10 Seated Yoga Poses For A Grounded Practice

Yoga is a diverse practice with a wide range of teachings and techniques to draw from. Sometimes it can be necessary to adapt our yoga practice to our body’s needs and our shifting lifestyles.

A dynamic yoga practice may not always be the best thing for us. Instead, a grounding, floor-based practice might be the perfect antidote for challenging times of stress and high demands.

A ‘grounded’ yoga practice will help you to de-stress and connect back to yourself and your body. Seated and floor-based postures are the perfect way to ground yourself and are also a great way to get back into your yoga practice after a minor injury or illness.

Below you will find instructions for 10 seated yoga poses to try at home that will leave you feeling grounded and relaxed. 

Read on to find out:

  • When Might You Need A Grounding Yoga Practice?
  • The Benefits Of Seated Yoga Poses
  • 10 Seated Yoga Poses To Try At Home
a woman on a yoga mat in a living room doing seated yoga poses

When might you need a grounding practice?

A grounding practice can be beneficial at any time. However, it will be particularly good for you at times of high stress or when you are struggling with low energy.

A grounding practice should not require high energy or stamina, instead, its purpose is to support your nervous system, decrease stress, and lower anxiety.

At busy times or times of stress, it is normal to feel ‘in our heads’, a grounded yoga practice will help to bring you back into your body, connected to yourself and your breath.

A grounded yoga practice can also be beneficial if you are recovering from illness or minor injury. If you are used to regular exercise, it can be a helpful stepping-stone back into your movement practice.

Practicing seated yoga postures can also be a good way to complement other forms of dynamic exercise, such as running or cycling. It is a brilliant way to ensure you are gently stretching your muscles to prevent injuries.

Lastly, it can be a wonderful way to wind down before bed and ensure a good night’s sleep.

a man doing seated yoga poses on a mat in the park

The Benefits of Seated Yoga Poses

Flexibility, Relaxation, Breath

Without the challenge of balance, seated yoga poses allow us to focus on flexibility, relaxation and connection to our breath.

Support Stress, Illness, and Injury

As mentioned above, seated postures usually require less stamina. Meaning they are the perfect yoga postures to practice when you are suffering from low energy or have been taking time off to recover from an injury.

Easy to Practice in any Space, at any Time

You don’t need any special equipment for the seated yoga poses described below (although yoga props can always provide additional support).

As long as you are wearing comfortable clothing and have a small space to sit and outstretch your legs, then you have everything you need for a seated, grounded yoga practice.

10 Seated Yoga Poses to try at home

Below you will find instructions for 8 seated yoga poses suitable for beginners and all levels. Take some time to fit some, or all of these into your practice and notice how you feel.

Practice suggestion: Choose a set amount of time to hold each pose, eg. 1-3 minutes while focusing on your breath. Alternatively, you can choose a number of breaths to hold the pose for, for example, 5-10 deep breaths. Do the same for each posture.

#1. Sukhasana – Easy Pose

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing easy Pose

Seated upright, cross your legs and bring your heels in close to you, allow the knees to rest on the feet and rest your hands on the knees. You can close your eyes and focus on keeping the spine straight, shoulders relaxed and breath steady.

The so-called ‘easy pose’, is surprisingly not easy for many adults who have desk-based jobs. If you struggle to straighten the spine in the pose or to lower the knees, you can raise your hips by sitting on blankets or a block. 

#2. Bhadrasana – Gentle Pose/ Bound Angle Pose

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing bound angle Pose

Part 1- Bring the soles of the feet together, interlock your finger and hold around your toes, allow your knees to relax towards the floor. Keep the spine straight and focus on breathing deeply, allowing the chest to expand.

Part 2- Gently squeeze the stomach in and curve the spine, allow the head to come down towards your feet.

For tight hips, it might feel difficult to relax in this posture. If so, you can use rolled-up blankets or pillows to support underneath the knees.

#3. Ardha Matsyandrasana – Half-Spine Twist

an annotated image of a man wearing black yoga clothes doing half lord of the fishes pose

Seated, bend the left knee with your thigh on the mat and bring your left heel to the side of your right hip, cross your right foot over your left knee with the sole of your right foot on the mat. Gently, hug your left arm around your right knee to twist. Turn your chin to look over your right shoulder.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Twists are wonderful postures to work with the breath. Gently squeeze your stomach in and imagine you are twisting from your belly button. This will allow you to open up space in your chest and lungs. Close your eyes and breathe steadily.

