Camille Gatto in easy pose.
“Despite the name, this isn’t an easy or comfortable pose for most adults,” says Lori Whitby of Slave Lake Smiling Dog Yoga. “The way we have become accustomed to slouching into chair, tight hips, knee injuries, or lower-back pain can all work against us being comfortable.”
Whitby adds, “The most important part of this pose is a tall spine. This can be much easier to attain if you sit on a yoga block or a folded blanket. Balance evenly on the centre of your sitting bones as you slowly rock the pelvis forward and backward to find a position that allows you to have a gentle scoop or natural curve in the low-back.”
Next, Whitby says roll your shoulders up and back then relax them down to open up the chest.
“Feel the spine growing tall as you imagine the top of your head is gently being drawn up to the sky. Place the hands on the knees, palms facing up and, if you like, with the tips of the index fingers and thumbs on each hand touching,” she says. “Relax the face, jaw, and belly. Release the tongue from the roof of the mouth and breathe comfortably through the nose.”
And finally to finish, Whitby says, “Hold as long as comfortable; eyes can be open or closed and try to find stillness in the body as well as the mind. This is often the first pose in a yoga class and when comfortable is a steady pose for meditation.”
Once your legs are crossed you can place blocks or rolled up towels, blanket or pillows under each knee to help reduce strain. You can also extend one or both legs out in front of you as you work to release the hips and strengthen the core to sit taller.
Practice this against a wall and work to keep the shoulder blades touching the wall.
Opens the hips and creates a sense of balance throughout the body. Creates a stable base for meditation.