Start easy with sukhasana pose.

Sukhasana pose, a comfortable seated pose, also called easy pose or simple crossed-legged pose, it is how I, and many yogis, start and end their yoga practice. This pose is also for meditation. It is thought that our yoga (asana) practice is to prepare our bodies to sit in meditation. Of course asana practice helps us to keep the body fit as well. But either way it is clear Sukhasana is an important part of our practice.

The benefits of Sukhasana includes, strengthening and lengthening of the spine, opening the hips, stretching the knees and ankles.

For me sitting in Sukhasana promotes a feeling of groundedness and inner calm and is a perfect pose to practice breathing exercises, also known as pranayama.

Sukhasana pose gives us a feeling of connection to the present. Finding a position that does not lean too far forward (looking to the future) or leans backward (living in the past), centered, here and now. Use Sukhasana to clear away the events of the day. Sit as if you were sitting in your favorite place on the plant. Give yourself permission to put everything in your mind outside the door of the room.

Bring your attention to your breath and fully prepare for the practice. Use this pose to scan your body, looking for spots of tension and take a moment to release those spots. All these things can more easily be done in sukhasana pose rather than the more challenging poses coming in your practice.

At the end of our practice, we can sit in sukhasana to realize the benefits of asana practice. Do our pranayama practice, chant mantra and close our practice.

For me sukhasana is a comforting pose that lets me connect to my practice, like no other and is perfect way to begin and end every practice.

Getting into the pose.

Begin with your legs out in front of you on the floor. Roll the flesh out and away from under your sits bones. Cross your shins and slip each foot beneath the opposite knee as you bend your knees and fold the legs in toward your pelvis. Relax the feet so their outer edges rest comfortably on the floor and the inner arches settle just below the opposite shin. Let you feet be further away from each other than you would naturally. This will help support the knees.

Get any fidgeting out of the way and then settle into stillness. Root down through the sits bones and feel as if you can lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Let this downward energy let you feel as if you can lift up out of your pelvis. Reach the crown of your head up to lengthen the spine.

Either stack your hands in your lap, palms up, or lay your hands on your knees, palms down. Lengthen your shoulder blades down the back, chest (heart) moves forward. Breathe deeply through the nose.

You can sit in this position for as long as you are comfortable, but if you practice this pose regularly, be sure to alternate the cross of your legs.

Most importantly you should feel comfortable and able to release into the pose.

If you are new to the practice.

Consider using props. Sitting on the front edge of a folded blanket (or two) lifting the hips higher than the knees provides a comfortable seat and allows circulation in the legs. Also placing a folded blanket or blocks under your knees can be helpful for those who have knee problems.

Sit with your back to a wall, slightly closer than the length of a yoga block (6 to 10 inches), and wedge the ends of the block between the wall and your lower shoulder blades.

Once you have found the most comfortable cross-legged position for yourself, relax, close your eyes and follow your breath for a few breaths of meditation. Stay in this pose for 1 or 2 minutes and gradually increase your time.

At no time should you feel any knee pain. If you have had knee injuries or discomfort in sukhasana, talk with one of the Dhyana yoga staff about how to modify this pose to make it more comfortable for you.

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Bruno Circolo © 2013