#4. Janu Sirasana – Seated Head-to-Knee Pose

an annotated image of a man wearing black yoga clothes doing head to knee Pose

Extend your right leg out in front of you, bend the left knee and bring your left heel in close to your body allowing your left knee to relax down to the mat. Hold your hands around your right toes and bring your head down towards your right knee. Keep the toes flexed back towards you.

Repeat on the opposite side.

If it’s not possible to reach your toes or bring the head to the knee, you can bend the extended leg as much as you need to rest your forehead on your knee.

#5. Parivrtta Janu Sirasana – Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose

An annotated image of woman wearing black yoga clothes doing revolved head to knee pose

Similar to #4, but this time adding a twist to the abdomen and chest. Extending your right leg out to your right side, bend the left knee and bring your left heel in close to your body and relax the left knee to the mat. Reach your right arm out to hold your right toes and open your chest up and out to your left. Lift the left arm up and reach over towards your right hand to feel a stretch down your left side.

Repeat on the opposite side.

Again, you can bend the knee in order to get hold of your toes if needed.

#6. Virasana – Hero Pose

Begin by kneeling, then bring your weight forward to your knees to open out the toes and sit back in between your heels. Aim to keep the knees together. Let the hands rest on the knees and keep the spine straight.

It’s important not to go into any knee pain! If there is any discomfort in the knees try sitting on a yoga block.

#7. Navasana – Boat Pose

an annotated image of a man wearing black yoga clothes doing a boat pose

Begin sitting upright, bending your knees in front of you. Point and lift your toes up to create a V shape with your body and extend your arms out straight in front of you with the palms facing up.

This is a challenging posture for most of us. To increase abdominal strength, adjust the posture so you can hold it for a few breaths- keep the knees bent so the shins are parallel to the floor, rest your fingertips lightly on the floor for extra support.

#8. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Fold

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing seated forward bend Pose

Extend both legs in front of you. Flex your feet back towards you and reach to hold onto or around your toes. Inhale as you extend your spine up, and then exhale as your fold forwards bring your head down towards your knees.

As this is a grounding practice and intended to hold for a few breaths, if it feels like a strong stretch for the backs of your legs or your lower back you can bend the knees to find a comfortable stretch that you can hold. You can also raise the hips on folded blankets or a block.

#9. Upavistha Konasana – Wide-Legged Forward Fold

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing wide angle seated forward bend pose

Extend both legs and open them out to your sides, aim for 90 degrees, or wider if that is comfortable for you. Extend your arms in front of you on the mat and allow your body to come forwards. You might rest on the palms of your hands, or you may be able to bring your body down towards the ground. Find where it is comfortable for you to hold.

Bend your knees as much as you need to if you feel any discomfort in the back of the legs or lower back. You can also use blocks/ blankets or pillows to rest your body on as you fold forwards. Raising the hips up with blankets or a block can help you to fold forward if needed.

#10. Padmasana – Lotus Pose – Half and Full Lotus

an annotated image of a man wearing black yoga clothes sitting in lotus pose

Begin with Half Lotus – Sitting upright, bring one heel in as close as possible to your body, rest the other foot on top of the opposite thigh. Allow the knees to relax down to the mat. Rest your hands on your knees, or in Gyan Mudra (thumb touching index finger).

Repeat on the opposite side.

Full Lotus – If half lotus is available to you then you can continue to full lotus. Sat upright, place the left foot on top of the right thigh as close as possible to your body, then place your right foot on top of your left thigh. Rest your hands on your knees, or in Gyan Mudra and hold. 

Repeat on the opposite side.

As mentioned above, it is important not to go into any knee pain. If there is discomfort, you can go back to ‘easy pose’ described above. Lotus pose is a brilliant pose for meditation as it supports a straight spine and an alert but relaxed mind.

Finally, finish your practice with:

Savasana – Corpse pose

Lie down on your back and allow your arms and legs to relax, letting your feet fall out to the sides. Close your eyes and allow the ground to hold you for a few minutes as you receive the benefits of your grounding yoga practice.

Enjoy.

For More Poses, Check out our seated yoga pose guide

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