the hip further.
  4. Rest your hands on your knees or thighs. You can choose a yoga mudra or simply connect with an open palm.
  5. Close your eyes and bring the focus within. Depending on your practice level, you may be able to stay in this pose for an extended period, e.g., meditation practice or breathwork practice.

Beginner’s Tip

If you are keen to master Lotus Pose, bear in mind that it may take a while. It’s not the kind of pose you can force, as it can result in a serious hip, knee, or ankle injury if performed improperly. Start by getting comfortable in Easy Pose and Bound Angle Pose and work towards opening through the hips and lowering the knees closer to the floor. Other poses that will help you on your journey towards Padmanasana are Figure of Four, Pigeon Pose, Fire log Pose, and Half Lotus pose. It’s very important that you focus on the mobility of the hips to avoid overcompensating with the knees or ankles.

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