Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Sukhasana is an asana in which the doer performing the asana assumes a pose of ease and comfort. Therefore it is called Sukhasana.
It is best suited for meditation. It can be done by people of all ages.
Sukha = Pleasure, Easy, Decent, Pleasant, Comfort
Asana = Pose, Posture
Easy Pose / Pleasure pose is an asana in which the doer performing the asana assumes a pose of ease and comfort. Therefore it is called Sukhasana. It is best suited for meditation. It can be done by people of all ages.
Preparation for Sukhasana
- It is basically a meditative pose. The person in this pose appears to be meditating. It bestows best effect in the serene hours of early morning.
- It is good if one performs the asana on empty stomach but it is not mandatory.
- But if one is planning to practice other asanas preceding or following Sukhasana, it is better to have food at least few hours before doing the asana (4-6 hours before asana for better effect and impact).
- One should also remember that the bowel and bladder should be kept empty and clean before performing it or even before starting to do it.
Method of doing Sukhasana
Positioning for the Asana
Sit erect keeping your feet stretched out in front of you.
Performing and getting to the Sukhasana- Pleasure pose:
- Next, cross your legs such that your knees are wide, your legs (shins) should cross each other and each foot should be placed under the knee i.e. the left foot below the right knee and the right foot below the left knee. Your knees should be bent. Your legs should be tucked into your torso.
- Keep your feet relaxed. The outer edges of your feet should rest on the floor. The inner edges of your feet should arch on your shins. When you look down towards your legs you must be able to see a triangle formed by your crossed shins and both your thighs.
- Ensure that a comfortable space is there between your pelvis and feet. Keep your pelvis in a neutral position.
- Balance your back in such a way that your tailbone and your pubic bone are placed at equal distance from the floor.
- Now place your palms stacked up in your lap. Alternatively you can place your palms on your knees with your palms either facing up or down.
- Now elongate your tailbone. Firm up your shoulders. Do not arch your lower back such that it pokes the lower ribs forward.
- In Yoga it is said that if you can sit for 2 hours and 32 minutes in a pose or asana, it means that you have mastered that asana to perfection. With respect to Comfort pose, you can sit in this pose as long as you are comfortable.
- You can alternate the crossings of your legs. On even days you can keep your right leg over your left leg and on odd days you can do the opposite, i.e. place your left leg on your right leg.
Release from the asana and coming back to the point of start
- Slowly release your legs from the crossing positions.
- Come to the starting position i.e. sit erect by placing your legs spread right in front of you.
Advanced pose (variation of Sukhasana)
- Position of Meditation is the advanced pose alteration of Sukhasana. Sukhasana looks an extremely easy pose to do but actually it is not an easy job to do this asana with utmost ease. It needs constant practice and mastery over it. Once you get into this pose comfortably, you need to set a strong intention and lean into a state of meditation. With constant practice, you will definitely experience ultimate happiness and joy filling your heart.
Purva and Paschat Asanas
Purva Asanas (Preparatory Asanas)
Dandasana – Before Sukhasana, you can do Dandasana.
Paschat Asanas (Post-Sukhasana Poses, follow up poses of Sukhasana)
After performing Sukhasana, one can perform –
What time should be spent in the pose while doing Sukhasana?
One can stay in this poseas long as one is comfortable to be in the pose. It can be done for a time period of 2 hours 32 minutes at a stretch or more than that. The crossings of the legs should be altered regularly.
Health Benefits of Sukhasana
- It relaxes your mind and brain
- It destroys stress, anxiety, tiredness and exhaustion from the body and provides a sense of well being
- The body and mind becomes calm and peaceful
- It makes the back stable and steadier, strengthens the back
- It helps to elongate your spine
- This asana provides good stretch to your knee and ankle joints
- It helps in broadening your collar bones and chest.
- The asana helps in improving your body alignment.
Effect of Sukhasana on Doshas and Dhatus
Effect on Doshas
Effect of Sukhasana on Doshas and Subtypes
This Asana mainly calms the vitiated Vata, mainly Prana Vayu and Udana Vayu. It also regulates the chemistry between these two subtypes of Vata and also coordinates their integrated functions. As a result, one gets rid of anxiety, stress and exhaustion, experiences peace and calmness of mind.
Effect on Dhatus
Effect of Sukhasana on Dhatus –
It strengthens the Asthi (bones) and Mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue) and also gives them good stretch. By doing so the asana strengthens the joints of the limbs and spine and makes movements at them easier and flexible.
Sukhasana, what it promises!
The name Sukhasana tells that this is an easy pose, but ultimately one needs to hold on to the right posture as long as his or her body permits them to be in that pose or asana. When it is done in right way and practiced regularly you will definitely experience a relaxed and rejuvenated ambience for your mind and body.
When you assume this posture, you should make sure that the weight of your body is evenly distributed on your sitting bones. This will provide a balance and comfort in doing the asana for long time. If the weight is unevenly distributed, you will be at serious discomfort in doing the asana and cannot continue the same beyond few minutes. Even distribution of weight also ensures that your shoulders are in the same line as that of your hips and also that your head is placed right at the center of your spine or central axis of the body. It will be a challenge to relax your legs as you sit in this position for long time. But with constant practice you would surely master it. To do this you need to have a strong core. When you perform this asana regularly, your whole torso will be fine-tuned and toned up well.
When all these positions will extend your spine, you will move your attention to your heart. Ultimately when this happens, you will get comfortable in the asana and eventually gain both physical and mental balance.
When your body is steady and balanced and your breathing patterns synchronized and expanded, you will experience serenity, will find and enjoy extreme joy. With this you will realize that your body, mind and breath are united and that your heart is set free of all the burdens.
Impact on Chakras
Sukhasana balances Ajna Chakra. This asana opens up your mind to new learning processes. It helps to strengthen your intuition and believe in your instincts. This Chakra when in a state of balance will govern the functioning of the rest of the chakras.
Contraindications and precautions
Who should not do? (Contraindications and precautions for doing Sukhasana)
Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Sukhasana –
- Knee injury and inflammation
- Hip injury and inflammation
- Slip disc
Just Before Finish
Sukhasana is one of the best asanas practiced to beat the body and mind stress. It not only relaxes the mind and helps you beat stress and anxiety; it also provides strength to the joints of the limbs and spine. In this article I have covered in detail the method of performing Easy Pose and its benefits.
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