There is power in tranquility. Immerse yourself in Sukhasana, the easy pose, and bring a moment of calm to your hectic daily life.
The seated exercise has been practiced for centuries as a preferred meditation posture, cultivating inner peace and relaxation.
It strengthens postural awareness, calms the mind, and promotes concentration and clarity.
In this article, you’ll learn about the proper execution of Sukhasana, variations, and health benefits.
Table of Contents:
- What Is Sukhasana or Easy Pose?
- What Are the Five Benefits of Sukhasana?
- How to Do Sukhasana Step by Step?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is Sukhasana or Easy Pose?
Sukhasana, or easy pose, is a simple and stable posture foundation for meditation or breathing exercises.
In it, you sit with your spine erect and your eyes gently closed while your thoughts are meant to come to rest. The exercise improves posture, calms the mind, reduces anxiety and stress, and promotes mental clarity and concentration.
Yogis have practiced Sukhasana for centuries as a preferred meditation posture. It is a fundamental, very ancient yoga posture marked on the earliest images of yogis. In many traditions, the posture aims to let oneself fall into a meditative state.
The name derives from two Sanskrit words: “Sukha” means gentle or pleasant, and “Asana” means posture. “Sukh” in Sanskrit means joyful, a feeling we can find in meditation. Sukhasana is one of the many ways to get into this state.
Children often find this yoga exercise easier because their joints are more flexible. For people who sit a lot or work at a computer, the posture is usually not as easy as it first appears due to narrow hips or a forward-bent torso. Many people must first learn to sit upright and calmly on the floor.
Energetically, the connection to the earth activates the root chakra and the opposite pole, the crown chakra. This connection makes the posture an ideal foundation for meditation.
Is Sukhasana Suitable for Beginners?
Sukhasana is very suitable for beginners and is one of the first and most basic yoga poses you should learn.
Which Yoga Classes practice Sukhasana?
Sukhasana is practiced in all yoga classes, especially at the beginning to arrive and at the very end to conclude, including:
What Are the Five Benefits of Sukhasana?
The effect of Sukhasana is calming and relaxing. The yoga pose improves postural awareness, strengthens back and abdominal muscles, and thus relieves back pain.
It also creates an optimal foundation for meditation exercises and can help manage stress and calm the mind.
The easy pose activates the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) and deactivates the stress response (sympathetic nervous system). It can also help lower or regulate blood pressure.
Incorporating Sukhasana into your daily routine can profoundly affect your overall well-being. Discover the five crucial benefits of Sukhasana:
1. Relieves Back Pain
According to an American study, performing yoga exercises such as cross-legged sitting is a cost-effective way to reduce pain and limitations in people suffering from chronic back pain (Colgrove et al. 20191).
2. Increases Performance
Hatha yoga poses, including the easy pose, can increase physical fitness, according to Indian researchers.
They found measurable improvements in physical performance, economy of breathing, and cardiovascular reserve, although the exercises are low intensity.
The researchers say that psychophysiological factors and better relaxation through yoga may also contribute (Ray et al. 20112).
3. Fights Diabetes
In one study, 30- to 60-year-old people with diabetes underwent a 40-day yoga program. It included 13 poses. Sukhasana was one of them.
Afterward, a significant reduction in waist-to-hip ratio and changes in insulin levels were noted.
This result suggests improved glucose utilization and fat redistribution. The researchers conclude that yoga asanas can be used effectively as an adjunct to diet and medication in treating type 2 diabetes (Malhorta et al. 20053).
Metabolic syndrome is a collective term for cardiovascular risk factors associated with diabetes.
During one study, 182 people with metabolic syndrome completed a specific yoga program that included Sukhasana.
The practice improved cardiovascular risk factors, including central obesity and blood pressure, in middle-aged and older adults (Siu et al. 20154).
4. Lowers Hypertension
Sitting in the easy pose and doing slow breathing exercises (pranayama) can lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate.
A 2009 study supports this conducted on 39 people between the ages of 25 and 40 (Pramanik et al. 20095).
5. Improves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
People between the ages of 11 and 18 with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) underwent a yoga practice in a clinical setting that included the easy pose.
After the yoga intervention, the participants had significantly lower gastrointestinal symptom scores and emotional avoidance behaviors.
The adolescents found the yoga helpful and indicated they would continue using it to manage their IBS (Kuttner et al. 20066).
How to Do Sukhasana Step by Step?
- Sit upright on the mat.
- Cross the lower legs and bring each foot under the opposite knee as best you can. Bring the lower legs close to your torso. Make sure the knees are in a slight downward line to the hips.
- Relax the feet so that the outer edges rest comfortably on the floor. There should be a comfortable distance between the feet and the pelvis.
