Sitting Yoga Poses
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Sitting Yoga Poses: Basic and Advanced Seated Poses

Starting with sitting yoga poses helps to center and ground the practitioner, preparing both the mind and body for the practice ahead. As the session progresses and the body becomes warmer and more flexible, revisiting these poses towards the end can deepen the stretch and provide an opportunity for relaxation and reflection. Props can be incredibly helpful, especially for beginners or those with limited flexibility, in ensuring proper alignment and safety during the practice.

Sitting Yoga Poses

1. Sukhasana – Comfortable Pose (cross-legged)

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Sukhasana – Comfortable Pose (cross-legged)

Easy Pose or Sukhasana, is a wonderful option for those who find Siddhasana (Perfect Pose or Accomplished Pose), Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose), or Padmasana (Lotus Pose) challenging or uncomfortable. It’s a comfortable cross-legged position that is accessible to most practitioners and provides many benefits, including alleviating anxiety, opening the hips, and stretching the ankles and knees. Its simplicity makes it a great choice for beginners and experienced practitioners alike, especially during meditation or pranayama (breath control) practices. Plus, it can easily be modified with props like cushions or blankets to enhance comfort and support.

2. Siddhasana – Accomplished Pose

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Siddhasana – Pose of the Adept

Perfect Pose, is well-suited for practices like pranayama and meditation due to its calming effects on the mind and its ability to balance the nadis (energy channels) in the body. By sitting in Siddhasana, with one heel pressed against the perineum and the other foot placed in front of the groin, the body naturally aligns itself in a stable and grounded position, which promotes a sense of centeredness and focus.

Furthermore, Siddhasana is believed to activate the spiritual energy of the chakras, particularly the Muladhara (root) and Svadhishthana (sacral) chakras, which are associated with grounding and creativity, respectively. This activation can facilitate a deeper connection to one’s spiritual self and enhance the overall meditative experience.

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3. Vajrasana – Sitting on the Heels.

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Vajrasana – Sitting on the Heels.

Thunderbolt Pose or Vajrasana, is known for its calming effects on both the body and mind. By kneeling and sitting back on the heels with the spine erect, Vajrasana promotes proper posture and alignment, which can help alleviate tension and stress in the body.

One of the notable benefits of Vajrasana is its ability to stimulate digestion. Sitting in this posture after a meal can help improve digestion by encouraging the flow of blood to the digestive organs and promoting optimal function. It can also help prevent conditions like indigestion, bloating, and acidity that may arise after eating.

Practicing Vajrasana for 5-10 minutes after a meal is indeed a common recommendation in yoga practice. This short period of time allows the body to fully settle into the pose and reap the benefits of improved digestion.

4. Ardha Padmasana – Half-Lotus Pose

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Ardha Padmasana – Half-Lotus

Half-Lotus Pose (Ardha Padmasana), is often recommended for those who find sitting comfortably in the full Padmasana (Lotus Pose) challenging or inaccessible. In Ardha Padmasana, one foot is placed on the opposite thigh while the other foot rests on the floor, either under the opposite thigh or in a comfortable position.

This variation allows practitioners to experience many of the benefits of Padmasana, such as improved posture, stability, and grounding, while also accommodating differences in flexibility and anatomical structure. Half-Lotus Pose can help open the hips and increase flexibility in preparation for the full Lotus Pose.

5. Padmasana – Lotus Pose

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Padmasana – Lotus

Lotus Pose (Padmasana), holds a special significance in yoga practice. Alongside Shirshasana (Headstand), it’s often revered as one of the supreme asanas due to its profound effects on the body, mind, and spirit.

Padmasana is known for its ability to activate and balance the chakras, the energy centers within the body according to yogic philosophy. By sitting in Padmasana, with the feet resting on opposite thighs and the spine elongated, energy is believed to flow freely through the body, harmonizing the chakras and promoting overall well-being.

Moreover, Padmasana has a calming effect on the mind, helping to quieten thoughts and cultivate a sense of inner peace and tranquility. This makes it an ideal posture for practices such as pranayama (breath control) and meditation

6. Cow Face Pose – Gomukhasana

Gomukhasana, or Cow Face Pose, can be challenging for many practitioners due to its deep stretches, particularly in the hips, shoulders, and arms.

A folded blanket or cushion can be placed under the sitting bones to elevate the hips, making it easier to maintain proper alignment and sit more comfortably in the pose.

For many practitioners, reaching both hands behind the back and clasping the fingers together can be difficult due to tightness in the shoulders or arms.

7. Dandasana – Staff Pose

The Staff Pose, or Dandasana, serves as a foundational posture in seated yoga practice, much like Mountain Pose (Tadasana) does in standing practice. Just as Tadasana establishes alignment and stability for standing poses, Dandasana provides the same principles for seated postures.

In Dandasana, the practitioner sits with the legs extended straight in front, spine tall, and shoulders relaxed. This alignment establishes a strong foundation, engaging the muscles of the core, legs, and back to support the body in an upright position.

By practicing Dandasana regularly and refining its alignment principles, practitioners can enhance their overall seated practice, improving posture, increasing flexibility, and cultivating a deeper connection to body and breath.

8. Baddha Konasana – Cobbler’s Pose

Cobbler’s Pose, also known as Baddha Konasana or Bound Angle Pose, is a wonderful hip-opening posture that can be further enhanced with a forward bend.

In Cobbler’s Pose, the soles of the feet are brought together with the knees bent out to the sides, resembling the shape of a butterfly’s wings. This posture alone already provides a deep stretch to the inner thighs and groins, helping to improve flexibility and mobility in the hips.

9. Virasana – Hero Pose

Hero Pose, or Virasana, a comfortable and stable posture for meditation, especially for those who struggle to maintain an erect spine in cross-legged positions.

In Hero Pose, the practitioner sits on the heels with the knees together and the feet slightly apart, allowing the buttocks to rest on the floor or on a prop if needed. This alignment naturally supports an upright spine, making it easier to maintain proper posture for extended periods of meditation.

Alternatively, sitting on a yoga block or bolster can provide additional support and make Hero Pose more accessible.

You can also read:-  Garudasana | Matsyasana | Types of Pranayama Yoga | Sheetali Pranayama | Ujjayi Pranayama | Bhramari pranayama | Bhastrika Pranayama | Surya Bhedana Pranayama | Udgeeth Pranayama | Anulom Vilom pranayama | Scientific Benefits of Pranayama

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Disclaimer

The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional