Move-It Monday~Yoga Pose: Easy Seated Pose (Sukhasana)
Difficulty level: Easy
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress
- Stretches the knees, ankles, hips, low back
- Strengthens the abdomen and back
- Improves breathing
When I first started practicing yoga, this pose drove me crazy. The instructors referred to this as Easy Seated Position, but my thighs would quiver, my back would protest, and my mind was so busy wondering how long I would have to hold this pose before I could move that I had a hard time focusing on the centering that was supposed to prepare my mind for class! For most of us, used to sitting in chairs as adults, driving in cars, and practicing repetitive motions like walking or running when exercising, this pose can actually be quite challenging. So let’s break it down and truly make it an Easy Seated Position for you!
Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs crossed. Leave space between your heels and your pelvis. Your feet should be touching the floor on the outer knife edge of the foot, and the soles of your feet should be tucked just under the calves of the opposite leg. Place your hands onto the floor on either side of your hips, inhale and gently lift your hips up a few inches. Hang here, allowing your thighs to get heavy and your tailbone to stretch towards the floor, then gently exhale and press your hips to the floor. Stack your spine, inviting space as you press the crown of your head up, lengthening the back. Press your shoulder blades firmly onto your back, broadening your front chest. Draw your chin parallel to the floor and bring your ears over your shoulders. Gently press the upper body back in space until you feel your abdominal muscles engage. Place your hands on your knees or thighs.
If you notice tightness, pulling, or discomfort in your thighs, hips or low back in Easy Seated Position, place a block, rolled up blanket/yoga mat or pillow under your hips. Slide forward until your pelvis is right on the edge of the prop and you feel your knees more easily descend towards the floor. Be certain to tuck the rib points in toward the spine as you lengthen through the back and press your shoulder blades onto your back.
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