For healthy movements and mobility, it is imperative that the body organs of knees, hips, ankles, and legs are thoroughly conditioned and taken care of. The science of yoga incorporates diverse cross-legged yoga asanas that promotes healthy lower body and elongated spine.
Several cross-legged positions are a wonderful place to rest for Pranayama, Meditation, and Intention Setting. The benefits of sitting cross-legged are plenty provided the practitioners pay due attention to the alignment, mudras of the hands, modifications, etc.
Given below are the five best cross-legged yoga postures with their steps and benefits.
1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana): The regular practice of Sukhasana stretches and strengthens the ankles and knees, opens the hips, lengthens the back, and cools down the brain.
How to do: Sit on the edge of a yoga mat with legs, back, and hands in a Staff Pose (Dandasana). Cross at the shins and place the foot under the opposite knee. The knees should be wide and legs should be folded towards the torso. The crossed shins and the thighs form a triangle on the floor. In the easy pose, we leave a gap between the feel and the pelvis. Lengthen the back, firm the shoulders against your upper torso and look forward. Hand on the knees, facing downwards. Breathe and sit in this pose for any duration as long as comfortable.
2. Lotus Pose (Padmasana): Lotus Pose is a destroyer of all diseases and awakens the Kundalini according to the traditional texts. It is the pose for the greater health of the mind, body, and soul.
How to do: Sit on the ground with straight legs in front. Bend the right knee and place the leg up into the cradle with the foot notched into the left elbow. Lengthen the spine by lifting the front torso. Now, fold the left leg at the knee and cross it over the right shin. The top of the foot and ankle will rest at the hip crease while the sole faces upward. Bring the knees closer to each other as much as possible. Place the hands in Gyan Mudra. Look ahead with a smile on the face.
3. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana): A stretching yoga asana that extends the muscles of arms, armpits, triceps, hips, ankles, shoulders, and chest.
How to do: Begin the pose by sitting on a yoga mat. Stretch the legs out. Bend the knee of the left leg under the right knee and place the left foot outside the right hip. Stack the right knee on top of the left leg with the right foot outside the left hip. Bring the heels equidistant from the hips. Sit evenly on the sitting bones. Inhale, raise the right arm above the head and bend the elbow. Simultaneously, bring the left arm behind the back from the side and interlock your hands. Breathe. Exhale and release the arms. Uncross the legs and come in the starting position.
4. Eagle Pose (Garudasana): Improve your confidence and sense of balance in Eagle Pose. Practice it for strong hips, ankles, knees, and legs.
How to do: Come in Tadasana. Bend the knees and lift the left foot away from the floor. Balance the body-weight on your right foot. Cross the left leg over the right thigh and hook the foot behind the right calf. Stretch the arms forward and parallel to the floor. Criss-cross the arms so that the right arm is on top of the left. Bend the elbows. Raise the forearms at a right-angle to the floor. The palms will face each other. Stay in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
5. Quarter Lotus Pose (Pada Padmasana): A meditative posture that promotes the health of the hips and ankles.
How to do: Sit on the front edge of a yoga mat in an upright stance. Beginners can sit on a pillow in the same manner. Cross the legs at shins in front of you. Keep the left foot on the floor under the right thigh and the right foot on the calf of the left leg. Throughout the pose, keep the spine erect and body relaxed. Look in a front direction. Hold the pose for 60 seconds
Practice the cross-legged yoga asanas for the health of the spine, ankles, knees, and dive deeper into the meditation with the seated cross-legged yoga poses.