By Jennifer French
You might consider sukhasana one of those poses whose name is a misnomer…
While asana is the second half of the posture’s name and is defined as pose or seat, sukha translates to easy, comfortable, or even sweet. However, it’s the sweetness that’s often missing from the pose for many of us. In fact, dukkha, a word that we can translate as suffering, is oftentimes much closer to our experience of the posture!
Let’s explore this pose in a little more depth.
- Sit up on two folded blankets or a bolster. Bend your knees and cross your legs at your shins. Gently draw your knees slightly closer towards each other as your feet move away from each other. Softly flex your feet and shift them away from the buttocks so that your feet are under your knees.
- Begin to feel heaviness at the base of your pelvis, in your sit-bones. Root down through your sit bones and feel a sense of connection to the earth beneath you.
- Bring your hands to the ground or to the blankets beside your hips. As you press your hands down, lift the sides of your waist and your spine upward. Draw your navel softly in and up toward the breastbone. Broaden your chest and feel your shoulder blades glide down your back.
- Let your hands then come to rest on your knees. Gently close your eyes and begin to focus on the rhythm of your breath. Stay for a bit to simply feel the posture in your body. Notice where it feels a bit challenging, but also notice where it might feel good.
Got strain in your hips or knees?
- Try bringing extra lift under you sit-bones or support your knees with blocks or blankets.
Got strain in your back?
- Try using a wall to support your spine!
Some things to work on:
To find ease in a particular yoga posture, it’s a great idea to incorporate other postures into our practice. Doing this can help bring some openness to what might feel a bit tight and strength to what might feel a bit weak. In truth, those things could be one in the same! For instance, your back might feel challenged in sukhasana so we might work on poses that bring both lengthening and strengthening to find more comfort in our simple crossed legged pose. You’ll find a video below that guides you through a simple practice that incorporates postures–other than sukhasana–that may, over time, help taking the cross-legged seat a bit easier.
In the end, sukhasana really is a lovely pose that can offer so much! With countless variations and ways of exploring the pose you can bring movement into all parts of your body. And don’t forget… the best way to learn how to sit more comfortably on the ground is to simply do it more often!
- How to take sukhasana with props
- A simple practice to help develop ease in sukhasana over time
- Variations on sukhasana