How to Do the Yoga Easy Posture (Sukhasana)

According to Yoga master Patanjali, a posture must be “steady” (sthira) and “easeful” (sukha). The basic Yoga sitting position is called, appropriately, the easy/easeful posture (sukhasana); Westerners sometimes call it the tailor’s seat. Beginners should start their floor sitting practice with the easy posture.

The easy posture is a steady and comfortable sitting position for meditation and breathing exercises. The posture also helps you become more aware of and actually increase the flexibility in your hips and spine. It’s good preparation for more advanced postures.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you; place your hands on the floor beside your hips, with your palms down and fingers pointing forward.

    Shake your legs up and down a few times to get the kinks out.

  2. Cross your legs at the ankles with the left leg on top and the right leg below.

    [Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham]
    Credit: Photograph by Adam Latham
  3. Press your palms on the floor, and slide each foot toward the opposite knee until your right foot is underneath your left knee and your left foot is underneath your right knee.

  4. Lengthen the spine by stretching your back in an upward motion, and balance your head over your torso.

In the classic (traditionally taught) posture, you drop your chin to your chest, extend your arms, and lock your elbows. It’s recommended, however, that you rest your hands on your knees with your palms down and elbows bent, and keep your head upright; that modification is more relaxing for beginners.

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