EASY POSE – SUKHASANA
When people think of yoga this is the pose they most often associate with the practice. The Sanskrit name of Sukhasana is derived from ‘Sukha’ meaning ‘pleasure’ or ‘comfort’ and ‘asana’ meaning ‘posture’ or ‘seat’. Having a comfortable seat is the basis for meditation and other calming practices. Sitting in easy pose and gently lowering the eyelids prepares the body and mind, to move from a busy active state, to one more ready for contemplation and going inwards and away from the outside world.
It is a basic pose suitable for all levels but to obtain real comfort in a body used to sitting on chairs for most of its existence, finding comfort can be a challenge. Focus on keeping the spine long, chin parallel to the floor, knees wide without straining, and sitting bones grounded.
Tips for Sitting Cross-legged with Ease
- Support your hips by sitting up on the edge of folded blankets or blocks. Once seated, widen the knees to allow more space for the hips. Feel the sitting bones connecting with the floor.
- Relieve knee pain by adding rolled up socks or small towels and place them behind the backs of the knees before crossing the shins. Alternatively support your outer shins with blankets.
- For lower back discomfort try sitting with your back against a wall supported by a cushion.
- For very tight hips and when sitting for extended periods, support the knees by placing rolled up blankets or small bolsters below each knee.
- Relax tight shoulders by taking an over-head stretch. Interlace the fingers and as you breathe out stretch the arms over head. Repeat a few times to release neck and shoulder tension.
Easy Pose Step by Step
- Place your block or blanket in position, sit close to the edge and allow the pelvis to settle in neutral, legs out straight.
- Draw one knee in towards the body and allow the knee to fold out to the side, sole of the foot facing towards the opposite leg.
- Draw second knee into the body, allow the knee to fall out and cross over the opposite leg at shin level.
- Relax the feet so their outer edges rest comfortably on the floor and the inner arches settle just below the opposite shin. You’ll know you have the basic leg fold of Sukhasana when you look down and see a triangle, its three sides formed by the two thighs and the crossed shins. Don’t confuse this position with that of other classic seated postures in which the ankles are tucked in close to the sitting bones. In Sukhasana, there should be a comfortable gap between the feet and the pelvis.
- Find a neutral pelvis by pressing your hands against the floor, lift sitting bones slightly and as you hang make your thigh bones heavy, then slowly lower your sitting bones lightly back to the support.
- Find a comfortable position for your hands, lengthen tail bone toward the floor, keep a long spine but don’t over arch your back or allow your ribs to poke forward.
- Remember to reverse the cross of the legs after a period, to even out the body.
As with all yoga practices is best to take instruction with a qualified teacher and consult your doctor first, before undertaking exercise, if you have any health issues.