New To Yoga? Tips On How To Sit During Yoga - How You Sit Matters
While the idea of “sitting” comes to us as naturally as breathing, the word doesn’t quite mean the same thing in yoga. After all, just like how you stretch before hitting the gym, your sitting position in yoga is the foundation for every other exercise you’re about to do, so familiarizing yourself with the proper sitting poses is key to a safe and healthy workout. The team here at Yoga Pants Cat has compiled a list of the top five poses any beginner should know. These poses offer quite a few physical and emotional benefits like improved posture and flexibility, reduced risk of injury, enhanced focus and clarity, and even lowering blood pressure. Read on to find out what starter sitting pose sounds right for your routine.
Our Top Five Beginner Poses
Easy Pose (Sukhasana) As its name states, the “Easy Pose” is likely the least complicated and most beginner-friendly sitting pose of all. Fundamentally just a comfortable, cross-legged sitting position, the guide to Sukhasana is to sit in any way you can “with ease.”
Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana) Another beginner-friendly pose (heavily associated with Hatha yoga), Vajrasana improves core strength, posture, and is favored for meditation. To do this pose, sit on your knees with your bottom resting supportively on your feet, lay your hands in front of you on your legs, then straighten your spine and look forward. Remember to remain relaxed instead of stiff.
Staff Pose (Dandasana) One of the most classic poses, Dandasana is the base for many yoga poses (like the next one on this list) and is very rewarding for the spine. To do a Staff Pose, the key is to find the most sustainable way to keep your spine upright. Sit with your legs straight in front of you, arms at your sides and palms touching the floor (if your height allows it), and your shoulders aligned with your hips.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) This pose helps give your whole body a quality stretch, especially the hamstrings, making it beneficial for runners in particular. To do a Seated Forward Bend, start with a Staff Pose and bring your arms over your head as if you’re reaching for the ceiling. Then, while breathing deeply, stretch taller on each inhale and bend slightly more forward on each exhale until you bend as far forward as you’re able to go. When you can’t bend anymore, grab securely onto your shins, feet, or whatever else you can reach. Yoga straps are helpful for this part.Half-Lotus (Ardha Padmasana) While Full-Lotus may be the most well-known and quintessential yoga pose, it’s not as suited for beginners, which is where the much more appropriate Half-Lotus comes in. Imagine it as sitting cross-legged with one foot over the opposite thigh. To do the Half-Lotus, wait until you’ve warmed up and start in the Easy Pose. Use your hands to bring your right foot on top of your left calf with the sole of the foot facing upwards. Slowly settle the top of the right foot into your left hip crease and sit straight, lengthening the spine.