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Lotus position
Lahiri Mahasaya in Lotus position
Lotus position

The lotus position (Devanāgarī: पद्मासन; IAST: padmāsana; Turkish: bağdaş ;Japanese: kekka fuza (結跏趺坐?)) is a cross-legged sitting posture originating in meditative practices of ancient India, in which the feet are placed on the opposing thighs. It is an established posture of the Hindu Yoga tradition. The position is said to resemble a lotus, to encourage breathing proper to associated meditative practice, and to foster physical stability.

Famous depictions of the lotus position include Shiva, the meditating ascetic god of Hinduism, and Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.

Padmāsana means "Lotus throne" and is also a term for actual thrones, often decorated with lotus foliage motifs, on which figures in art sit. In Balinese Hinduism, a prominent feature of temples is a special form of padmasana shrine, with empty thrones mounted on a column, for deities, especially Acintya.



From a sitting position, one foot is placed on top of the opposite thigh with sole facing upward and the heel close to the abdomen. The other foot is then placed on the opposite thigh in a mirroring position. The knees of supple practitioners may be in contact with the ground. The head and spine are upright and the shoulders relaxed and vertically above the hips. The hands may rest on the knees in chin or jnana mudra. The arms are relaxed with the elbows slightly bent. The eyes may be closed, the body relaxed, with awareness of the overall posture. Adjustments are made until balance and alignment are experienced. Bodily alignment is indicative of a suitable posture for the asana.


Sciatica, sacral infections and weak or injured knees are contra-indications to attempting the posture. Other pre-meditation asanas may be indicated until sufficient flexibility has been developed to sit comfortably in the Lotus[1]


The Lotus position is adopted to allow the body to be held completely steady for long periods of time. As the body is steadied the mind becomes calm, the first step towards meditation. The flow of prana from mooladhara chakra in the perineum is directed to sahasrara chakra in the head, heightening the experience of meditation. The posture applies pressure to the lower spine which may facilitate relaxation. The breath can slow down, muscular tension decrease and blood pressure subside. The coccygeal and sacral nerves are toned as the normally large blood flow to the legs is redirected to the abdominal region. Digestion may also be improved.[2]

See also


  1. ^ A yoga series to prepare for Padmasana Growing up a Lotus, Nanabozho (Gichi Wabush) Mis à jour le 5 novembre 2006, after Donna Farhi Schuster, March 1987.
  2. ^ Satyanda, Swami (November 2002) (in English) (paperback). Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (12th edition). Bihar School of Yoga.
  • Becoming the Lotus: How to Achieve the Full Lotus Posture by Anton Temple (Author), Franca Gallo (Editor), Pip Faulks (Illustrator) Paperback: 64 pages, Publisher: Merkur Publishing, Inc (1 Dec 2006) Language: English, ISBN 1885928181, Dimensions: 5.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Yoga, Tantra and Meditation in Daily Life by Swami Janakananda Saraswati (Author), Paperback: 128 pages, Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser (Sep 1992), Language: English, ISBN 0877287686 ISBN 978-0877287681, Dimensions: 8.3 x 9.8 x 0.3 inches

External links

  • Guide by Muho, abbot of Antaiji Zen Monastery[1], 2003
  • Detailed non-commercial article with references, updated 24.06.2006: [2]

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