Lotus Position or Lotus
Pose (Padmasana)

Stress, fatigue and tension can all be relieved with Lotus Pose or Padmasana. Learn how to unlock the inner peace in your mind, body, and spirit!


Padmasana, or Lotus Pose, is the classic pose of yogis and meditators everywhere. Learn how to find your stillness and unlock the tranquility within!

lotus position

Lotus Pose or Lotus Position - Padmasana (PAA-daa-maa-SUN-aa) - is a cross-legged, seated posture that deepens the experience of meditation by calming the mind and alleviating various physical ailments. As its name suggests, regular practice of this posture aids in the overall blossoming of the practitioner. Lotus pose gets its name from the Sanskrit words padma, meaning lotus, and asana, meaning pose. In the full position, your legs look like the petals of a lotus flower, gently dropping open. With regular practice of lotus position, you acquire the qualities of the lotus flower: unaffected by the slush where it is born or even by the water which sustains it!.

Level of Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced

How to do lotus pose: step-by-step instructions

  1. Sit on the floor or on a yoga mat on your sit bones with legs stretched out in front of you, keeping your spine erect

  2. Bend your right knee, with your hands, gently lift your right foot off the floor and place the outside of your right foot on your left thigh. Make sure that the sole of your foot points upward and your heel is close to your abdomen

  3. Repeat by bending your left leg to place your left foot on your right thigh

  4. With both legs crossed and feet placed on opposite thighs, place your hands on your knees, with both palms facing the ceiling, in mudra position

  5. Keep your head straight and spine erect

  6. Hold and continue with long, gentle breaths in and out

  7. To come out of full lotus posture, gently remove one foot at a time from each thigh and straighten both legs in front of you

Mudras for lotus pose (padmasana)

half lotus pose

Mudras are hand positions that stimulate the flow of energy in the body. They can have profound effects when practiced with padmasana. Each mudra has a different effect on the body. When sitting in padmasana, you can deepen your meditation by incorporating any or all of the following: Chin mudra (or Gyan mudra), Chinmayi mudra, Adi mudra, or Brahma mudra. Take 5-10 deep breaths while your hands are in each mudra and observe the flow of energy in the body.

Benefits of lotus posture

  • Improves digestion

  • Reduces muscular tension in and around the pelvis

  • Brings blood pressure under control

  • Relaxes the mind

  • Aids women during childbirth

  • Eases menstrual discomfort

  • Helps to achieve and maintain overall good posture

  • Calms the mind and prepares the practitioner for deep meditation

  • Destroys all diseases (says ancient yoga text Hatha Yoga Pradipika)


  • Ankle or knee injury: if you have pain in either your knee joint or your ankle joint, avoid or modify the full lotus pose as part of any regular yoga sequence


Modifications and variations

half lotus

To make it easy:

Try half lotus pose

  • If you’re unable to overlap both your legs and sit in full lotus padmasana, you may also sit in Ardha-padmasana (half lotus pose) by placing only one foot at a time on each opposite thigh. Spend equal amounts of time with the left foot and the right foot elevated. This is also a very meditative pose. Practice half-lotus poses until you feel flexible enough to progress to full lotus or padmasana. If that is also difficult, be comfortable in Easy Pose (Sukhasana). Listen to your body and do as much as it allows.

Use props

  • If your knees don't rest on the floor, support each knee with a folded, folded blanket.

Switch your right and left foot positions

  • When you're in a full lotus yoga pose, maintain balance in your hip muscles by switching your bottom and top legs regularly.

To increase the challenge:

  • Those with more arm strength can try an advanced pose like Scale Pose (Tolasana or Lolasana) by pressing your palms into the floor alongside your hips and lifting your buttocks and legs off the floor allowing your body to swing slightly

  • For a deep stretch to the upper body, those with more flexibility can come into Bound Lotus Pose (Baddha Padmasana): From the full Lotus Pose, reach both arms behind your back, clasping your toes with your fingers. To deepen the stretch even further, fold forward

  • In various poses like Headstand (Sirsasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana), and Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana), legs can be folded like in lotus position


Preparatory poses and follow up poses

Since this pose requires a good amount of hip mobility and flexibility, be sure to incorporate hip-opening poses as mentioned below into your regular practice before trying the Lotus position.


Learn more

Browse our entire yoga poses library and learn more about each yoga pose in detail.

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it’s not a substitute for medical treatment. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. It’s important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained and certified yoga instructor. Find a Sri Sri Yoga Foundation Program to learn basic postures and breathing exercises or you may join this introductory yoga class for FREE for more info.

Take your asana practice to a next level

When you follow up your asana practice with powerful breathwork and meditation, you will bring a lot of depth to your practice. Join a free online session with a live instructor, and experience a guided breathwork and meditation now. Here you will also learn about SKY Breath Meditation that has helped millions of people worldwide to reap the deeper benefits of yoga and take their yoga practice to a next level. Are you ready for it?   

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