Early yoga texts established the importance of finding a comfortable seat for the purposes of meditation and breathing exercises (called pranayama). This comfortable seat should be strong in the core and relaxed in the hips.
What the early yoga texts do not tell us is what that comfortable seat should look like. Because the original purpose of finding a comfortable seat is to prepare for meditation, a seat where the core is weak, the back is rounded, and the hips are high can distract from our meditation.
Often in a yoga class you will find yourself in a seated position and it is all too common to be uncomfortable in Easy seated pose (sukhasana). As many of us sit in chairs for a majority of the day, we have lost ability and mobility to sit comfortably in Sukhasana.
Our bodies are all different and as such finding that comfortable seat will look different for each person.
Below you will find how to do easy seated pose and ways to make an uncomfortable easy seated pose more comfortable.
Easy Seated Pose (Sukhasana)
This is a calming pose that helps to strengthen the back, stretch the knees and ankles, and improve posture.
How to do Easy Seated Pose (Sukhasana)
- Come onto your seat on the floor.
- Cross your shins loosely and tuck your feet under opposite knees. When you look down, your thighs should form a triangle with your shins. Your hips should be above your knees.
- Adjust your pelvis to find a neutral position.
- Inhale to lengthen the spine and draw the naval in towards the spine to engage the core.
- Press your pubic bone and tailbone into the floor.
- Relax your shoulders away from the ears. Relax the jaw.
- Place your hands on your knees or thighs. Palms can be on your knees for a more engaged seat or palms can face up for a more relaxed posture.
Benefits of easy seated pose:
- Calms the mind
- Opens the hips, groin and outer thigh muscles.
- Stretches the knees and ankles.
- Strengthen and stretches the back.
- Knee Injury
- Ankle Injury
- Hip injury
- Spine Problems
Making Easy Seated Pose More Comfortable
- Help lengthening the spine. Using the wall sit about 3-4 inches from the wall. Place a block between the shoulder blades and the wall.
- Bringing the knees below the hips – Stack a blanket or pillows underneath the seat to bring the hips higher. This also helps to create more length in the spine.
- Discomfort in the knees – Support the knees with blocks or pillows underneath the knees. You may also finding sitting on a blanket (as mentioned in #2) can alleviate discomfort in the knees.
- Discomfort in the outer ankles – Place a blanket as padding underneath the ankles.
Take it easy finding a comfortable seat. Incorporate easy seated pose into your practice as you feel suits you. Never force this posture simply because it’s called “easy”. For many beginner yogis (and even experienced yogis) finding a comfortable easy seated pose can be difficult. If you are unable to find a comfortable seat, you may consider an alternative to easy seated pose. An alternative seated pose for those without ankle or knee injury is Hero’s pose.