In yoga, the Lotus Pose, is one of the most classic and recognised yoga poses, a symbol of spiritual enlightenment that sometimes can be quite challenging, but with a good dose of regular practice and patience, you can master it! We’ll walk you through each step, provide tips, explain the benefits of the Lotus Pose, and we discuss variations.
In this blog we show you how to do the Lotus Position.
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Without further ado, here’s your ultimate guide on how to do Padmasana.
Where Does The Name Lotus Pose Originate From?
First things first, the Lotus Pose is also called Padmasana. It is a seated posture often used for meditation, Buddhism practices, and yoga. It allows you to quiet your mind and find inner peace. What Padmasana means is the result of a combination of the Sanskrit words “Padma” (lotus) and “Asana” (posture or seat). The pose is named for the way the legs are crossed, and how the feet rest on the thighs, resembling a lotus flower.
How to Get Into Lotus Pose
You’ve seen people on Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest, looking so serene and graceful in Lotus Pose yoga, and you want to be able to do that in an effortless flow too. It can be somewhat frustrating when you see amazing photos and videos of people in yoga poses, and you don’t even know how to get into the starting position. The following lotus flower instructions will show you how to do the lotus position with ease.
1. Start in a seated position with your legs extended
2. Bend your right knee and place your foot on top of your left thigh
This is the second step in our lotus sitting position flow. You will then need to hold your knee and foot with your hands, making sure that the sole of your right foot is facing upwards. You may also need to adjust how you’re cradling your foot or where you’re placing it on your thigh until you find a comfortable position.
3. Now, do the same but this time with the opposite foot
Bend your left knee and cross your left foot over the top of your right shin. Again, place the tops of your feet against the tops of your thighs and release your knees towards the floor. You might need to elevate one leg slightly to do this. Once both feet are in position: sit upright, lift your sternum, and lengthen your spine.
4. Rest your hands on your knees, palms facing upwards
You can then bring your hands into Gyan Mudra by making a circle with each thumb and index finger, keeping the rest of the fingers outstretched. We use this mudra in meditation as a spiritual gesture or seal where your hands are the energy conduits, creating a sense of focus and peace throughout the body.
5. Hold for several slow, deep breaths
Take deep breaths to centre yourself so that your mind and body drift into a state of calm relaxation. When you’re ready, slowly release the yoga Lotus Pose and come back to a seated position. You want to be as comfortable as possible, so hold for as long as necessary.
What Are The Benefits Of Lotus Position?
The Lotus Pose benefits are numerous, both physically and spiritually. And while it may take some time to master, the rewards are well worth the effort.
#1 Creates a strong foundation for a deep meditation practice
Finding time to slow down and connect with our inner self is rare in our fast-paced, modern world. But, when we’re in a lotus sitting position, we physically stabilise the body, cultivate mindfulness, and create a sense of stillness. This stillness then extends to the mind, making it easier to focus and connect with our breath. And the vertical alignment of the spine in the Lotus Position helps open up the energy channels in the body, promoting a sense of clarity and peace. From this place of inner calm, we can begin to explore the deeper layers of our being.
#2 Activates relaxation responses and lowers stress levels
When stressed, our bodies go into fight-or-flight mode, releasing hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones. This can lead to symptoms like increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and shallow breathing. The lotus flower helps to counteract these effects by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation.
#3 Stretches and strengthens the hips, thighs, and ankles
In Padmasana, each foot is placed on the opposite thigh, with the knees pointi straight up. This position stretches and strengthens the muscles around the hips, thighs, and ankles, making it an invaluable pose for developing lower body strength and flexibility. This is especially beneficial for those who spend a lot of time sitting.
#4 Regulates blood pressure in the spine and pelvis
The spine is the center of our nervous system and the pelvis is home to some of our abdominal organs, so keeping these areas healthy is essential for overall well-being. By gently pressing on the spine and pelvis, a lotus sitting position creates space between our vertebrae, helps release any built-up tension, and allows fresh, oxygenated blood to flow in.
#5 Purifies, liberates, and unites the mind, body, and spirit
A gateway to inner peace and harmony, that’s what Lotus Pose is all about. When you take the time to settle into the pose, you are purifying your mind, body, and spirit. All three aspects of your being are unified in the present moment. The outside world fades away, and you’re left with only the pure essence of who you are. From this place of stillness and clarity, you can begin to let go of all that no longer serves you. Old patterns and ways of thinking that no longer serve you will disappear, leaving you free to live your life with purpose and intention.
