How To Sit Cross-legged Comfortably For A Long Time? 5 Simple Tips


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I’ve recently started yoga classes, and I noticed that at first, I couldn’t sit cross-legged comfortably for a long time.

It took a while to get my form right so that I could sit cross-legged without feeling pain or discomfort.

But it is possible to get a hang of the “Indian sit” without fear of feeling sore all over!

To sit cross-legged comfortably, you only need to follow these tips below.

Tips to make it comfortable:

The “Indian sit” is pretty easy to do for short periods. I could probably sit comfortably in this position for 30 minutes.

But if I hit the one hour mark, I’m going to feel aches and cramps on my legs, hips, back, and bottom. It’s pretty uncomfortable!

girl sitting cross-legged and keeping balance on a board

1. Practice makes perfect!

The first thing you need to remember when sitting like this is that it requires your muscles to stretch.

If so, then you’ll need to take more time to get used to it. The more you sit in this position the more flexibility you get in these parts.

This is a gradual process, so don’t expect your body to adapt to it in a single day. The key is consistency and patience.

Read more: 5 best office chairs for sitting cross-legged in

2. Don’t force it!

Okay, as we mentioned, you need to be patient so your body can adapt to this position. If it’s difficult and painful for the first time, then don’t force it!

Try going for light stretches every day until you notice a difference. You can also try to sit cross-legged every day until it is comfortable for you.

3. Be aware of your medical conditions!

Now, if you have medical conditions that will stop you from sitting cross-legged, you don’t have to worry.

There are other sitting positions that you can use if you want to sit on the floor. You can squat, sit with your legs stretched out, or you can sit with your knees folded to your chest.

4. Wear proper clothing

Be sure to wear loose clothing or proper workout clothes so you can move and stretch freely.

5. Do some stretches

Stretching around the aforementioned muscles and tendons would be fantastic, too. So here are a few stretches that you can do every day.

  • Knee to chest stretches

You can do this while laying down on the floor or in your bed. Put your hands behind your thigh, right under the back of your knee.

Then. bring your folded knee toward your chest, and hold that position for 30 seconds. Do this one knee at a time.

  • Butterfly stretch

This is great for stretching your inner thigh muscles. To do this, you can sit on the floor, or yoga mat.

Put your feet together in front of you, with knees bent on each side. With heels together, pull it towards you; at this point, you will feel your muscles stretching.

If you don’t feel the muscles stretching, make sure that your back is straight.

Now that you feel your inner thighs stretching, you can hold that position for 30 seconds. To get more stretch, you can also lean forward.

Remember to not force your body. If it’s too painful, try to adjust your position so that it isn’t too strained.

Do this 3 times, taking breaks in between.

  • Piriformis stretch

To stretch your hip area, specifically the piriformis, you can lay in your bed, or stay seated.

Bend your knees, and take on foot over the other thigh. And then, you can pull the bent leg toward you.

If you’re not comfortable pushing the leg toward you, you can also push your body forward instead.

These are only a few of the many stretches you can do. For more stretches and positions, check out this video below:

7 Tight Hip Stretches - Ask Doctor Jo

Read more: 5 Best Office Chairs For Hip Pain

How to sit Indian style?

To sit in this position, you have to first sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.

You can also do this on your bed, on a Yoga mat, a carpet, or anything else that can give you extra cushioning.

Start with your right foot, bend your leg, and bring your foot toward you. Do the same with your left leg and foot, but this time, tuck your left foot under your right shin.

Adjust accordingly until it feels natural and comfortable. Keep doing this every day, and pair it with some stretches until it’s comfortable even for hours.

Read more: Hip Pain When Sitting Indian Style: Causes & Solutions

How to sit cross-legged yoga?

There are 2 cross-legged sitting positions in yoga. One is the Sukhasana, which is a simpler position. It’s the Indian sitting style mentioned above.

The more difficult one is Padmasana, or better known as the Lotus Pose as shown below.

many people sitting cross-legged in the Lotus Pose

To sit in the Lotus Pose, you’ll need to be more flexible. So if you find it a little difficult, it’s perfectly fine because the simpler position will do.

Again, sit with your legs stretched in front of you. Bend your right knee, and lift your right foot up (you can use your hands to help).

Place your foot on your thigh, right below the hip crease. Be sure that your foot soles are facing up.

Do the same with your left leg, by pulling the left foot up to the thigh. Again, with the soles facing up.

Rest each hand on each knee and form a circle with your index finger and thumb. Your other fingers should be spread outward.

For a visual step by step on how to do this, check out the video below.

How to Do the Lotus Pose

Is sitting cross-legged good for you?

The Indian sit can have positive effects on the body. First off, the lumbar area of our back is lower, when seated in this position.

This means that we don’t need much support for this, and so, our posture is more natural and healthy.

It’s also great for our upper and lower back (including our pelvis) if we sit in this position a few times a day. It can bring back the natural spinal curvature of these areas.

Is sitting cross-legged bad for your hips?

As mentioned above, if you have medical conditions that will make sitting cross-legged unhealthy for you, please do not try it.

But if not, there is no serious damage that can be done to your body. Now, it can get uncomfortable after a long time, or you can even feel some numbness in your legs.

One trouble is that it can increase the blood pressure in your legs and cause poor posture. So be sure that you always sit up straight.

Also, you need to move around. Whether it’s cross-legged sitting, or sitting on a comfortable sofa, staying in one position for hours on end without changing positions is unhealthy.

What muscles are used to sit cross-legged?

Sitting cross-legged is a physical activity. When sitting in this position, you can notice pressure in certain parts of your body.

This is because the Indian-style sitting position makes use of muscles in the back of your thighs, inner part of your thighs, the back of your pelvis, and your hip joints.


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