Yoga is as much intended to harmonize and stabilize the body and mind as allowing us to concentrate on breathing—the elixir of life.
The sitting postures in yoga are used to bring agreement and solidity to both the body and mind.
Yoga allows the mind to focus on breathing (pranayama) and meditation.
The postures also represent the true practice of yoga, for which the asanas are only a foundation.
Yoga is essentially an exercise plan, but what takes the cake for its many benefits are pranayama and meditation.
The two practices bring greater clarity of thought and understanding, along with feelings of calm self-confidence, and freedom from negative or confusing thoughts and emotions.
There are many yoga sitting poses in the practice. Perhaps the best known is Padmasana (Lotus pose). The pose looks simple, but it is not, especially for untrained limbs. It may take some time if you are a beginner to achieve balance and relative comfort.
Padmasana Yoga Posture
Padmasana is the classic position for pranayama posture and meditation. There is no need to worry if you can’t get into the act quickly. Also, do not try to force yourself into it, especially if it causes pain and/or discomfort.
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Lift your left foot gently. Place it on top of your right thigh, allowing the sole to point upwards.
- Bend your right knee. Bring your right foot to your left knee.
- Now, lift your right foot onto your left thigh. Take it as high up and as close to the groin as you can. Straighten the spine and place your hands, with your palms facing upwards, on each knee. Link the index fingers to the thumbs.
- Relax and breathe slowly. You may keep your eyes closed if you want to.
For those who find Padmasana too difficult to begin with, or difficult to practice for any reason, there’s no need to worry. You may, by all means, try the uncomplicated posture Sukhasana. Also, you may simply sit on a firm chair with your back straight and chest open. Place your hands on your knees or lap.
Sukhasana Yoga Posture
For Sukhasana, all you need to do is:
- Sit on the floor, if you can, with your legs extended forward.
- Place your left foot under your thigh; your right foot under your left shin.
- Keep your spine straight, chest open, and shoulders and pelvis level.
Breathe in and breathe out slowly. Let the relaxation and calmness that yoga invites wash over your body and mind—and relish in the delight of pranayama and meditation.