We also open ourselves up to new possibilities and experiences. In doing so, we build space for healing and transformation. As we shed the past and embrace the present, we connect more deeply with our true nature – which is pure, joyful, and complete.
Lotus Posture Recommendations
Follow the next tips to help gradually increase the flexibility in your hips and thighs that you need. When practised correctly, you’ll feel how the lotus yoga pose heals you. And keep working at it little by little until you achieve the desired results.
Don’t force the pose
Many people come to yoga seeking a workout, and while there are certainly some active poses that will get your heart rate up, yoga is not about forcing your body into a pose at any cost but about listening to your body and respecting its limitations. It might take some time to get your legs into position, but if you approach the pose with a sense of ease and spaciousness, you’ll eventually find yourself in the full Lotus Pose with no effort at all. So take a deep breath, relax your muscles, and let gravity do the work as you sink into the blissful world of Lotus Pose.
Use supportive yoga props
Beginning your yoga practice with them helps you find alignment and stability. Let’s say you want to add support to your knees that hover above the ground. In that case, get a yoga block and place it underneath the knees. Another helpful prop is a yoga strap – which by looping around your thighs just above the knees – can be used to gently pull the feet closer to the pelvis and open up the hips. Although props are not required to practice yoga, they can be helpful when you’re working on developing your flexibility and strength.
Try the Half Lotus variation first
One of the most common questions we hear all the time is, “Why is Lotus Pose so hard?” While the Full Lotus Pose can be arduous for beginners, the good news is that variations do exist. And with them, you can work your way up to the full pose. A great place to start is to practice Half Lotus Pose or Ardha Padmasana. This variation is similar to Full Lotus Pose, but with one big difference: only one foot is placed on the opposite thigh. As a result, Half Lotus position is a bit easier to manage and helps stretch out the hips and groin area.
Alternate the cross of legs
Sometimes it’s normal to maintain the traditional cross-legged position for an extended period of time. If this is the case, switch legs. For example, if you start with your right leg crossed over your left, then switch to crossing your left leg over your right. This will help stretch different muscle groups and make it easier to maintain the pose.
Sit/lie quietly after practice
After completing the Lotus Pose, take some time for yourself, and savour the experience. This allows your body to adjust to the new position, increase blood and energy circulation, reflect on your routine and focus on the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body.
Modifications And Variations
Not everyone can comfortably sit in the full Lotus Position yoga the very first time, and that’s okay. What do we do then? Implement modifications and variations that accommodate both beginners and more experienced yogis. Here they are:
Half Lotus Pose (Ardha Padmasana)
In this variation, only one foot is placed on top of the opposite thigh instead of both feet. To achieve the Half Lotus Pose, begin by sitting on the floor or on a yoga mat with both legs extended. Then, bend one knee and bring the foot up to rest on the opposite thigh. Keep both sit bones firmly anchored to the ground as you straighten the other leg. You can place your hands in your lap or on your knees for balance.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
An easy way to begin practising the lotus posture is by doing the Easy Pose. This variation is easier because it doesn’t require the same level of flexibility. To do this, sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Then, bend your knees and bring your feet together so that they are resting against your inner thighs. Place your hands on your knees, close your eyes, and take deep breaths.
Scale Pose (Tolasana)
The Scale Pose is an advanced pose option to challenge yourself and build more strength in your core, arms, and legs. From a Lotus Pose, press your palms into the floor alongside your hips and lift your buttocks and legs off the floor. You may sway slightly from side to side. Keep your back and arms straight, and engage your core muscles to stabilise your lower half.
Love Lotus Pose? Start Your Next Yoga Practice With It
Padmasana is a beautiful and serene seated pose you can use in meditation to relax and focus. It’s not always easy to get into at first, but it’s well worth the effort. If you can’t do the full lotus yet, don’t worry. You can work up to it gradually over time. Just be sure to focus on your breathing and take your time with each step. The lotus posture benefits are many, including improved circulation and increased flexibility. There’s also a set of versatile modifications and variations that can make this Lotus Position more adaptable for yogis of all levels. Namaste.