Sukhasana. (Easy pose)

We have been starting the class in Sukhasana (easy pose), and I am aware that for some this is far from easy, and that making the necessary physical adjustments in order to sit in this position may take our attention away from the intended core practices.
Sukhasana is intended to be a relaxing posture that allows us to sit for prolonged periods of time. It is therefore one of the base postures.
So what do we do when it is so uncomfortable that we cannot sustain it?
If the knees do not come close to the ground, the buttocks and lower back may tense up as they attempt to support the body.
We need to encourage the knees down so that they touch the floor or are, at least, lower than the hips. This is why I encourage you to experiment with sitting on a block or two so that the elevated position of the buttocks can allow the knees to release down to the pull of gravity. However if the hips are tight there will inevitably be some protective resistance building up that prevents further opening of the hips and therefore keeps the knees higher than the hips.
Once you have placed the blocks under your buttocks, notice how your knees are placed. If they are still higher than your hips and your hips feel tight then place a soft block or bolster cushion under the knees to support the knees and allow the hips to release their resistance. This way the hips will learn to relax in this position and flexibility in the hip joint will gradually improve.
Remeber we are not fighting with the body, instead we are suporting it and making it comfortable so that it can let go of the tension that holds it.
We now need to check whether the chest is in a good upright position. We can guage the potential to relax in this seated position by noticing what the chest is doing. If the chest tends to collapse, it will result in the lower back rounding off and the hips tightening even further. So we will need to lift the chest slightly and this will encourage an upright spine and allow the hips and buttocks to release a little. If when you lift the chest your lumber spine feels tense and tight, then you will have lifted too far. We should be able to feel the breath moving the lumber region just as it moves the whole spine. Whenever this sensation is lost we have no doubt tensed up again.
It is a constant practice of mindfulness that keeps us steady in our yoga postures.
Once this chest alignment is achieved we will be able to notice that the shoulders can relax in their natural position resting above the ribcage, and that the breath moves freely through the body.
If you find that even with these adjustments you still cannot find comfort in Sukhasana, practice sitting with all the support in place and your spine supported against a wall for 10 minutes each day.
Most people will find that the body will learn to adapt and relax so that the posture becomes easy as its name suggests.
If no improvements are noted after a month of regular daily practice it may be helpful to use a specially designed adjustable support belt that holds the lumber spine and the knees. If you feel you would like to try this let me know. I have only one of these available so if you would like to use it for a month you will need to give me notice.



Published by liz on Thursday, 14 November 2013, last updated on Thursday, 14 November 2013 at 5:02PM
Categories: Yoga Practice

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