seated SUKHASANA (Happy, Easy Pose

)
1. Begin in Dandasana. Create neutral pelvis foundation. (1) to optimally release any neck strain. Stretch lower trunk without tension. Note: When torso is anatomically longer than limbs, it may be necessary to support elbows with blankets propped on thighs to assist in maximum torso extension. Without torso length there can be compression in diaphragm. 5. Initiate ‘Frame the Back Body Technique.’ T5. Do not squeeze shoulder blades together. See ‘Frame the Back Body Technique.’ Teaching exercise in pairs: the observer places a hand on the students back between the shoulder blades. The student then compresses the hand by squeezing the shoulder blades together. To ‘frame the back body’ without compressing the hand, the student presses the scapulae to hug the back ribs; medial border of shoulder blades move inward to blossom heart and widen collar bones. Acromion process (palpate) descends and the front ribs refrain from splaying. Continue to invite weight of upper arm to assist in grounding the scapulae. 6. Bring front ribs to back ribs to widen back body. Align ribcage directly over pelvis.

T1. Every seated pose starts and ends with Dandasana. 2. Bend knees, externally rotate femurs, and keep knees parallel with hips. Cross right ankle over left shin; knees shoulder width apart.

T2.  If femurs are unable to fully externally rotate, then knees may be higher than hips; back may round moving student into posterior pelvic tilt causing spine to lose natural curves. Pelvis is part of the appendicular skeleton and therefore descends. Rise up on blankets until pelvis finds neutrality and spine can lengthen. Assist femurs to further relax and externally rotate. 3. Come onto outer edges of feet and anchor buttock bones evenly.

T3.  Outer edge placement of feet helps to keep buttock bones even and provide foundation for Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and Padmasana. For Beginners, the foot placement may be uncomfortable until imprinted in the body. Advanced practitioners find the foot placement gives increased stability. 4. Rest hands on knees or thighs drawing elbows to side ribs. Lift trunk vertically. (2)

T6. Avoid splaying ribcage in efforts to lift sternum. Entire ribcage lifts. 7. Maintaining neutral spine, align back of head with sacrum.

T4.  Glide hands back from knees with eyes closed to find best position. Placement will differ depending on body length. As elbows are brought toward center of gravity the head is repositioned

T7.  Maintain neutral spine.

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seated SUKHASANA (Sukha: Happy. Asana: Seat.)
8. Initiate ‘Open the Root Door Technique’ with an emphasis on containing and lifting using mulabandha. Mulabandha is introduced by lifting 1" below navel in and up. This ‘Lock and Lift Technique’ lifts the pelvic floor and energetically ascends the sacrum toward the navel. T8. This is the beginning of the containment andascension of energy (moving in and up.) See ‘Lock and Lift Technique.’ 9. Keep eyes soft and downcast. lightness and ascension of the axial skeleton. Position of legs gives discipline to self to feel wrapped, secure and grounded. Containment of energy for awakening the Kundalini shakti that lies at the lower spine and begins it’s ascent up the sushumna.

T9.  Now the body is prepared for inner practices. 10. Repeat with other leg crossed. Footnote: (1)  Use blanket to lift sitting bones and to avoid rounding the back. Keep knees parallel to hips. Oftentimes student may need bolster or more than one blanket. (2)  When torso is anatomically longer than limbs, it may be necessary to support elbows on a blanket propped on thighs to assist in maximum torso extension which decompresses diaphragm and eases neck strain. Physical Aim – Basic seated pose to teach proper alignment and foundation of pelvis, buttock bones grounding in preparation for inner practices. External rotation of femurs and shins with lengthening of neutral spine. Energetic Aim – Feel the stable descension of the appendicular skeleton and the feel the

COMMON ISSUES: Tight hips and/or lower back. Knee pain. Inability to lengthen spine. Sternum depression. Inability to sit still without reaction in the mind or aggressiveness in the muscles fibers or in the cells. DISCUSSION POINTS: Mulabandha: Refer to Tadasana for initial instruction. Mulabandha is a lifting energy; it is more energetic than muscular; using inner energy and inner muscles. For Beginners, lifting 1" below navel is often easier than lifting from the base of the pelvic floor. YSS Concept: Opening the Root Door in Sukhasana: The Root Door refers to the Muladhara/Root Chakra located at the base of body at a point between the perineum (externally) and the tip of the coccyx. It is also balanced between the buttock bones and pubic bone. The root door is accessed in Sukhasana via the following actions: 1)  First step is to unblock the root door by drawing the thigh flesh back and releasing the buttock bones down to neutral. 2) Second step is to open the root by lifting up on the side ribs to avoid collapse on

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seated SUKHASANA (Happy, Easy Pose)
to the anterior pelvictilt; then drawing 1" below the navel in and up. 3) Third step is to contain the root energy by accessing a ‘lock and lift which engages mulabandha by lifting up on the pelvic floor, moving the buttock bones together slightly (not clinched) and taking the sacrum in and up and These actions, which further lengthen the spine, allow for energy to be contained and then to rise up the spine. Now the student is in sukhasana with the root unblocked, opened and contained. The result of these actions balances the body and lengthens the spine so Kundalini energy can rise. NOTE: Often students are on the back of the buttock bones so ‘opening the root door’ in these cases, may need to be accessed through a slight anterior pelvic tilt. Otherwise energy is blocked (if door is not open) as the root channels are prohibited by posterior pelvic tilt and clenched buttock bones. Root Door actions can be found in other seated poses such as Janu Sirsasana and Pacshimottanasana but are more grossly visible in Adho Mukha Svanasana. See Adho Mukha Svanasana for further details. See YSS Concepts and Technique section for complete discussion of Kundalini ascent through opening of the root door. YSS Concept: Frame the Back Body in Sukhasana Introduce ‘frame the back body’ in Sukasana; see Teaching Exercise in T5. This technique is an important chest opening exercise that also supports Tadasana and back bending actions. Students need to learn how to open the chest without compressing thoracic spine and kidneys and also how to avoid splaying the ribs. (This exercise was not taught in Tadasana but could easily have been introduced in that asana). Teaching Exercise: Practice Sukhasana with Sanmukhi Mudra (5 fingers closing ears, eyes, nose, mouth) as a pratyahara exercise. (Sadhaka looks within to find the very source of his being. The divine self is inwardly calling – the source of all peace is within’. Light on Yoga pg 133)

BONES & MUSCLES: What is the foundation of a sitting pose? Just as standing poses have the foot as the foundation and awareness of the corners of the foot, ankle alignment must be developed, seated poses ask the student to develop a relationship of the buttock bones, pelvis and hip foundation to the earth. What happens to the muscles as you ‘frame the back body’?

Neutral Spine and Pelvic Symmetry Even Buttock Bones

External Rotation of Femur and Shin

Outer Edges of Feet to Ground

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Sukhasana
(Happy, Easy Pose)

Neutral Spine and Pelvic Symmetry Even Buttock Bones

External Rotation of Femur and Shin

Anchors

Outer Edges of Feet to Ground

1. S  tay on outer edges of feet. 2.  Anchor evenly on top of buttock bones. 3. R  est hands on knees or thighs.

Student Flashcards

Sukhasana
(Happy, Easy Pose)

Key Actions

Student Flashcards

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 

xternally rotate femurs. E K  eep knees parallel with hips. Draw elbows to side ribs; lift trunk vertically. ‘ Frame the Back Body Technique.’ Maintain neutral spine; align back of head with sacrum. ‘ Open the Root Door Technique.’  Keep eyes soft.

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