Easy Pose - Sukhasana

How to Do Easy Pose - Sukhasana
Easy Pose - Sukhasana. John Freeman/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Type of pose: Seated

Benefits: Stretches the hips.

Sukhasana is really any comfortable, cross-legged, seated position. A lot of people laugh when they find out that sukhasana is often translated as "easy pose," because sitting cross-legged is actually hard for many. In this case, however, easy doesn't mean the opposite of difficult. It means with ease. So sitting in sukhasana is actually sitting any way you can with ease.

For the laughers mentioned above, this means using props liberally as described in detail here. Once you get comfortably set up, sukhasana is a good pose for meditation or pranayama practice.

Instructions:

1. Arrange supportive padding (blanketblock, or bolster) under your sit bones so that your hips will be higher than your knees when you come into the pose.

2. Come to sit on your padding in a comfortable, cross-legged position. Shift the flesh of your butt to each side with your hands so that your sit bones have a firm foundation.

3. Lean back and forth and side to side with your torso a few times to make sure that your shoulders are stacked directly over your hips. Slide the shoulder blades down your back so that your shoulders move away from your ears. The crown of your head rises towards the ceiling.

4. Your hands can rest in your lap or on the tops of your thighs. Turn your palms up to be receptive or down to feel grounded.

 

5. On your inhalations, your spine grows long. On your exhalations, root down through your seat.

Tips:

There are a number of different ways you can position your feet. Pick one that feels natural. Here are a few options:

1. Tuck each foot under the opposite shin in a traditional cross-legged position.

2. Bring one heel in towards your groin. The other foot may rest on the floor in front of you so that your heels will line up. This configuration brings your legs a little wider.

3. Settle one foot into your lap.

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