1. Come to a seated position with the legs crossed Indian style. With both hands, carefully lift the right foot up and place it on your left thigh, close to your hip. With both hands, carefully lift the left foot up and place it on your right thigh, close to the hip. If this is uncomfortable, switch the legs or try a variation.
2. Press the hip bones down into the floor and reach the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine. Drop the shoulders down and back, and press the chest towards the front of the room.
3. Relax the face, jaw, and belly. Let the tongue rest on the roof of the mouth, just behind the front teeth.
4. Breathe and hold as long as comfortable. At first you will not be able to hold for a long time. Be gentle, do not force the posture.
5. To release: Carefully use the hands to uncross the legs.
6. Repeat with the legs switched if possible.
Benefits + Contraindications
Benefits: Full lotus is an advanced seated posture used for meditation and pranayama. This posture opens the hips, knees and ankles.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic knee or hip injury or inflammation.
Modifications + Variations
Modifications: Sit on the edge of a folded blanket or Zafu.
Variations: Half lotus is an easier variation of Full Lotus and Bound Lotus is a more challenging version.
Full Lotus is traditionally used at the beginning or end of a yoga practice or used by itself as stable pose for meditation and pranayama.