Easy Sitting Pose Sukhasana
Start with a folded blanket or foam block to sit on. Sit at the front edge of the block and fold the legs into a comfortable cross-legged position. Allow the knees to open wide and let one foot rest in front of the other. Allow the upper legs and shins to form a small triangle of space in front of the body. Allow the weight to rest evenly in the sitz bones keeping the pelvis in a neutral position. Lengthen the spine up from the pelvis. Allow the ribcage to float on top of the pelvis and the head to align over the torso.
There are several different options for the hands. The palms can be placed in the lap with one hand resting in the other- a mudra can be created by bringing the thumbs together to touch. Alternatively the hands can be placed on top of the knees wither with the palms down (a more grounding approach) or with the palms up- perhaps taking one of several mudras.
This posture can be held for any length of time and is a comfortable position to work on meditation.
Visualization CommentsEasy Pose is a great place to start any yoga practice. It gives students the opportunity to align their spine and tune into their breath and body. As a teacher this a great pose to invite students into meditation and any number of discussions or visualizations could take place. Simply inviting students into their breath is a great place to start. Explore the quality of breath, its length and depth. Invite students to feel how and where the breath moves. With experience this pose can be used to explore deeper meditations, including the vayus, the chakras, the koshas, the list could go on and on. And then sometimes it is best just to sit in silence.
Technical CommentsEnsure that the weight is even on the sitz bones. Sometimes it is helpful to rock gently side to side to feel for evenness. It can also be helpful to gently draw the flesh to the outer sides of the sitz bones to feel the connection between the ground and the pelvis. Next create neutrality in the pelvis. The front of the hipbones (the ASIS) and the pubic bone at the bottom of the pelvis should be on the same vertical plane with each other. The back of the pelvis (the PSIS) should be in the same horizontal plane as the lowest part of the front of the hipbone (ASIS). From this neutral pelvic position allow the spine to lengthen upwards. There will be a gentle curve in the small of the back. The ribcage should sit evenly on top of the pelvis, not popping forward in the front, or collapsing in the back. The shoulders and elbows should remain relaxed and the hands (whichever variation is taken) soft. The ears should line up over the shoulders and the bottom of the jaw should be parallel to the ground. Allow the muscles of the face to relax. This is a great place to close the eyes.
- Strengthens the back
- Opens the hips and ankles
- A calming position to energetically centre
Watch Out For:
- Posterior pelvic tilt (rounding in the lower back). (Usually a higher block can correct this).
- Anterior pelvic tilt (over-arching in the lower back)
- Shoulders lifted, elbows locked
- Strain in the face
- Be careful with students experiencing knee injuries. Sometimes propping under the knees with folded blankets can alleviate discomfort. Also extending one leg to straight can ease pain and make it easier to sit for longer periods of time.
- Sit on a block, cushion or bolster
- Extend one leg (as mentioned in Contraindications)
- See hand variations in Pose Description at the top of this article
Yoga Counter Poses
- Sukhasana is a great place to start any yoga practice. From this position the possibilities are endless. And sometimes this is the only pose we need to practice.