Easy Pose (basic crosslegged position): Aligment Tips & Modifications

The basic cross-legged seated position in Kundalini Yoga is called Easy Pose, but for most people in our culture, who are used to propping themselves up on un-spine-friendly chairs all day long, Easy Pose isn\'t so easy!

Sitting cross-legged is an important position because it\'s very secure and grounding, and is a good base of support for all of our upward aspiring work! It is important to be sure that your spine is straight while acknowledging its natural curves. This means lengthening through the spine, but not trying to achieve a ramrod straight line, which may
cause unnecessary tension. A natural lengthening of the spine allows energy to flow optimally.

When sitting, the sitting bones become your \"feet.\" Sit just forward of your sitting bones (like a dancer ready to leap, bringing their weight to the balls of the feet ). This will automatically give a lift to the pelvic floor and form a vital base of support for your inner organs, core musculature, and upper body. Lift the sternum and soften the front ribs. Relax the shoulders and press the upper arm bones back to widen the collarbones. Again, soften the front ribs. I you reach behind your lower you\'ll ideally feel a slight inward curve of your lower spine.

Are your knees higher than your hips? Are you unable to straighten your spine? Are you experiencing discomfort? If so, you should modify the pose by sitting on the edge of a folded blanket, stack of folded blankets, a bolster. or even a chair. You can also sit on your heels if this is more comfortable for you. It is important to accommodate
yourself so that you can focus on your yoga practice. If is perfectly okay to be creative in this regard. In light of any modification, just be sure to keep your hips square. If sitting on the edge of a chair, keep your feet flat and firmly rooted into the floor.

If you experience discomfort in sitting crosslegged, try sitting on a stack of blankets or pillow. A great trick is to sit on the triangle, or corner, edge of the blankets so your things can slowly and gently leverage themselves towards the floor as you sit. Gravity will help to ease open your hips.

Whenever a cross-legged pose is called for, you can also stack blankets against a wall and use the support of the wall to help guide your alignment and support your back muscles. If sitting on the floor is just not an option, you can sit on the edge of a firm chair.

Your Easy Pose Posture will improve over time with a consistent Kundalini Yoga practice. Sometimes difficulty sitting cross-legged is a result of an anatomical issue such as narrow hips which keep us from sitting in comfort with our legs crossed, but most often it\'s a result of tightness in the hamstrings, hips, inner thighs and/or external
rotators. All of the ubiquitous Kundalini Yoga warm-ups target these areas and will loosen things up over time.

When sitting in Easy Pose, the wrists are on the knees, index fingers and thumbtips meeting, palms facing slightly up, elbows lightly locked. Energetically, this creates a pyramid which is said to have the ability
to attract and magnify energy.

Practice Tip: When working on achieving good seated posture, try looking at yourself in a mirror to assess your progress.(also see Hip Opening in this archive)