Seated Yoga Poses
Following the proper succession of poses is important in yoga, as each preceding pose prepares the body for the next level of intensity.
The seated poses of yoga work best when you start with the Sukhasana, a very easy pose that allows the body to adapt to the higher demands of the following positions. In fact, in English, Sukhasana is referred to as Easy Pose.
Sitting in Sukhasana has many benefits for the neck muscles, as well as the upper spinal muscles.
You should try doing Pranayama and other exercises such as neck or eye movements for improved coordination and overall flexibility.
Always warm up your body before attempting these poses and do every movement in a gentle and controlled manner, and use the yoga breathing technique for best results.
Sukhasana is an excellent pose for meditation, helping the yogi maintain a straight spinal position which has a very positive effect on posture, even after the yoga exercise is over. The easy pose offers serenity and a higher ability for introspection. The leg position should alternate in this posture so that none of the muscles get cramps. While on the floor and with your knees bent, try to hold them with your arms while gently pulling them towards the chest. After you feel the muscles being stretched you can release your legs and cross them while your knees get closer to the floor.
The next pose is the Virasana, usually referred to in English as the "hero pose".
The position is similar to the Cat pose, in the sense that you are sitting on your knees with the thighs parallel with one another. Slowly release pressure from your hands until your hips are lowered to the floor. This may take months to master and you should consider using a pillow or folded blanket until you are comfortable doing it. The final success of body flexibility in this pose is to be able to place your buttocks on the floor without any support. During the sitting process try to keep the spine straight by drawing the abdomen inwards. In the Virasana the hands may rest on your knees or thighs. When the optimal position is reached try to sit still and, while closing your eyes, allow yourself to fall into a stage of meditation.
The Paschimothanasana, or the Seated Forward Bend, is another pose that takes a while to master.
Even though it might look simple, perhaps even easy, the Seated Forward Bend actually needs advanced back flexibility. In the Paschimothanasana the body muscles are stretched from the head to the legs, making this apparently simple pose actually a rather complex one.
The Seated Forward Bend is one of the most beneficial asanas to practice regularly as it massages internal organs and facilitates blood flow throughout the entire body. The nervous system is stimulated as well in the Seated Forward Bend, allowing you to develop better time responses and reflexes to outside stimuli.
The flexibility required by this position also demands a healthy and fit body. When used in combination with other yoga poses and a balanced diet, the Paschimothanasana helps eliminate fat cells and increases the metabolism.
Some instructors advise taking a deep breath before holding this pose and then to exhale while going out of the pose. The knees and spine should be kept straight, for maximum stretch, even though it is tempting to bring your head towards the knees.