Easy pose (Sukhasana) a.k.a Simple Cross-legged Pose, Decent Pose, or the Pleasant Pose is one of the most relaxing poses employed while meditating and practicing Pranayama. A seated one, it is an excellent posture for pregnant and nursing mothers, which calms your mind and lowers stress level.
People who find it difficult to get into Perfect pose (Siddhasana) or Lotus Pose (Padmasana), should begin with this pose to open their hips and lengthen their spine. Hence, the pose energizes body and mind, while correcting the seated posture.
It is helpful if you have tight hips and need to relax them. If you feel you often slouch while sitting or walking, then you must perform this pose to bring your spine back into alignment.
While sitting in this pose, you stretch your knees, ankles, outer thighs and groin area.
Getting into pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced
Initial Position: Staff position (Dandasana)
Drishti or Gaze: While performing this pose, concentrate your gaze forwards (Pranayama) or inwards (third eye/between the eyebrows, if meditating)
- Get into the initial position and take a deep breath.
- As you exhale, bend forward to cross and fold your legs. Bring them closer to your body and attempt to place your feet beneath the knees. As long as you are able to cross your legs, it does not matter which feet is crossed up and which one down.
- Keep your back straight at all times with shoulders relaxed and chin a little up. Keep your palms on your thighs and breathe normally if meditating. Other wise practice pranayama.
- For multiple benefits, practice abdominal breathing. Hold position for as long as possible.
- Slowly, go back into the starting position. Breathe normally. Do it twice in a practice along with other poses.
- Iyengar Variation: (Sukhasana with soft block) If you feel exerted and over stretched while getting into the pose, it is better to sit on a raised seat, such as soft block and then perform it. This will reduce the stress on the lower back and thighs.
- Chair Yoga Variation: (One fold pose) People in sedentary desk jobs may get stiff muscles over time. So, it is best for them to begin with the chair yoga poses first and then move on to doing them on the mat. The chair yoga variation of Easy pose is done by sitting straight on a chair and folding each leg turn by turn. As you fold your leg, push its knee with one hand slightly (till a mild stretch). This will help in relaxing muscles as well as making them more flexible.
- One Fold Variation: This is the mat version of the chair yoga pose, except that there is no additional stretching of the folded leg. It can also be performed by sitting on the block to avoid over stretching.
- Easy Pose with torso twist: This is also quite a popular variation of this pose, where one hand is placed on the knee and another on the floor (behind the back) twisting the abdomen, and then repeated on the other side. The head is turned towards the back too. This stretches and relaxes the neck, shoulders, side and back of your torso. (Note: This variation is not meant for meditation or pranayama.)
- Hand position I: (Pranayama) Palms facing the sky, placed one over another with relaxed shoulders
- Hand position II: (Meditation) Index finger touching the thumb gently to make the hermit’s gesture and palms placed on the knees, facing up.
If you find it difficult getting into the pose, try its Iyengar variation or chair yoga.
- Perfect pose (Siddhasana)
- Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
- Those with knee or hip problems should not perform it.
- Pregnant women can do it all through nine months, but always perform under expert supervision.
Last Updated: July 18th, 2014
Next Scheduled Update: Sept 18th, 2014