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How to Cross Your Legs in Yoga

author image Martin Booe
Martin Booe writes about health, wellness and the blues. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Bon Appetit. He lives in Los Angeles.
How to Cross Your Legs in Yoga
A woman is sitting in the lotus position. Photo Credit: Jack Hollingsworth/Blend Images/Getty Images

Yoga classes often begin and end with seated meditation. Although some yoga practitioners sit Indian style, with their knees bent and their feet under their thighs, more advanced yogis often assume padmasana, or lotus pose. In lotus pose, the feet rest on the tops of the thighs. The position may be challenging to new practitioners, which is why it is important to approach lotus pose in stages. Taking half-lotus until you are ready for full lotus can help acclimate you to the pose.

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Step 1

Sit on the floor with your back straight and your knees bent out to the sides.

Step 2

Lift your right leg in front of you with the knee still bent. Hook your bent right arm around your calf, just behind your knee. Hook your bent left arm around your ankle. Rock back and forth a few times to loosen your right hip joint.

Step 3

Lay your right leg over your left, resting your right foot on top of your left thigh. Your foot should lie in the crease between your torso and leg, with the sole of your foot facing upward. This is half-lotus position.

Step 4

Pick up your left foot and gently place it on top of your right thigh. Use your hands to pull your left foot toward the crease between your torso and leg. When both feet are on top of the opposite thigh, you are in full-lotus position.

Step 5

Alternate the top and bottom legs in lotus position with each yoga practice. If you cross the right leg over the left for one practice, cross the left leg over the right for the next.

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