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Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: How to Get Comfortable Cross Legged

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Updated September 23, 2012

Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: How to Get Comfortable Cross Legged

Easy Pose - Sukhasana

© Barry Stone
Question: Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column: How to Get Comfortable Cross Legged
Dear Aunt Yoga,

I am a tall male who just recently started yoga at home, but I am having difficulty in sitting cross legged. My knees are well above my hips when I try to sit cross legged and I've come to the conclusion that I am quite "flexibly impaired." Is there any stretching exercises that you can recommend which I can perform to eventually become more flexible so that I can sit up straight easily while maintaining a proper cross legged position?

Regards,

J.

Answer: Dear J.,

Just about everyone starts yoga in a state of flexibility impairment. You don't need to be flexible to do yoga; yoga will eventually make you more flexible. Likewise, there are no specific stretches I would proscribe for your condition. You are already doing exactly what you need to be doing by committing yourself to a yoga home practice and coming into that troublesome cross legged position.

Now, here is some practical advice, brought to you courtesy of two of yoga's most influential modern teachers, B.K.S. Iyengar and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, respectively:

  • For goodness sake, sit on a blanket, two blankets, a block, a bolster, whatever it takes to raise your hips above your knees when in a cross legged position. It's called easy pose, and it's supposed to feel as comfortable as possible. Raising the hips should open your groins and hips, reduce the stress on your knees, and bring your spine into alignment, allowing you to stay in this position long enough to begin to feel its benefits.
  • Practice, and all is coming.

Namaste,

Aunt Yoga

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