Lotus Pose is great for many things, including calming the mind, opening the hips and stimulating the abdominal organs. It helps relieve menstrual pain and sciatica, and it can help ease childbirth if done late into pregnancy.
HOW TO DO IT:
Begin by sitting on the floor in Staff Pose (Dandasana) with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your left knee, taking ahold of the outside of your shin. Bring your lower leg toward your torso, rocking it back and forth as you begin to open your hip joint.
Bend your right knee, turning it out to the side. Move your left leg out to the left and place the outside edge of your left foot against your inner right groin. Press your left heel into your lower right belly.
Lean back a bit and take ahold of the underside of your right shin. Gently slide the right leg to the left, placing the outer edge of the right foot against your inner left groin. Press your right heel into your lower left belly. The soles of both feet should be perpendicular to the floor.
Bring your knees close together. Press down with the outer edges of your feet. Lengthen your spine and lift from the crown of your head. Place your hands in front of your chest in Salutation Seal or namaste.
Hold for however long is comfortable for you. In the beginning, this may be for only a few seconds. That is okay. Respect your body's needs and don't force the pose. Gently return to starting position. When repeating Lotus Pose, be sure to alternate which leg you place on top. As always, remember to breathe.