Easy Pose
SUKHĀSANA (सुखासन)
(soo-KAHS-anna)

 


‘Sukha’= pleasure, gentle, or comfortable, ‘āsana’= posture


Alternate Names

Sukasana
Easy Sitting
Decent Pose
Pleasant Pose
Comfortable Pose
Simple Pose
Simple Seated Pose
Simple Cross-Legged Pose
Cross-Legged Pose

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Seated / Hip Opener / Restorative

1. Start in Staff Pose (Dandasana), seated with your legs extended straight. Bring your shoulder blades down and back so that your shoulders are under your ears and your spine is straight. Root your sit bones to the mat, grounding the pose.
2. Fold your legs in, bending your right and left knees toward your body, tucking each foot under the opposite knee. Lengthen through the spine, up through to the crown of your head.
3. Place your hands either on your knees (palms facing down or up), on your knees in Guyan Mudra (facing down or up), or in Prayer Mudra over your heart center.
4. Close your eyes and relax your body. Starting from the top of your head down through your feet. Relax your face and jaw. Relax your shoulders. Sink into your hips, relaxing your thighs and bringing your knees down to a comfortable position. Relax your feet and toes.
5. Keeping your back straight and breathe deeply.
6. Hold this pose for at least 5 minutes (or 15 if using for meditation) before releasing.

Common Adjustments
• Shoulders hunched / lifted
• Ribs popping forward
• Elbows locked
• Face and neck strained
• Spine rounded
• Lower back round
• Lower back over-arched
• Pelvis tilted back
• Pelvis titled forward
• Core not slightly engaged to lengthen the spine through to the crown
• Legs not relaxed
• Knees elevated

Modifications
• For students with tight hips or discomfort in the lower back, place a block, pillow, bolster, or blanket under the buttock and hips for comfort and stability. This also helps straighten a rounded lower back.
• If the hips and knees are tight or the student experiences knee discomfort, place a block, pillow, bolster, or blanket under the knees. Alternatively, students can extend one leg out so that they can sit for a longer period of time in this pose.
• For spine support, students can practice with their back against a wall. This helps with alignment of the spine and hips, as well as making sure the back is straight and not arched.
• To help keep the shoulders broad and back, have students sit about an inch from the wall and place a block between the wall and the lower shoulder blades. Holding the block there helps keep an open chest.

Counter Poses
• Staff (Dandasana)
• Seated Forward Bend Head to Knee (Janu Sirsasana)
• Revolved Seated Forward Bend Head to Knee (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)
• Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
• Lord of the Fishes, Half (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Anatomy
• Chest (Pectoralis Minor)• Shoulders (Posterior Deltoids)
• Abdomen (Core) and Obliques • Hips (Iliopsoas)
• Lower Back (Lumbar) and Spine• Hamstrings and Calf muscles
• Knees• Ankles

Benefits
• For beginners, this is a good alternative to Lotus Pose (Padmasana) for meditation.
• Strengthens and stretches the back, hips, knees, ankles, and thighs, which opens the hips and improves flexibility- especially in the hip joints and groin area.
• Brings awareness to the spine - improving posture and alignment as well as balance.
• Calms the mind, by stimulating the nervous system, which reduces stress, anxiety, mild depression, and fatigue.
• Improves blood circulation and rests the legs and feet.

Contraindications
1. Students with backaches, should not stay in this pose for extended periods of time.
2. Students with hip and/or knee injury or inflammation, arthritis in the knees, had hip and/or knee surgery or replacement, spine issues, slip disc, sciatica, or have a headache or migraine should avoid this pose or seek guidance on modifications.

Chakras
Chakra One:Root or Muladhara (root support) Chakra. This is the survival and gravity chakra. Its goals are stability, grounding, prosperity, right livelihood, and physical health. Its location is the base of the spine, coccygeal plexus, legs, feet, and large intestines.
Chakra Two:Sacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Six:Third-Eye or Ajna (to perceive) Chakra. This is the intuition and projection chakra. Its goals are psychic perception and imagination. Its location is the brow.
Chakra Seven:Crown or Sahasrara (Thousandfold) Chakra. This is the understanding and consciousness chakra. Its goals are wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual connection. Its location is the top of the head.



Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbooks

  • In the textbook “Instructing Hatha Yoga – 2nd Edition With Web Resource” by: Diane M. Ambrosini, this posture can be found in Chapter 8 – Seated Postures as “Padmasana – Lotus Pose”. It is listed as a variation under “Second Variation: Sukhasana (Easy Pose)”.
  • In the textbook “YOGA Anatomy – Third Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, this posture can be found in Chapter 9 – SITTING POSES as “SUKHASANA – Easy Posture”. It is listed at the beginning of the chapter with other variations. You will also see a section called “COMMON SKELETAL JOINT ACTIONS (FOR FIVE PREVIOUS POSES)” that will provide additional insight.

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