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The lotus posture or stretch is an advanced stretch that opens up the hips dramatically. If you have difficulty with the previous hip stretches demonstrated earlier, do not attempt the lotus at this time. Be patient, and continue to work on the stretching of the hips until the muscles let go.

  1. Lotus Video Overviews
    1. View Website
      This is the 1st in a three part tutorial on the lotus position.
    2. View Website
      Part 2 of a three part tutorial on how to get into the Lotus posture.
    3. View Website
      Part 3 of a three part tutorial on how to get into the Lotus posture.
  2. Getting into the Lotus Position
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      Sit Upright and...
      First, sit upright, and place your foot on top of your thigh. Have your other foot in front of your lower leg. Then, gently press down on your knee. Only one side is demonstrated, make sure you work both sides by alternating which leg goes on top of the opposite thigh.

      When you have one leg up this stretch is called the half lotus.

      Hint: Try sitting in the half lotus position whenever you have to sit. If you do it often, the hips and legs will get more flexible while you are doing other activities. Half lotus position is my preferred way to sit for any length of time. It can even be done in an office chair provided there are no arms on the chair.

      Warning! You may spend SEVERAL months doing this before progressing further. That is fine: when stretching your ligaments and muscles, you want to avoid injuries. Better to go slow and work to relax the muscles.
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      Work Your Leg Down to the Floor
      Keep working your leg down to the floor.
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      Pull Your Lower Leg onto Your Upper Leg
      Eventually, you will be able to pull your lower leg on top of the inner thigh of your upper leg. It is important to keep your legs relaxed. If your legs feel tense, there will be pressure between the bones and tissues of the lower leg.
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      The Completed Lotus Position
      The completed lotus position is shown here.
  3. Beyond the Lotus
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      Lotus + Forward Stretch
      There are some variations to lotus position that allow you to open up your hips even more. First, it is necessary for you to comfortably get into the lotus position. If that is possible, raise up on to your knees, and lower your body down to the floor, as shown below. At first, your hips will not be able to relax to the ground. With the attention placed on letting go of the tension in the hips, the hips will slowly come down.

      Warning! DO NOT FORCE THIS POSITION. Repeat with the opposite leg on top in lotus position.
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      Lotus + Backward Stretch
      The next variation shows a similar stretch to above, only in this exercise, you lie on your back while in lotus and slowly release the tension in the front of the hips until the legs lower to the floor. Try to keep the back as flat to the ground as possible. Repeat with the opposite leg on top in lotus position.

      Warning: If you arch your back to get the legs to touch the ground, you may strain a muscle that will not easily heal.
  4. Half Lotus Stretches
    Here's a good way to utilize a leg stretch with the half lotus position.
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      Half Lotus Stretch 1
      Alternate sides.
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      Half Lotus Stretch 2
      Working on this exercise will help you to stretch the hips, hamstrings, and eventually get into lotus.
It is possible to injure onself in any physical activity. Consult your physician if in doubt about your physical condition before embarking on a stretching program. The author of howtostretch.com accepts no liability for any injuries sustained while practicing any of the stretches described within.


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