Alignment Tips: Lotus Pose

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Lotus Pose is one of the most recognized yoga poses, even by people who don’t practice yoga. It is considered by many to be the “classic” yoga pose and is often used for meditation or as a way to begin class. However, Lotus Pose is an advanced pose that is not suitable for everyone, especially if you are a beginner or have less flexibility in your lower body.

The arrangement of your hands and feet in the pose resembles the petals of a lotus flower—the blossom that grows from its base in the mud to rise above the water and open to the sun. The image is the perfect metaphor for the unfolding process of yoga. 

What are the benefits of this pose?

Lotus Pose has the ability to increase circulation in the lumbar spine, nourish the abdominal organs, strengthen the ankles and legs, and increase flexibility in the hips. 

Benefits of Lotus Pose:

  • Opens up the hips
  • Stretches the ankles and knees
  • Calms the mind
  • Increases awareness and concentration
  • Aligns the spine and improves posture
  • Helps maintain flexible joints and ligaments

Anyone who practices Lotus Pose can tell you that its benefits go far beyond loosening the hips. In addition to the above-mentioned benefits, Lotus Pose also has the power to settle your nerves, awaken your energy, and quiet your mind.

How to hold this pose

Lotus Pose may seem like a simple posture but it can take years to develop the flexibility, and patience, required to achieve full Lotus. Since this pose requires a lot of flexibility, be sure to incorporate plenty of hip-opening poses into your regular practice before trying Lotus.

To achieve full Lotus, both thighs must rotate externally in the hip sockets and flex to 90 degrees. You must also be able to deeply flex your knees while activating your ankles and feet to stabilize them. The fact is that some people will be able to do Lotus, and some won’t, but the process of working toward Padmasana (Sanskrit for Lotus Pose) can be deeply fulfilling regardless of the outcome. 

How to Practice Lotus Pose:

  • Start by finding Half Lotus Pose with your right foot
  • Line up your ankles (your right ankle in Half Lotus Pose will line up with your left ankle on the ground
  • Bring both hands to your left foot
  • Lift your left foot off the floor, and bring it over your right leg to touch your right pubic bone
  • You made it! You’re in Lotus Pose

Please keep in mind that your unique anatomy may dictate whether or not you are able to get into full Lotus Pose. Please avoid practicing this pose if you have a recent or chronic injury to the knees, ankles, or hips. We highly recommend working with an experienced teacher as you work toward this pose. Start with our all-access new member special for just $99 and get the guidance and support you need to deepen your practice and work into Lotus Pose safely!

Looking for even more yoga alignment tips? Grab our Yoga Alignment program with 19 of the most commonly used poses in yoga. You’ll learn how to adjust the postures to fit your body and create a safe practice. Sign up today!

Erin Entlich is a certified yoga instructor, personal trainer, holistic health coach, and writer. She believes doing good starts with feeling good, which is why she loves helping people weave movement, mindfulness, and healthy eating into their daily lives. Find out more at