What is the difference between Easy Pose and Half Lotus?

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Seated yoga poses such as the Easy pose and Half Lotus were invented thousands of years ago by monks who were trained to endure long hours of sitting and meditating. Whether you start your day with meditation or find a seated posture at the beginning of your yoga class, Easy Pose and Half Lotus are bound to find a way into your practice.

The two poses are very similar, but the Half Lotus requires open hips, flexible knees, and ankles. Find a comfortable chair and follow along as you experience the difference between Easy Pose and Half Lotus Pose.

Easy Pose

Easy pose is the most common version of this pose. The cross-legged position may be easy for some people (hence its name), but it can be difficult to maintain a straight spine in this pose if you have tight hips or back muscles.

Tip: Relax your hips to avoid clenching the spine.

Modifications If Easy Pose seems difficult, place under your seat a pillow, blanket, or other prop to raise the hips above the knees. This will allow for better spinal alignment by reducing tension in your hips, legs, and back.

Try Half Lotus Pose if the Easy pose is too easy for you, and your knees are fine.

Half Lotus

Half Lotus, the intermediate seated pose that prepares for Full Lotus, is a step up in difficulty from Easy Pose. Due to the elevated foot, the pose requires a greater engagement of the hips and thighs. It is also more difficult than Easy Pose.

Tip: When the top-crossed leg rests atop the hip crease opposite, the knee will gravitate downwards and could cause knee injuries for those who are prone to them. To protect your knee, rotate your hips and thighs outwards before placing the top-crossed foot.

Modifications As the knee is the weakest joint in the body, it’s important to be cautious when performing Half Lotus. The top knee may have difficulty descending if the hips are too tight. Bring a block or blanket under the crossed-up leg’s knee to relieve the pressure.

Feel the comfort that simplicity brings in both of these poses. Extend through the crown and pull the shoulders down and back, further sculpting your spine.

Half Lotus and Easy Pose are deeply calming poses. So, relax, breathe deeply with your nose, and let the mind slip into meditative mode. Do not forget to alternate the legs and spend the same amount of time on each side.

These seated poses are not just for relaxation. They also strengthen your back, improve your posture, and stretch hips, thighs, and ankles. Use caution if your knees or hips are restricted.

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