Step by step
- Begin sitting on the mat with the sitting bones on the front edge of a firm cushion or folded blanket.
- Cross your shins parallel to the mat, bringing each foot more or less beneath the opposite knee.
- Press your sitting bones down to find length in the spine. Firm your shoulder blades in.
- Place your hands on your lap or knees with palms up (more open), or down (calming).
- Try to switch the cross of your legs each time you come into the pose.
- Sit up on blocks or cushions to lift your hips and lengthen your spine.
- You can practise the pose with your back against a wall for extra support.
- If your knees do not rest on your feet, bring your feet closer to your pelvis and allow your shins to lie on your ankles.
- Place a folded blanket under the bony part of your ankles for extra comfort.
- Calms the mind.
- Strengthens the back.
- Keeps your hips mobile.
- Good pose to practise for meditation or for Pranayama.
Watch out for
- If you have a knee injury and you feel restriction or sensitivity in this pose, it’s best to avoid this pose for the time being. Sit with your legs outstretched as an alternative, or on a chair.
- Check if you are rounding in your lower back. If so, sit up on something so you can bring your hips higher than your knees and press the sit bones actively down.
- To get more of a feel for your posture, sit with your back to a wall. Wedge a block between the wall and your lower shoulder blades to feel what it is like to sit up straight.
- Add seated Cat Cows, forward folds, side stretches and twists to the pose as a warm-up for the spine.
- Try folding forward as a gentle hip opener. Change the cross of your legs and then repeat.