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How to do lotus position

thomastt2010-07-04 14:57:28 +0000 #1

I would like to be able to sit in the full lotus position. I can more or less get to the half lotus (hurts some though).

Would anyone advice me with some good stretches that I should do, to be able to perform this position?



thomastt2010-07-04 15:11:21 +0000 #2

This is for doing meditation.



Nichole2010-07-04 15:16:52 +0000 #3
Hello Thomas and welcome to the forum,

I just want to be clear, you want to be able to do

Padmasana so that you can sit in this asana during your meditation practice? I hope that you are not waiting to meditate until you have achieved this posture. Please discontinue any posture in which you may be forcing yourself into and/or causing yourself any pain, especially around the knees. You haven't mentioned where you experiencing pain or restricted ROM, so I am unable to give you specific recommendations. Here is some general advice, Janu Padasthilasana is a great posture to work from for Padmasana. For the sake of your wonderful knees, do not attempt Padmasana until you can sit comfortably and properly in Janu Padasthilasana. Knee injuries--due to forcing lotus and other postures--are something we are seeing quite a bit of right now in Yoga therapy. Please be gentle with all your parts (that includes your mind and its ambitions ).

Kind wishes,
Hubert2010-07-04 16:16:03 +0000 #4
Heh. This post brings back memories.

Posted something like that, and got an answer from InnerAthlete.
thomastt2010-07-04 15:37:22 +0000 #5
Hi Nichole,

Thanks for your reply. I'm kind of new at this, so I don't know the Indian terms.

Actually it's for doing zazen, that is zen meditation.

Now I do it cross-legged or sometimes half-lotus if I feel flexible enough. It hurts a bit around the knees and ancles, but sometimes it works fine.

It's especially in the morning, before my body is warmed up that it's most challenging.

Do you have any flexibility exercises that you would recommend (hip, ancle and knee stretching?)?

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!


Hubert2010-07-04 16:48:01 +0000 #6
Hi Thomas.

Strange as it seems, the ability of performing padmasana (lotus) is not in the knees and ankles, but in the hips.

I was trying the same thing you do, and I hurt my knees, with a daily 10-20 minutes of sitting in an uncomfortable, forced pose.

I recommned other postures to open the hips firts. (bound angle, for example)

Until than, use vajrasana or sukhasana for meditation. (it is not the pose, but the mind, anyway)
thomastt2010-07-04 17:02:08 +0000 #7
Hi Hubert,

Thanks! Do you have a link or something similar to where I can find some exercises to do?

Thanks and have a great weekend!


Pandara2010-07-04 16:02:41 +0000 #8
Hi Thomas,

Please also note that the full lotus is not a prerequisite for meditation to happen to you, remember meditation is not something you do, but something happening to you. So, you can be standing on your head and if it is the right moment and time, meditation will happen. What I am trying to say is, avoid postures that will keep you body-conscious, in other words it hurst so much that you concentrate more on the pain and hurt than on the meditation. Rather sit comforably in posture where you can focus everything in you on your meditation practice.
Hubert2010-07-04 19:02:28 +0000 #9

Originally Posted by thomastt

Do you have a link or something similar to where I can find some exercises to do?

Perhaps others are more entitled to help, as I am still unable to perform lotus correctly. But I did open my hips a bit, using Warrior 1-2, Baddha Konasana, Gomukhasana, Agnisthambasana, aso. It will take some time, though, so do not expect wonders.
Nichole2010-07-04 19:03:24 +0000 #10

You are welcome, and no worries about not having the Sanskrit dialed. I work with only a certain number of postures, so I am always needing to learn more myself. There are a number of good websites that have glossaries with pictures, and the names in Sanskrit and English, though I don't recommend learning to do any asana by reading simply descriptions found on these sites. Find a good teacher who sees you and can guide you into the pose properly. You'll know when you can smile in the posture.

Hubert is gave you some good advice about the hips needing to have proper internal and external rotation to both keep them (and your knees) safe and comfortable in Lotus. Work with Hubert's list and others that you find in your search that ask you to try them too. Please be gentle with your body and come out of any asana that hurts you. You may have heard people speak of a "good pain" while doing Yoga. I rather dislike this term, but I get it. Our language and general thinking often limits these sensations (physical, spiritual, emotional, mental) to words such as pain, discomfort, hurting and the like. We need to expand our ability to judge these sensations for what they truly are and to be able to evaluate them in the moment. We can do this by also coming back to the body and being curious about ourselves.

Kind wishes,
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 19:50:04 +0000 #11
It seems very clear that Thomas, the OP, wants some exercises. And we continue to give him answers to questions yet to be asked.

That may be because this is a yoga board and not a stretching board or a fitness board or a strength training board.

A student of meditation that has convinced themselves that lotus is essential for their path is better advised to examine their motive for meditation. When meditation is done for pretense, when meditation is done to be a part of a group, when meditation is done for its hipness (no pun intended) then its efficacy is significantly diminished and one could argue that the evolution of the practitioner is stymied by the intention.

Anatomically, the body must have opening in the hips in order for a safe lotus position to be achived. Can an unsafe lotus position be achieved. Absolutely. And it's done in that way many times over. It is quite ironic becasue in that way it is violent doing rather than meditative "allowing" and as such it becomes the anithesis of evolution, growth, transformation.

While I do not consider stilling the mind as meditation I do consider it a requsite for meditation. This stilling can be done in many positions. Padmasana can become a pretense. You do not need an alter, a locked room, a burning candle, a dimly lit cave, a stick of burning Nag Champa, and Krishna Das in the background in order to meditate. Likewise you do not need padmasana.

However, opening the hips can be done with yoga asana (over time and with mindfullness, skill and instruction) but it is not prescribed like an asprin. If it is exercises one wants then use google. If it is Yoga then seek a yoga teacher.



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