Sitting cross-legged opens up the hips, stretches the ankles, knees, hamstrings and groin, and improves posture.
- Opens up the hips.
- Stretches the ankles, knees, hamstrings and groin.
- Strengthens the spine.
- Improves posture.
- Sit cross-legged with one leg folded in front of the other.
- Keep your spine straight, stacking your shoulders directly over your hips. Slightly tuck your chin.
- Lightly engage your abs to support your spine.
- Relax your hips.
- Let your hands rest in your lap.
- Stay in the pose for a few minutes before switching legs.
- For such a seemingly simple pose—the Sanskrit name is Sukhasana or Easy Pose—sitting cross-legged requires good flexibility in the inner thighs, hamstrings and hip joints. If you’re unable to keep your back straight, sit on the edge of some cushions or a blocks to lift your hips up higher than your knees. This will allow your pelvis to rotate forward, bringing your spine into a neutral position.
- This is a passive pose, so don’t be tempted to push down on your knees to open up your hips faster, as this will actually create more tension. For quicker results, try sitting cross-legged for longer. Try to replace as much chair sitting as you can in this position. It will take time to loosen up those powerful muscles and tendons but eventually your groin will start to release and your posture will improve.
- Avoid this pose if you have a foot, ankle or knee injury.
MASTER THE POSE