The basic cross legged seated position is quite common in a Kundalini Yoga practice. This position is called “Easy Pose’ but in modern Western society where we are used to propping ourselves up in un spine friendly chairs all day long, it does not always feel like an “easy” pose!
Sitting cross legged is an important position because it is very secure and grounding and a good base of support for all our upward aspiring work! It is important to be sure that your spine is straight while acknowledging its natural curves. This means lengthening through the spine, not trying to achieve a ramrod straight line which may cause unnecessary tension. As long as the spine is lenghtened ideally, the energy can move the way its meant to.
When sitting, the sitting bones become your “feet.” Sit just forward of your sitting bones (as if bringing your weight to the balls of the feet like a dancer would). This will automatically give a lift of your pelvic floor and form a vital base of support for your inner organs, core musculature, and upper body. Lift the sternum and soften the front ribs. Relax the shoulders and press the upper arm bones back to widen the collarbones. Again, soften the front ribs. If you were to reach a palm behind your lower back you should feel a slight curve inward of the lower spine.
Are your knees higher than your hips? Are you unable to straighten your spine? Are you experiencing discomfort? If so, you should modify the pose by sitting on the edge of a folded blanket, stack of folded blankets, or a bolster. or even a chair. You can also sit on your heels if this is more comfortable for you. It is important to find a way to make yourself comfortable so you can continue to do your yoga practice. If is perfectly okay to be creative in this regard. Just be sure what ever prop you may choose to keep hips square. If sitting on the edge of a chair, keep your feet flat and firmly rooted into the floor or a book or cushion.
Your Easy Pose Posture will improve over time with a consistent Kundalini Yoga practice. Sometimes it is an anatomical issue such as very narrow hips that keeps us from sitting in comfort with our legs crossed, but most often is tightness in the hamstrings, hips, inner thighs and/or external rotators. All of the common Kundalini Yoga warm-ups target these areas and will loosen things up over time.
tip: When working on achieving good seated posture you might try looking at yourself in a mirror as you practice from time to time.
If you experience discomfort in sitting crosslegged, try sitting on a stack of blankets or pillow. A great trick is to sit on the triangle, or corner, edge of the blankets so your things can slowly and gently leverage themselves towards the floor as you sit. Gravity will help to ease open your hips.
When meditating, you can also stack the blankets aginast a wall and use the support of the wall to help guide your alignment and support your back muscles. If sitting on the floor is just not an option for whatever reason, you can sit on the edge of a firm chair whenever a crosslegged pose is called for. (see \”Hip Opening)\”