Eagle Pose
March 31, 2015
Eight Angle Pose
March 30, 2015

Easy Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

, , ,

Pose Type

,

Sanskrit

Sukhasana
(suk-HAS-anna)
sukha = comfort, happiness, ease

BENEFITS

  • Calms the brain and reduces anxiety
  • Begins to open the hips for yoga practice
  • Stretches the knees and ankles
  • Strengthens the back
  • Relieves mental and physical fatigue

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Knee injury
  • Ankle injury
  • Hip injury

HOW TO

  1. Sit down on your mat with your legs extended in front of you in Dandasana (Staff pose).
  2. Bend your knees and cross your legs inward, crossing one shin in front of the other.
  3. Relax your feet so the outer edge of each foot is resting on the ground. Maintain a slight gap between your pelvis and your feet.
  4. Bring your right hand to your right knee, and left hand to left knee. You can rest your hands here with your palms facing down, join the palms together in prayer, or position them in Guyan Mudra. (For the latter, touch your index finger to your thumb, and extend your middle, ring, and pinky fingers.)
  5. Close your eyes. Ground your sitting bones down and reach through the crown of your head to lengthen the spine.
  6. Hold this pose for 3-5 minutes, allowing your mind to become centered. Uncross your legs and repeat with the opposite shin forward.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Sit on a block or a blanket to raise your pelvis above your knees.
  • Sit with your back to a wall to help lengthen your spine.

SEQUENCING TIPS

  • Sukhasana is typically included at the beginning or end of a sequence.
  • It may be utilized for a brief meditation after Savasana (Corpse pose).

TEACHING CUES

  • Ideally, your pelvis should be higher than your knees. If your hips are tight, sit on a blanket or block.
  • Lengthen your spine through the crown of your head, keeping your chin parallel to the ground.
  • Focus on the breath, letting go of whatever you did before practice or whatever you need to do after. Go inside.

VARIATIONS

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Leaning too far in one direction
  • Fidgeting
  • Rounding the back
  • Overstretching the knees or ankles