SUKHASANA: EASY SEATED POSE

This pose is called “easy,” but for many of us, sitting up straight can actually be really challenging! It requires a good deal of core strength, so as we’re building up to this, it can be helpful to have some alternative variations. Finding a comfortable seat is so important in yoga, especially when you want to be able to sit for awhile to meditate.

BENEFITS OF EASY SEATED POSE:

  • promotes good posture

  • opens the hips

  • boosts energy

  • grounding

YOU CAN ALSO FIND THIS POSE IN THESE YOGA CLASSES.

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TRADITIONAL VARIATION

Come down onto the floor and be seated. Cross the ankles in front of you. Root the sit bones evenly into the floor. Feel the tailbone lengthen toward the earth as the navel pulls in and up. This will keep the pelvis neutral and protect the low back. Knit the front ribs in. Relax the shoulders and get broad through the collar bones. Rest your hands on your thighs - I find that this helps the shoulders relax better than putting the hands on the knees, but you can choose what you prefer. Gently tuck the chin to create length in the back of the neck as you reach through the crown of the head. The eyes may softly close.

Stay here as long as is comfortable for you.

Sitting up straight can make us feel like we’re drifting back in space because most of us spend so much time hunched over. If you’re not sure if you’re sitting up straight, try practicing this pose at a wall (see photo/description below).

If your toes or legs easily fall asleep in this pose, try propping the pose with a cushion or bolster (see photos below).

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:

  • evenly root the sit bones into the mat

  • actively engage the core muscles

  • when you sit up straight, you may feel like you’re drifting backward in space

  • think shoulders over hips, crown of head over tailbone

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SITTING AGAINST A WALL

Sitting with your back against a wall will help to retrain your muscle memory to remember what it feels like to sit up straight. If you struggle with poor posture or if you have weak core muscles, I’d recommend this variation.

Sit with your sacrum and shoulder blades pressing into the wall. Sit up tall, lengthen the tailbone away from the crown of the head. Knit the front ribs together. Your natural lumbar curve will create a small gap between your low back and the wall. This is good. Lean back and let your head rest against the wall.

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ADDING PROPS: CUSHION OR FOLDED BLANKET UNDER THE HIPS

If you experience low back pain, hip pain or knee pain in this pose, elevating your hips with a prop may help this pose feel more comfortable. You can try using a folded blanket, bolster, cushion or yoga block. Find the height that feels right for you. Make sure to sit at the edge of the prop so only your seat is on the prop. Doing so allows the pelvis to come into neutral and creates more space for the hips to open.

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CHAIR VARIATION

To practice this variation, be seated at the edge of your chair with the feet flat on the floor and the knees over the ankles. Separate the knees so that they’re in line with the hips and the femur bones are parallel. Sit up tall and evenly press both sitting bones into the seat of the chair. Lengthen the tailbone away from the crown of the head, gently pulling the navel in toward the spine. Relax the shoulders. Dip the chin to create length in the back of the neck. Rest the palms of the hands on the thighs.

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ALTERNATE POSE: SIDDHASANA

If crossing the ankles doesn’t feel comfortable, try siddhasana. This pose is a lot like sukhasana, but iInstead of crossing the ankles, you’ll line the heels up in front of each other so that the tops of the feet are on the mat and the heels point up toward your face. Depending on your knees, this may or may not feel good. If your knees are sensitive, try sitting up on a folded blanket or cushion.

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ALTERNATE POSE: SAVASANA

Sukhasana is the go-to yoga pose for seated meditation, but you can meditate in savasana, too! It might be a bit harder to stay awake, but if it’s more comfortable for you to lie down, then I say to go for it.

HOW DID IT GO?

If you tried any of these variations, I'd love to know how it went for you! Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #spoonieyogatribe in your photos for a chance to be featured on my page! Or post a photo in our private Facebook group to show off your progress! As a part of your membership, you can get personalized feedback on your poses. 

SAVASANA: CORPSE POSE

It may appear that you're just lying there, but savasana is arguably the MOST important yoga posture of all. Savasana is typically done at the end of our yoga practices, and this is because savasana allows the mind and body to integrate all of the work you did throughout your practice. Yoga builds and circulates prana (life-force energy) and when you rest in savasana, you allow this prana to permeate your entbody.

Benefits of Savasana:

  • grounding
  • relaxing and calming
  • soothes the nervous system
  • relieves fatigue
  • promotes integration of body, mind and spirit
  • promotes good posture
  • benefits Sahasrara chakra (crown chakra)
  • meditative pose
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TRADITIONAL VARIATION

Lie on your back. Make sure that the shoulders are in line with your hips. The feet are at least hip distance apart (or wider) with the feet relaxed and flopping open to the sides. Scoop the shoulder blades back so that they're away from your ears and pressing evenly into the mat. The arms are resting alongside your body with the palms facing up. This is a position of deep surrender and rest. Tuck the chin slightly to create length in the back of your neck. The eyes can be open or closed. Hold this pose for up to twenty minutes or even longer, depending on your practice.

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ADDING PROPS: Bolster under knees + Pillow under the head

This pose can be uncomfortable for people with lower back pain. Adding a bolster or a pillow under the knees can help to alleviate this discomfort. You can also add a pillow or yoga block underneath the head to help create length in the back of your neck.

If lying flat doesn’t feel good at all, you can elevate the upper body using a bolster propped on top of a yoga block.


ALTERNATE POSE: Constructive Rest Pose

If adding a bolster doesn't alleviate your lower back discomfort, you can practice constructive rest pose instead. To come into constructive rest pose, lie flat on your back. Bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor. Take the feet slightly wider than hip distance apart and let the knees fall in toward one another. The arms are extended alongside your body with the palms facing up. Hold this variation for as long as you like.


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ALTERNATE POSE: Side-Lying Pose

As the name suggests, for this pose, you'll lie on your side with the knees slightly bent to create length in the lower back. You can bring a pillow between your knees and a pillow under your head to keep your spine and hips in alignment. I also like to bring a bolster behind my back in this pose to feel extra safe and supported. You can also bring a pillow in front of your body and rest your top arm on it. 

ALTERNATE POSE: Seated in Chair

If lying down still doesn’t feel good, you can be seated in a chair with feet flat on the floor and the ankles directly below the knees. Rest the palms face-up on your thighs to create the same feeling of surrender.

HOW DID IT GO?

If you tried any of these variations, I'd love to know how it went for you! Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #spoonieyogatribe in your photos for a chance to be featured on my page! Or post a photo in our private Facebook group to show off your progress! As a part of your membership, you can get personalized feedback on your poses.