» This is a sitting posture in which the torso is kept straight and balanced. It is named for the swastika because the legs are crossed. Swastikasana may be used for pranayama (the regulation of the breath) and dhyana (meditation).
1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight (see Dandasana in a previous column at starbulletin.com/2006/04/09/features/yoga.html).
2. Bend your right knee and bring the right foot under the left thigh.
3. Bring your left foot under the right thigh. Do not bring your feet back toward the buttocks, but keep them under the knees.
4. Sit up straight and observe that your knees are not higher than your groin. If the knees are higher, sit on a folded blanket with enough height to allow the thighs to run parallel to the floor. If your knees do not rest on your feet, support them with folded blankets or towels.
COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
The Swastikasana, or Cross Pose, can be used for meditation.
5. Balance evenly on both buttocks and sit erect. Do not lean forward or back, and keep the center of your head in line with the center of your perineum. Allow groins to surrender so that your knees rest. Place the back of your hands on your thighs and gaze straight ahead with soft eyes.
6. Now bring your body into a still, firm state as you balance evenly. Observe the flow of breath at your nostrils as you release your shoulders and relax your hands. Remain in this steady attentive state for a minute or two, then change the cross of your legs and repeat. With regular practice, you will be able to maintain the mind and body in a firm but quiet state for longer periods of time.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.