Alternative to Sukhasana


#1

Some people having trouble sitting in sukhasana or any other leg crossed position. Meanwhile most of warm ups are happening in this pose.

Do you know any alternatives to sukhasana or modifications that can help to sit in the pose longer and KEEP THE SPINE straight?

Taking but up with Block or cushion do not help.

Thanks


#2

Cow faced.

Taylors/cobblers/butterfly.

Stick.

Sv(w)astika.

Vira/vajra variations. Can sit on heels with only the flexed toes as the base - in addition of course to the knees. Pillows under the But can make this pose very easy.

Sitting asanas are for many the most difficult. For many reasons:

Like they haven’t done any exercise or stretching much in life therefore they are about as flexible as a slab of concrete.
Sitting in chairs and on couches all the life makes the joints stiffy.

When sitting at the computer. I sit in svastika or lotus or vira.

Its uncomfortable for me to sit “right” in chairs. Certain chairs are great. Most suck.

Sit em in chairs.


#3

I have my students place pillows under their thighs and a blanket under their feet to cushion the ankles. I find that the addition of what I just mentioned and raising the hips with either a blanket or pillow is usually sufficient for those who find it uncomfortable.

You can also have them sit against a wall with a block at the shoulder blades.


#4

[QUOTE=The Scales;35700]Cow faced.

Taylors/cobblers/butterfly.

Stick.

Sv(w)astika.

Sitting asanas are for many the most difficult. For many reasons:

Like they haven’t done any exercise or stretching much in life therefore they are about as flexible as a slab of concrete.
Sitting in chairs and on couches all the life makes the joints stiffy.

Sit em in chairs.[/QUOTE]

Any vira is impossible… as well as cow face…
I will try coblers, sounds like a good idea…

What is swastikasana…i’ve seen it somwhere in the book…but can t find online


#5

eh its like an variation of siddha . . . Sorry.

why is vira impossible?

[B]very possible with enough height under the butt to eliminate pressure on the kness.[/B]

Sounds like your working out a bunch of dusty old crumugdeons.

Those ol bitys need to move not sit. They can sit in a chair.

Look at the Pawanmuktasana series from the Swami / Paramhansa Satyananda Saraswati. It was developed with the rusty crusties in mind.


#6

[QUOTE=The Scales;35709]

[B]very possible with enough height under the butt to eliminate pressure on the kness.[/B]

Sounds like your working out a bunch of dusty old crumugdeons.

Look at the Pawanmuktasana series from the Swami / Paramhansa Satyananda Saraswati. It was developed with the rusty crusties in mind.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for some good insights, Scales.
Speaking of virasana…even with a blanket under the but some feel too much pressure on the ankles… when I ask them to tuck the toes under and this is not a virasana anymore:)
I work with young people, wrestlers, and older people. Some elderly are amazingly flexible and some 20 y.o. are amazingly stiff, weak and inflexible.
So it is not about the age all the times.
Thank you for the hints - i will have a look


#7

Hi CityMonk,

You might want to consider modified[U] siddhasana[/U]. There a host of benefits to this pose.This is generally my meditative seat/pose of choice.(Full Padmasana is advanced certainly for any length of time, and would be unwise for many people; padmasana or sirsasana does [I]not[/I] define yoga)

When doing modified siddhasana:-

[ol]
[li]Don’t feel compelled to have the heel of lower foot touching perieum.No big deal.[/li][li] Also don’t expect alot of folk to have the foot of the outlying leg resting between calf and inner thigh as it is perfected.Better you have outlying leg lying in front than say force anything.You can have a cushion or block under raised knee for support. Alternate legs when tired,i.e switch.[/li][/ol]

And if neceesary you can have some leg-loosening excercises performed in dandasana ,eyes straight ahead,eyes can be closed say if you feel comfortable doing that.Can be done before-hand to warm up.

What i do when coming out or unlocking the knee safely after meditative seat, or even before, is:-

[ol]
[li] Bring legs out straight,as in Dandasana…[/li][li] Then raise leg with straight arm grasping underneath lower thigh near underside knee .[/li][li] pull knee cap towards yourself by contracting the quads gently and simulataneously inhale if possible.[/li][li] Then bend knee pulling towards chest while exhaling.You can do up to 3 times each side.[/li][/ol]

This helps to safely unlock the knees when exiting or before entering a meditative seat/asana.

You can focus on rising sexual energies in the perineum (cervix for women) or root chakra and or concentrate on the third eye, with eyes closed.Feel the bliss.

*&You can do some gentle pranayam in supine position ,i.e lying down beforehand & through the nose(i believe Iyengar eventually instructed like this for certain folk like the stiff because he made the observation that many stiff folk were unable to sit and be relaxed enough,too restless or uncomfortable in the body, to bring suitable focus to pranayama so , i believe, he adopted this variation-it may not be ideal but it can be enough for v. basic pranayama for folk with such issues), to get the energies moving. This helps to relax the nervous system,calm the mind too beforehand or at any stage in practice…Bring about one-pointedness.

You can always do some light asana afterwards or before depnding on inclination and intended effect.It’s all about coaxing. If the sit bones are grounding equallythen that’s a good sign,spine upright but relaxed etc.You can continue whatever you care to do in a stable yet comfortable seat.

http://www.yogaartandscience.com/poses/seatp/sidd/sidd.html

http://www.nandhi.com/siddhasana2.htm

When you take a look at these two pics above. You can modify this seat so that the lower leg does not have to touch the perineum and the outlying leg can be resting on the floor in front.This is fine.And alternate when stiff. As long as you are stable and comfortable.Never force.At least,this is what i do.

Mukunda Stiles offers a joint freeing series -

http://www.yogaforums.com/forums/f18/joint-freeing-series-foot-to-head-279.html

PDF- JOINT-FREEING SERIES MUKUNDA STILES- Found affixed to this post. <SEE BELOW>

This is not the one i do but somewhat similar.For that you can check out this link here called the Pawanmuktasana series for which there are 3.
PAWANMUKTASANA SERIES-From the Bihar school of yoga and can be found in their publication [I][U]Asana,Pranayama,Mudra & Bandhas[/U].[/I] by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Sometimes called the energy-freeing series because essentially that’s what it does.Try it out for yourself.

All these joint-lossening and energy-freeiing excercises will help you to sit in a stable yet comfortable seat.

Also janu sirsasana, you can consider incorporating that in there too.


#8

Thank you, Core!


#9

Note(Above Post):- Instruction Set 2, No. 4- The contraction/leg is then relaxed as you bring it towards chest (while simulataneously exhaling, if comfortable).

Just in case that’s not clear.

Referred to in that link as [U]Janu Naman[/U] (knee-bending)-Pawanmuktasana, Series 1.

It’s a useful post-meditation movement to keep the knees safe and protected.


#10

Thank you core for good links! I will use them for sure in my beginner-1 class. I still probably need to sit new students on chairs or do a standing warm ups…:frowning:


#11