- Straighten the spine in its natural vibration.
- Let the shoulders sink back down in a relaxed manner. The hands are placed loosely on the lap or knees. Turn the palms upward (more open) or downward (more calming).
- Keep your eyes closed while doing this. You can remain seated in this position for as long as you like.
Avoid a slouched posture in both the back and neck.
Make sure your spine is straight. Sit on a pillow or folded blanket to raise your hips and lengthen your spine.
Pull your shoulders away from your ears. Relax the shoulders and pull them down and back.
Don’t arch your lower back too much, as in a backbend, but maintain the natural sway of the spine.
Sitting in the posture for long periods can restrict blood flow to the legs. In this case, it may help not to pull the feet too close to the pelvis or not to stay in the posture too long.
Expert Tips to Improve
- Let the breath flow calmly and evenly.
- Pull your chin forward and imagine your neck being gently pulled upward.
- Be sure to cross your legs alternately each time you come into the pose so that once your left leg is up and once your right leg is up.
- A firm pillow or folded blanket under your buttocks can help keep your spine nice and erect if your back gets slightly round.
- Keep your pelvis in a neutral position.
- Extend yourself with your tailbone toward the floor while imagining the highest part of your head being pulled upward.
- To open more space for the hips, sit on one or more folded blankets to raise your hips slightly. Padding under the knees can also give more stability and uprightness.
- Sit on the front edge of the folded blanket or a yoga bolster to compensate for a rounded back. Lean slightly forward on it to tilt your pelvis slightly forward and neutralize your spine.
- If your knees are far off the ground, place yoga blocks or a folded blanket under your knees to relieve pressure in your hips and knees.
- For added comfort, you can also place a blanket under your ankles.
- A prevalent variation is the hero pose, Virasana. You sit with your pelvis on your heels. The legs are parallel.
- Practice Sukhasana sitting with your back against the wall to support your back better.
- Sit on a chair with your back straight. This variation is instrumental if you have circulation problems or if your legs fall asleep quickly and you still want to stay in the position longer.
- If you already have well-stretched hips, you can also try the lotus seat or half-lotus seat, in which your feet are not under your knees but on the inside of your thighs.
- Another variation is Parivrtta Sukhasana, the easy pose with a twist. While sitting cross-legged, turn your upright torso to the right, grasp your right knee with your left hand, and place your right fingertips very slightly behind your right hip. Repeat the rotation on the other side. The exercise is optimal for mobilizing the spine but unsuitable for meditation.
- Staff Pose (Dandasana)
- Cat-Cow (Marjaryasana – Bitilasana)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it good to sit in Sukhasana?
The easy pose has many health benefits, such as improving posture or relieving back pain, and is used to manage stress and relax the body and mind.
Who should not do the easy pose?
If you have circulation problems in your legs or severe knee pain, you should not stay in Sukhasana for too long or do a variation.
Why is Sukhasana difficult?
To overcome difficulties, sit upright on the floor, cross your lower legs, and bring each foot under the opposite knee.
How long can we sit in Sukhasana?
You can stay in the posture as long as it is comfortable.
1Colgrove, Y. M., Gravino-Dunn, N. S., Dinyer, S. C., Sis, E. A., Heier, A. C., & Sharma, N. K. (2019). Physical and Physiological Effects of Yoga for an Underserved Population with Chronic Low Back Pain. International Journal of Yoga, 12(3), 252-264. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_78_18
2Ray, U. S., Pathak, A., & Tomer, O. S. (2011). Hatha Yoga Practices: Energy Expenditure, Respiratory Changes and Intensity of Exercise. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : ECAM, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neq046
3Malhotra, V., Singh, S., Tandon, O. P., & Sharma, S. B. (2005). The beneficial effect of yoga in diabetes. Nepal Medical College journal : NMCJ, 7(2), 145–147.
4Siu, P. M., Yu, A. P., Benzie, I. F., & Woo, J. (2015). Effects of 1-year yoga on cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older adults with metabolic syndrome: A randomized trial. Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13098-015-0034-3
5Pramanik, T., Sharma, H. O., Mishra, S., Mishra, A., Prajapati, R., & Singh, S. (2009). Immediate effect of slow pace bhastrika pranayama on blood pressure and heart rate. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 15(3), 293–295. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2008.0440
6Kuttner, L., Chambers, C. T., Hardial, J., Israel, D. M., Jacobson, K., & Evans, K. (2005). A randomized trial of yoga for adolescents with irritable bowel syndrome. Pain Research & Management : The Journal of the Canadian Pain Society, 11(4), 217-224. https://doi.org/10.1155/2006/731628
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