Pose of the week: Easy Sitting Pose - Sukhasana
Easy Sitting Pose – Sukhasana (sook-AHS-anna) Sukh means “ease, comfort.”
Sukhasana, or easy sitting pose, is sometimes not so easy especially if you are used to sitting at a desk or in a car all day.
With consistent practice this pose will start to come more naturally as you work toward reconditioning your body and steering it away from old habits.
While in a class or if you want to try this pose at home here are some things to keep in mind:
Sit on the floor cross legged.
*Yogi tip – you may sit on the edge of a pillow or blanket. Keeping the hips a bit higher than the knees may help you find some ease in this pose/asana. This also allows your pelvic bowl to tilt slightly forward.
Begin by taking the deepest breathes you’ve taken all day in and out through the nose, creating equally long inhales and exhales. Think: Inhale – the breath coming up from the floor or the pelvic area (pelvic floor.) Think: Exhale – sending the breath back down into the hips welcoming any heaviness you may feel in the lower body. Take several deep breaths just like this to settle in.
Draw the shoulders up to the ears on an inhale and then see if you can, with the exhale, draw the shoulders down and away from the ears.
The arms and hands can just rest naturally on the legs/knees. In yoga classes we sometimes will say, “You can bring your palms face down on legs for a sense of grounding, or you can turn the palms up towards the sky for a sense of receiving.” Yogis choice.
Bring the chin slightly upwards, but not too much. Just so it feels like it’s parallel to the earth or yoga mat.
Bring attention and awareness to the face, the teeth, the jawline. See if you can soften the muscles of the face – maybe even first exploring griping, clenching and holding the teeth and muscles in the face and then letting that go and feeling that soften and release. Rest the tongue in the bed of the mouth.
Think about the idea that your head and upper back body are resting up against a wall. The idea here is we are creating a line – a tall spine so that the breath can flow fluidly.
There’s an option to explore what it feels like to hug the navel in and upwards while in this pose. (Uddiyana-Bandha – Stomach Lock)
You can keep your eyes open and focus on a point in front of you that is not moving, or you may close your eyes and focus on the space above and in between the eyebrows, known as the Third Eye.
Jen Vince demonstrates Easy Sitting Pose.
Possible Physical Benefits
Opens the hips
Strengthens the back
Stretches the ankles and knees
Prepares the body for meditation
Possible Mental Benefits
Can help relieve stress
Promotes a sense of peace and calming
Calms the brain
This pose is often taken at the beginning of a yoga class to help center and ground ourselves. It is also a pose used for seated mediation.
Give this a try: in every chair or seat you take try to lengthen through the spine and roll your shoulders down and away from your ears. Just think ‘sit up nice and tall.' With daily practice this pose will start to feel a bit more natural and you may even start to create a mindful awareness, noticing times when you may be slouching or rounding in the back body.
Inner awareness is key in a yoga practice. Change and transformation start to happen when you begin cultivating inner awareness in your everyday life.
Last week: Mountain Pose - Tadasana
Next week: Tree Pose - Vriksasana.
*Photos taken at The Spiritual Spa