I own a 2 post lift and in order to be safe, you need to be a little creative.
Typically when lifting the car up I put the rear pads on the cradle and use a 2x6 board placed over the front pads to distribute the the weight across the floor and alleviate the risk of pinching brake lines and coolant pipes. This also keeps the car pretty balanced on the lift.
But when dropping the cradle the balance of the car is shifted forward. You will need to reposition the pads forward a little on both sides. I have lifted the car with the cradle attached like this and it's balanced enough where you can get under it to loosen the cradle nuts. Place the rear pads forward of the cradle on the rear floorpan and I use boards to once again spread the load across the sheet metal. When lifting the car off of the cradle it should remain fairly stable.
[This message has been edited by Canyonflyer (edited 06-13-2014).]