We explored various ways of sitting on the floor this week. Sitting cross-legged is an important part of yoga practice and is commonly used for breathing and sitting postures. But it requires considerable flexibility in the back thighs, back of the pelvis, and inner thighs, as well as external rotation of the hip joints, to maintain for any length of time. These are all very strong muscles that can take a long time to stretch. 

Whether you sit in a simple cross-legged posture like sukhasana which we did in class, or the challenging lotus position (in my view best avoided unless you have very sound knees and  open hips),  developing the flexibility to sit easily on the floor is a gradual process – and I’m thinking months, if not years, here.

It’s important to remember that everyone has a different anatomical structure in their hips, which may potentially mean that cross-legged doesn’t suit you. If this is the case, then try sitting on your heels, or in virasana (hero pose) on as many blocks or cushions as you need to feel comfortable. This rotates the thighs inwards, in the opposite way to cross-legged where the thighs are rotating outwards. I think holding one posture for long periods of time is unwise, and better to change position and bring the joints into as wide a range of movement as possible.

You’ll find ways of sitting explore in this short 90 second You Tube clip. There are many others online, but beware of any that suggest beginners try strong positions such as Lotus.