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Yoga Poses

3 Ways to Modify Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Try these tips for adjusting Padmasana (Lotus Pose) to find safe alignment for comfortable hips and knees.

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If your hip flexors are tight (your knees keep lifting and your pubic bone keeps dropping)

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Rick Cummings

Try elevating your sitting bones with a folded blanket (or bolster or cushion) so that the bottom of your hip is slightly higher than your knee and your femur bones are sloping downward ever so slightly. This will help open up the flow of sensation through your psoas (a major hip flexor) as you breathe. Sitting on a blanket is also recommended if you plan to stay in the posture for a while.

See also Poses for Your Hip Flexors

If your top knee floats off the floor

None
Rick Cummings

Try elevating your sitting bones with a folded blanket or two and supporting your knee by placing a short block (or blanket or towel) underneath it. You will find that this knee support helps release tension in your hips and adductors (inner thigh muscles), and it allows you to find more ease in the pose. Do not try to push your knee down. Forcing
it is dangerous to your meniscus and creates unnecessary tension in your legs. Remember that the lotus is a delicate flower and must be opened gently.

See also Poses for Your Knees

If your ankles roll in

None
Rick Cummings

Try supporting them from below with a rolled-up towel. Place the towel on the floor, just beneath your bottom ankle. That small amount of elevation may be all you need. Another option is to come out of the posture and approach it again. This time, see if you can keep your ankles from rolling by strongly and continuously extending through your feet as you place each into your hip creases and bring your knees down. Until your hips are quite open, you may have to keep extending through your feet.

See also Poses for Your Ankles

See also 3 Ways to Modify Paschimottanasana

Find Your Balance in Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

One of the central practices of hatha yoga is to balance prana (upward energy) and apana (downward energy) through the expansive and contractive forces of the breath. When these forces are in balance, so is expansion and contraction in the mind. This balance is crucial to yoga practice. It is the psychological foundation of dharana (concentration), which is a complete and unbroken attention to whatever immediately arises in the field of sensory experience. We can cultivate this foundation through asana practice by balancing the expansive and contractive patterns within each form—and by threading these patterns together with continuous movements of breath.

About Our Pro
Teacher and model Ty Landrum is director of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado. He teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the contemplative style of his mentors, Mary Taylor and Richard Freeman. With a PhD in philosophy, Ty has a special touch for explaining the theory of yoga with color and creativity. As a teacher, he’s passionate about sharing the brilliance of yoga with anyone willing to learn (for more information, go to tylandrum.com).