Translation: Sukh- Joy/Bliss; asana- posture.
This is also known as the Easy pose or blissful pose and is often used as a meditation pose.
As a kid, I can remember that it used to be such a common pose here in India. Malasana (deep squat) and Sukhasana were used by almost everyone. People would sit in Sukhasana on the floor while eating or chatting. They would be in Malasana for sweeping the floor or gardening and lots of other day-to-day chores. They would specifically not know that they were doing a yoga pose but this was a part of the culture, and still is in some villages.
But because of modernization, we have forgotten these poses and we just want to flop on the sofa and the bed. As a result, most people have lost their basic range of movement in the hips and the knee which has translated into a number of problems.
The Sukh-asana is not blissful anymore (sukh means joy or bliss) because of the tightness in the hips.
If the hips are tight and the back is weak then this asana could be very painful for the knee and the lower back. We recommend you read this article on the external rotation of the hips and padmasana to understand the functional anatomy and alignment of this pose.
- Start in Dandasana (staff pose) with your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Bring your legs inwards, crossing the ankles. Start with your left leg and then your right leg (or the other way round if that feels natural for you).
- Crossing the legs at your shins, let the knees drop down closer to the floor, and slide your feet under your opposite thigh.
- Become aware of the sitting bones and try to balance your weight equally on the sitting bones.
- Engage your core and try to create space in the lower back region.
- Roll your shoulders back and try to bring the shoulder blades a little down towards your hips.
- Lengthen the spine lifting through the top of the head.
- Relax and close your eyes.
- Rest your hands on your knees with the palm facing up.
- Relax your facial muscles, your jaw, and your nostrils. Remove the tongue from the top of your mouth.
- Breath slowly through your nostrils for as long as it is comfortable watching the rhythm of the breath.
- To exit the posture, straighten your legs and shake out the knees.
Important: Pins and needles and legs going numb in sukhasana
* If you have been sitting in this posture for a long time then you might start getting some pins and needles in your foot. Stretch your legs and move your toes and ankles to bring the circulation back.
** After a long time of sitting sukhasana pose your legs might go a bit numb. Do not stand up abruptly if that’s the case. Stretch your legs and move your toes and ankles, shake the legs and let the blood flow back. Once your legs feel normal then stand back. If you stand up while the legs are still feeling numb you might twist your ankle or hyperextend your knee (because the nerves are not firing so you will not have much control over the muscles).
- You may find it more comfortable (and better posture) if you sit on a folded blanket.
- If you are using this as a meditation pose and your knee starts hurting then consider putting some blocks under the knee.
- Open your hips.
- Strengthens your back.
- Reduces anxiety.
- Relieves physical and mental exhaustion and tiredness.
- Lengthens your spine.
- Stretches the knees and ankles
- Calms the mind.
- Knee injuries
- Hip injuries
- Slip disc/ disc prolapse.
- Lower back problems.
Looking for any other posture? Check our Yoga postures library.