Pre-padmasana asanas



I would like someone experienced to suggest me a few positions, whose longer-term practice would eventually enable me to sit in the padmasana position (full lotus sit).

I’ve done a lot of cycling and other sports in my life, so I don’t even get close to padmasana at this time.

The other other sitting postures won’t do it - they are a significant strain on the back, while I’m doing medidation.

The reason I’m asking for postures specific to prepare for padmasana, is that I currently don’t have the time/energy to attend a yoga class (where I’m sure I would encounter such positions), and I’m only doing few yoga positions every morning.

Thanks for you advices,


As a relative beginner myself - started about 6 months ago at age 50, could barely sit cross-legged - the most important thing is to NOT force anything, it is a recipe for injury, in particular knee injury. I can now enter full lotus, but only by warming up the entire body - sun salutations and various twists work for me, and I even ease into them at first - and then practice the same preparatory poses that eventually enabled me to reach full lotus. I sit cross-legged a few times with each leg on top, and in between switching legs I straighten my legs and perform a forward bends, then a few times in half lotus, again alternating legs with seated forward bends, and only then, and only if I feel NO pain or tightness in my knees do I enter full lotus.

You will probably receive better advice here, and possibly questions as to your motivation, but this is what worked for me.


Ok I’ve done some searching on this site, and these are all the references I have found.
And to repeat for anyone who may be reading this: There is a great deal of warning to not force the Padmasana in any way, because it’s very dangerous.
Also, of course, do not preclude your meditation practice by trying to get into Padmasana first.

Please contribute more sources if you know any.

(due to “You are only allowed to post URLs to other sites after you have made 15 posts or more.” limitation, i include the links in a different way)

If you were asking for exercises and not asana to help you into Lotus then here is another for you: Mukunda’s Pavanmuktasana (Joint-Freeing Series)
Chapter 15 pg. 121 in Structural Yoga Therapy: Adapting to the Individual. The exercises in #5 are for internal and external hip rotation.


There are a number of hip openers which I find helpful and may eventually help you stay in half-lotus pain-free for hours:
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Lord of the Fishes Pose)
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle)
Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Forward Bend)
Virasana (Hero Pose)

I would suggest sticking to “pigeon” pose and “bound angle” for opening up your hips.

there is a good chapter in a book I have from the publishers of Yoga Journal. called “Growing A Lotus”. The name of the book is “Living Yoga”. It leads you through different asanas that open your hips and pelvis.

Do butterfly, semi-butterfly and mandukiasana.

But I did open my hips a bit, using Warrior 1-2, Baddha Konasana, Gomukhasana, Agnisthambasana, aso.


i learned by method of craddle the baby


In general, Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose) is an asana which helps us to prepare for Padmasana.

Thank you,


Hello George,

This question probes the difference between poses that require opening in the hip complex and poses that deliver opening in the hip complex. Unfortunately, when we are not appropriately trained, either as students or as teachers, the tendency is to lump all poses which involve the hip into the category of “hip openers”.

For example, the pose called pigeon (eka pada raja kapotasana) is commonly put forth by teachers as a hip opening pose. And while that is not false, the degree of opening [I]required[/I] so far exceeds the amount of hip opening [I]facilitated[/I] that it is, to say the least, misleading to call it a “hip opener”.

Additionally, different expressions of Yoga have a different priority system as it relates to safety in the practice (of asana, since that is the topic). Some practices are very, very safe and only slightly effective. Other practices are incredibly effective but radically unsafe - and all points in between. The mission of a sound teacher is to find a way to provide the student with the most effect in the safest way possible.

For opening the hip complex it is important to understand that there are eight movements, actions or ways the hip joint can “behave”. When we spend much of our active lives only working flexion and extension (as is the case in cycling, running, jogging) then there are quite obviously 6 other actions that are neglected. One of those is compression and since the hip lives in compression as a result of being bipedal there are 5 remaining movements. So a sound hip opening series would attend to those five.

Only working external rotation and abduction, as is the case in Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, Baddha Konasana, Ardha Padmasana, Vrksasana, and Janu Sirsasana would be a practice that creates imbalance in the hip complex. However, they may contribute to the practice of Padmasana and frankly some of these poses are safer for the knee joint than padmasana is, especially for neophytes.

To reduce strain on the lower back it is best to explore a hip series in the supine position rather than seated or standing.


It’s good to do yoga daily. The secrets of yoga are inwardness, concentration, and purification of mind and body with cleansing thoughts and food.


Hi InnerAthelete,

Thank you for your excellent explanation, what you say makes sense to me. I am on a yoga teacher training course, and we have covered (and still are covering) anatomy and physiology and of course how to structure a yoga class.

I have similar issues that the original question writer has, and I know hip and shoulders are important for me, but so is back bends (openers), and also the muscles at the side of the body. I need to work on all of these. But that is just me, specifically, but maybe something to think about.

What I find useful is the fact your answer is like a mini case study, and is something I can come back to. So thank you for this.

My oppinion is that if yoga practice isn’t peformed often and with consistancy no one will get any real results. So any one thinking of working on themseleves should work out a sequence (probably have it worked out by a yoga teacher or some one), and start practicing it daily, and then see how things unfold and modify and get advice. Evolve your self to where you want to be, but start where you are now. And of course don’t run before you can walk or crawle.

A yoga practice (what ever tools; asana, meditation etc) is a long term work in progress, you evolve, your practice evolves.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti :slight_smile:


i find that after practicing split’s (side and front) in a practice, i can sit easily and deeply into full lotus, because my hips are so much more open.


InnerAthlete, your explanation is nothing less of a masterpiece. Thank you.



You’re welcome, of course.
I’m delighted to be of service.



Dear InnerAthlete,

A really wonderful explanation.

You are advocating hip opening in the supine position, because it is safer. Just for the sake of discussion, I would like to point out that parsva supta padangusthasana and eka pada supta virasana can be unsafe, too. If you don’t keep your pelvis aligned or exceed your capabilities they can hurt the lumbar spine. Would you care to comment?


It’s great that you are Sport enthusiast.
To me, Sport should help you in Yoga and Meditation.

I suggest that you should consult good Yoga Teacher for your Yoga exercises and should not take your health at risks.

Initially, when I started Yoga I was having same back aches likes you in my lower back than I consulted one very good Yoga teacher-Unity. He gave me very good tips and learning on Yoga and soon I realized that what I was doing was not correct way and due to that I was suffering from pain.