Cross legged ‘earth salutation’ yoga asana

Simplified cross legged yoga asana provides the following benefits…

1. Works on liver and kidneys because of the effect on the inner groin

2. Prepares nicely for the Lotus pose

3. Opens the hips via a bold external rotation

4. Lower back is decompressed while folding forward

Signs you should take care of

1. In case of a tightened hip, observe the pressure that goes there.

2. In case of sciatica, it can aggravate the condition. Therefore, sitting on a cushion should raise hips so that the knees are below the hips. This pose may be avoided entirely. Care must take while rotating the hips when seated; they must rotate forward instead of backward.

3. Do not allow the spine to rotate if you have lower back disorders that does not permit the spine to flex. In such case, avoid rounding the spine to keep the back in straight position to the maximum extent.

How to start the asana?

1. The trick for getting started is to go to the outer hips rather than the knees. First, sit cross legged. Then make the shins parallel to the mat by moving your feet forward. Your legs are in a square position to the mat.

2. Bring your knees closer together without making your feet closer to you.

Optional alternative arrangements

1. Lower back gets stretched when you fold forward and in turn, can strain the hips more. In that case, better to sit on a cushion.

2. Alternatively, you may put one ankle over the knee opposite to it and the other ankle in similar position. This variation cannot be performed if first knee is in an elevated position. In that case, the first foot should be brought to the floor to the front position of the opposite knee.

3. If you have more flexibility, slide the knees closer together, permitting your feet for going apart.

4. In case of experiencing discomfort in your knees, or in case your knees are more elevated from the floor, then putting a some support like blanket under the knees may ease out the position.

5. Eye-of –the-Needle, Shoelace or swan Pose is yet another alternative pose.

Reverting to normal position

Straighten out your legs forward after leaning back.

Alternative poses

1. Bouncing and straightening of legs for a number of times releases the knees.

2. Instead of an external rotation of the hips, hips need to be moved in the opposite direction. Alternatively, Deer or Windshield Wipers is rotates the hips internally.

3. For performing a backend, you may adopt Tabletop or lie down and perform some lifts of the spine.

Affected Meridians and Organs

1. Liver and kidneys because of the effect on the inner groin.

2. Gall bladder, lined through the outer leg

3. Urinary bladder line in case of forward folding.

Affected Joints

Hips and spines

Recommended stretch time

3 to 5 minutes per each side

Equivalent Yang Asana

Double Pigeon, known as Boxcar, 90-90or Fire Logs.

Related points for noting

1. The effect needs to be felt at the hips.

2. Sitting cross legged may make you to feel stressed, but that is the real version of Square Pose that needs to be enjoyed.

All Yoga asana, pranayama practice should be done under the supervision of a qualified yoga teacher. The picture shown is of the simplified cross legged yoga asana.
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