One of the best parts of yoga for me isn't the physical movement but more the stillness and introspection. For this part of yoga to happen, in most part, participants are in a seated or lying position. As I can't lie on my back so well anymore, sitting is the next best alternative.
This week's DVD of choice, Prenatal Yoga by Desi Bartlett, we practiced sitting in one of the many seated yoga positions. It got me to thinking that there are many ways to sit in yoga.
Let's look at the four most common crossed legged positions.
The most notorious sitting position is lotus pose (padmasana). It is depicted often but demonstrates a pose that so few people can actually do. Linked to traditional practice, lotus pose is thought to destroy all disease and awakens kundalini (not sure what that is...another question for another week). It is also recommended to consistently practice this pose during pregnancy to help aid childbirth. I guess I've missed this suggestion as it's too late beginning it in my third trimester!
Fire log pose (agnistambhasana) is a more reasonable position my for legs to rest. Stacking each lower leg onto one another is much more feasible than the pretzel like shape of lotus pose. It has been a while since I've done this pose as Judy included it in our practice quite frequently. But over the past year of practice, I can't say I've done it once. This week's inquiry has reminded me to include it more often...or at least sit in this position when I am on the floor playing trucks with my son!
This week's practice actually included this pose - easy pose (sukhasana) - essentially a seated cross legged position. As the DVD cued the position I wasn't aware that it actually had a formal sanskrit name and I need to explore more. It is thought to calm the brain and relieve stress. Who doesn't want that!?! I sometimes practice this pose with a block under my sit bones to help release my back. It is, in my humble opinion a fundamental yoga pose! Love it!
The final seated pose, bound angle pose (baddha konasana), is a seated pose with the feet pressing into one another. In this pose, I also use a block from time to time under my hips but also two under my knees so my elevated legs have a place to rest. This pose has been essential to my prenatal practice. Although not included in the DVD practice this week, I try to do it with each session. As with lotus pose, this pose too is good for prenatal practice as it opens the hips in preparation of childbirth.
So there you have it! My query of the different seated poses, not exhaustive by any means, but poses picked for their commonality. All seated with the legs folded in one way or another.
I have only scratch the surface and in so, will need more time to explore each of these poses further in the future!
Seated and still,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.