Easy Pose, Sukhasana, (su-khaa-suh-nuh)
sukha (easy or pleasant) + asana (pose)
Also Known as Cross-legged pose
Easy Pose, although easier than Lotus Pose, can still prove challenging if the best part of your sitting is done in chairs
easy pose Fundamentals
Can you find ease in easy pose? The quintessential yoga meditation pose that is typically shown with a picture of someone peacefully meditating by a mountainside can prove to be a challenge for many.
We spend a good chunk of our waking hours slouching, slumping or hunching on a piece of furniture (couch, office chair, desk) typically staring at a computer, phone or TV screen (sometimes all three if we’re honest). As children, sitting on the floor with our legs crossed came naturally but as adults, this is no longer the case.
Easy pose is not so easy anymore. And so the journey in this pose is to find the ease.
If we want to cultivate good posture and start at the root, easy seat pose is the place to start. In fact, the ancient yogis and sages created the physical practice of yoga to be able to sit in easy seat for several hours at a time in meditation.This pose targets the hips, pelvic joints, and spine, counteracting the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle and restoring the natural spinal alertness and hip flexibility we had in our childhood. It is a foundational pose to connect to for improved posture and total mind-body connection.
Our spine is the superhighway where energy and prana flow. When we align correctly energy or prana, can flow through our body’s superhighway, the spine, freely through the chakras. Build from the ground up and balance between Sthira (stability/ yang) and Sukah (ease/ yin) as you build a strong base and grow up tall through the spine in easy pose.
easy pose Benefits
- Improves posture and reduces slumping.
- Tones the core and back muscles that support the spine.
- Creates instant mind-body alertness.
- Focuses on stretching the hips and spine.
- Instantly grounds and roots you, bringing you to a place of soft but firm.
- Calms and relaxes a fired-up nervous system.
How To Do easy pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Come to sit on the ground by crossing your shins, place your ankles under the opposite knee.
2. Root down through the sit bones. Connecting to the earth. Keep a comfortable space between your pubic bone and legs.
3. Slightly tuck the chin into the chest or bring it parallel to the ground. Feel the skin on the back of the neck stretch.
4. Round the spine then slowly start to grow taller.
5.. Engage the core by driving navel to spine.
6. Lengthen through the crown of the head.
7. Roll the shoulders up to the ears and down the back. Tag weight in the elbows to create space between the neck and shoulders.
8. Lift up through the heart- sternum- grounding the lower body down but lifting up to the sky.
8. Hands can come to rest on the lap or rest gently on the knees. Palms face up or down, yogi’s choice.
9. Kiss the shoulder blades together.
10. Head over heart- heart over pelvis- awareness leads to ease, find a balance between soft and firm. Close the eyes or soften the gaze. Imagine your lower body growing heavy as it supports your spine to lengthen.
11. Take 6-10 breaths here or stay as long as you need. This is a great pose to come into for mediation practice and at any point in our yoga practice.
Tips And Tricks:
- Try straightening the legs out if crossing the legs causes you any discomfort.
- If you feel yourself coming forward or back, bring your palms together in Anjali mudra at the center of your chest to help lift your chest.
- Switch up the leg that goes in closer to you and the leg that goes in front for an even stretch in both legs.
- The abdominal muscles protect the back so make sure to engage the core.
- Build it from the ground up, focus on finding a strong-rooted base with the legs and pelvis to lift and support the spine which can then support the neck and skull.
easy pose Variation:
Easy Pose Variation: Easy Pose With Blanket
Sit on a blanket to lift the hips up and tilt the pelvis down towards the earth. The tops of thighs can melt down and hips can open up a little more. You will find a greater foundation to support the spine.
Easy Pose Variation: Easy Pose With Back Against The Wall
Try using a wall to assist you and support your back. Careful not to crash onto the low back but engage the core and align head over heart, heart over the pelvis. Allow for the natural curvature of your lumbar spine (low back) instead of smooshing your low back flat to the wall.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Sciatica, Hip, Knee, or Ankle Injury
You will bear your upper body weight onto the hip, knee, and ankle joints in this pose. If you are suffering from Sciatica, knee, or hip injury, try sitting on a chair in this pose instead.
Lower Back Injury
This pose aims to take pressure off the low back by engaging the core and growing up tall but it will add strain to a low back injury and getting back up might be very hard. Opt for a standing pose instead or skip it.
For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.
Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.