At some point in any given yoga practice, the instructor will tell the class to “come to sitting” or “take a comfortable seat.” If this cue fills you with dread, you’re not alone.
Sitting on the floor is uncomfortable for many people, and for good reason. The seats we’re used to in daily life are often designed to make us feel comfortable and relaxed, so it can be a rude awakening when we move to sitting on the floor.
We may find that our back muscles are weak and tight from hours of curling forward at a desk. Or that our hip flexors must work hard to hold the torso upright. Our backs hunch despite our strongest efforts and our knees pop up to the sides because our hips lack the openness for them to release toward the floor.
A lot of people compensate for their difficulties by exerting a lot of effort. They tough it out and stay uncomfortable, sometimes missing out on the benefits of their seated practice because they aren’t sure how to “find a comfortable seat.”
There is one adjustment you can make that will help you sit more comfortably almost one hundred percent of the time: elevating the hips.
Adding height under your seat will make it much easier for your spine to lengthen so you can sit up tall. It will also alleviate tension in the hip joints and provide space for your legs and knees to settle in comfortably.
The following are five simple ways to make sitting on the floor more of a pleasure, and less of a pain.
My two favorite props for elevating the hips are a blanket and a block. You don’t need a special yoga blanket; any blanket you have at home will work well! Yoga blocks are inexpensive, but if you don’t have one, you can use a stack of books, or just stick with the blanket.
Option 1: Folded Blanket with Crossed Legs
For this option, fold up a blanket to your desired thickness, and sit cross-legged with your bum on the blanket and your legs resting on the floor in front of you.
Option #2: Sitting on Heels with Folded Blanket
Take a folded blanket and place it under your seat and on top of your calves.
Option #3: Roll and Straddle
Roll your blanket into a cylinder shape, and straddle it, sitting on your knees.
Option #4: Sitting on a Block
Perch on your yoga block. You can do this one with a cross-legged seat as well, but I find the kneeling position much more comfortable.
Option #5: Double Blocks
This is the same as the previous option, but double up the blocks. Alternatively you can use one block with a folded blanket on top of it.
So there you have it: 5 ways to sit more comfortably in yoga! Remember that good posture gets easier with time and consistency. Get the right tools for the job and meet yourself where you’re at. You’ll be sitting easier in no time!