Monday, 18 June 2012

Sukhasana - Crossed Legs

Another basic yoga pose.  Many of us sat crossed legs on the floor as kids.  Fewer people attempt this as adults.  Chairs are just too convenient.  I’ve been lucky.  Sitting with crossed legs on the floor is something I’ve always been able to do even when my weight was at its heaviest.

A basic point about sitting crossed legs on the floor, your knees should not stick up above the top of your hips.  You need to sit on enough height so your knees are level with your hips.  Iyengar Yoga studios have firm foam blocks and cotton blankets for students to use.  I like to use two folded blankets at the studio but at home I  use folded beach towels.  Once you are comfortably seated on your perfect height, cross your legs at the calves/shins.  Some people cannot get to the floor due to bad knees or hips.  Sit on a chair and cross your ankles.

The next step is to sit up properly.  An easy tip is to take your hands to your knees and press gently.  This will straighten your back and lift your chest.  Remember to restrain your ribs so they don’t pop forward too much.  Relax your shoulders down and keep your head in a neutral position.  Release your hands and rest them on your thighs.  Close your eyes and allow your mind to stop chattering.  That can be work all on its own.

Sukhasana is a very common pose to start an Iyengar Yoga session.  With practice, it becomes easier to sit up straight and work on opening the hips.   It also gives you a chance to clear your mind so your will be ready for your practice.

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