How to Do the Yoga Perfect Posture (Siddhasana)

The Sanskrit word siddha (pronounced sidd-hah) means both “perfect” and “adept.” In Yoga, an adept isn’t just a skillful practitioner, but an accomplished master who has worked to attain inner freedom.

Many Yoga masters in bygone eras preferred this posture and used it often in place of the lotus posture.

[Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham]
Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham

The siddhasana improves the flexibility of your hips, knees, and ankles, and strengthens the back. It differs from svastikasana, in that you tuck your feet into your thighs between the thighs and calves on both sides. The posture is considered the perfect meditation posture for anyone practicing celibacy. Siddhasana is also beneficial for men with various prostate problems.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, place your hands at your sides (close to your hips), with your palms down and fingers forward.

    Shake your legs out in front of you a few times.

  2. Bend your left knee, and bring your left heel into your groin near the perineum (the area between the anus and the genitals).

    Stabilize your left ankle with your left hand.

  3. Bend your right knee and slide your right heel toward the front of your left ankle.

  4. Lift your right foot, position your right ankle just above your left ankle, and bring your right heel into the genital area.

  5. Tuck the little-toe side of your right foot between your left thigh and your calf.

  6. Place your hands, palms down, on the same-side knee, with your arms relaxed.

  7. Straighten and extend your back and neck, bringing your head up nice and tall; look straight ahead.

    You can use a cushion to raise your hips so they’re level with your knees.

    [Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham]
    Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham

In the classic posture, which isn’t recommended for beginners, the chin rests on the chest, the arms are straight down, the elbows are locked, and the palms are open in jnana mudra at the knees. The big-toe side of the left foot is pulled up and wedged between the right calf and the thigh.

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