Sukasana ~ Easy Pose

Anatomy of a Pose: Sukhasana (Easy Cross-Legged Pose)

Sukhasana is the seated position most commonly used in meditation. Accordingly, many of the other poses of Hatha Yoga are directed toward making it easier and more comfortable to sit for long periods in this pose. In fact, the Sanskrit word asana is often translated to mean “a comfortable and easy position.”

To sit comfortably in Sukhasana, we want to minimize the muscular effort required to be in the pose. One way to achieve this is by bringing the knees closer to the mat, thereby lowering the center of gravity toward the pelvic core. Do this by stretching the muscles that surround the hips, especially the adductors and internal rotators. This allows the femurs to abduct and externally rotate.

Align the vertebral column over the pelvis so that the weight of the trunk is supported by the skeleton (bones) instead of primarily by muscular contraction. This makes it possible to hold the pose with less effort. Use closed chain contraction of the latissimus dorsi to draw the torso forward so that the mechanical axis (the direction of gravity) and the anatomical axis of the vertebral column align with each other. Refine the pose by engaging the accessory muscles of breathing to expand the chest.


Basic Joint Positions

• The hips flex, abduct, and externally rotate.

• The knees flex.

• The ankles are neutral.

• The trunk extends slightly.

• The shoulders flex slightly.

by Ray Long, MD, FRCSC

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