The Yoga Tutor

Ardha Padmasana

[ Excerpt from The Science of Yoga, page 445 ]

We now continue now our exploration of the cross-legged sitting postures with the ardha padma asana. Ardha means "half," and padma is the Sanskrit word for "lotus." Thus, this is the "half lotus," an important preparatory exercise for the attainment of the powerful and well-known padma asana, or "full lotus" of hatha yoga.

The padma asana positions require much preparatory work to first loosen the hips, lumbar region, knees and ankle joints. Many students try to force themselves into these positions before they are safely able, and thus suffer injuries which can take a long time to fully recover from. Go slowly and only move into this position in-so-far as you are able. Do not cause yourself an injury which will set you back many months in your hatha yoga practice!

If a lot stiffness remains when trying to perform the asanas of this lesson, then you should put additional attention and practice upon foot and ankle postures, the jattis for loosening the legs and hips, baddha kona kriya (the butterfly action), and even trikona asana.


  • Begin in sukha asana.
  • Grasp one foot and ankle and gently lift the foot and cross it over the top of the opposite thigh.
Note: try to bring the foot as high as possible up the thigh, without putting undue stress upon the knee.
  • Sit relaxed with a straight back and breathe deeply and slowly for as long as comfortable.
  • Switch the leg positions and repeat on the other side.


The contents of this web page are intended for informational purposes only. One should not engage in any yoga practices based solely upon the directions given on this web page or any other page of this web site. Anyone atempting to perform any of the yoga exercises introduced on this website assumes full responsibility and does so at their own risk.

NOTE: This yoga article is an excerpt from The Science of Yoga, an online yoga training program with streaming yoga videos and 600 pages of step-by-step yoga instruction.

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... It is indeed a masterful work."


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