• Sitting poses are a great way to improve flexibility and posture without the risks of falling. 
  • Common seated yoga poses include easy pose, child’s pose, and cobbler’s pose. 
  • If any of these sitting poses are too uncomfortable you can sit on a yoga block or blanket. 
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Seated yoga poses are ideal for improving flexibility and range of motion in the body. Compared to standing yoga poses, there is a lower risk of losing your balance and falling. Most seated poses are suitable for beginners and are generally used for

meditation
or during yoga practice. 

They offer more physical stability because the body is connected with the ground, which can “result in a greater mental and emotional sense of security,” says Deborah Thomas Snode, certified yoga teacher and instructor at The Ohio State University.

It’s best to warm up before doing yoga poses to prepare the body for physical activity and prevent injury. “Shoulder and hip warm-ups provide more ease in sitting postures,” says Snode. Try arm circles and lunges before doing yoga poses.

Here are 15 seated yoga poses you might want to try. Note that yoga poses, both standing and seated postures, are usually held for about 30 seconds or five deep breaths:

1. Easy pose

easy pose

Easy pose helps stretch the hips as well as the spine.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor.
  2. Straighten your back and gaze forward. Use your core muscles to keep your spine straight and tall.
  3. Rest your hands on your lap or on top of your knees.

2. Thunderbolt pose

Thunderbolt pose

This beginner-friendly yoga pose strengthens the back and core muscles.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Kneel comfortably on the floor with your knees and feet together.
  2. Sit on the soles of your feet and place your hands on your lap.
  3. Pull your shoulders back and look straight.

3. Cobbler’s pose (bound angle pose)

Cobbler's pose

Cobbler’s pose improves flexibility by stretching the hamstrings and opening the hips.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you.
  2. Pull your feet as close to your body as you can and put your soles together, letting your knees fall to each side.
  3. Hold your feet and press the soles even closer together.
  4. Sit up straight and avoid rounding your spine.

4. Hero pose

Hero pose

This pose improves posture and flexibility by stretching the spine as well as the thigh and leg muscles.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Kneel comfortably on the floor with your knees close together.
  2. Spread your feet apart while maintaining the position of the knees.
  3. Lower your body to sit on the floor. Make sure that you are not sitting on your feet, but rather, between them.
  4. The tops of your feet should be flat on the ground and pointing back.
  5. Keep your back straight and rest your hands on your lap or on top of your knees. 

5. Staff pose

Staff pose

Staff pose stabilizes the hips and pelvis, strengthens the abdomen and lower back, and opens shoulders and chest, which allows you to take deeper, fuller breaths, says Snode.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Flex your feet and point them upward.
  3. Straighten your back and look forward.
  4. Keep your arms to the side with the palms flat on the floor.

6. Cow face pose

cow face pose

This yoga pose for beginners stretches different areas of the body such as the arms, shoulders, hips, and thigh muscles.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your feet extended in front of you.
  2. Place left thigh over your right thigh as far as you can and let the knees bend, feet coming back towards hips.
  3. Raise your left arm over your head and place your left hand to the back of your neck.
  4. Bring out your right arm behind your back and bend your elbow so that the fingertips of our right hand meet those of your left.
  5. Clasp your hands together behind your back.
  6. Straighten your back and keep your gaze forward. Make sure not to over arch your back or tilt your head downward.

7. Seated forward bend

seated forward fold

This pose stretches the calves, hamstrings, and spine. It also strengthens the lateral muscles of the back and helps calm the mind, says Snode.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you.
  2. Hinge forward from the hips and reach with your hands towards the soles of your feet while keeping your back and legs straight.

8. Seated wide-legged straddle

seated straddle

This pose engages the core muscles, stretches the hamstrings and spine, and opens the hips.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor and bring your legs apart as wide as you can.
  2. Flex both feet.
  3. Hinge forward and extend your hands to the ground as much as you can without having to arch your back. Your knees can have a slight bend. 

9. Gracious pose

Gracious

Gracious pose opens the hips, strengthens the spine, and stretches the leg and thigh muscles.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Kneel on the floor with your knees about two feet apart.
  2. Bring your feet together with the toes touching.
  3. Sit on the floor between your legs, with your buttocks touching the soles of your feet.
  4. Keep your spine straight and place your hands on top of your knees.

10. Child’s pose 

child's pose

Child’s pose helps you stretch your hips, thighs, and back, which may relieve back pain.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Kneel on the floor with your knees set wider than your hips.
  2. Keep your feet together and pointed outward.
  3. Sit on the soles of your feet.
  4. Stretch your arms out in front of you and bend forward to rest your forehead on the floor.

11. Half Lotus pose

Half lotus pose

Half Lotus pose stretches the muscles around the hips, pelvis, legs, and ankles. It also promotes good posture.

Crystal Cox/Insder


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. 
  2. Place your left foot under your right thigh.
  3. Use your hands to place your right foot as close to your hip as possible on top of your left thigh.
  4. Keep your back straight and look forward.
  5. Rest your hands on top of your knees. 

12. Lotus pose

lotus pose

This advanced yoga pose improves hip mobility and stretches the leg and thigh muscles.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. 
  2. Bring your right ankle on top of your left thigh where it meets the hip. Do the same with the opposite side.
  3. Make sure that your knees are touching the ground.
  4. Straighten your back and place your hands on top of your knees.

13. Seated spinal twist

seated spinal twist

This pose stretches the back, neck, and thigh muscles, which helps improve spinal mobility.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you.
  2. Place your left foot under your right thigh.
  3. Bend your right knee and cross it over your left thigh.
  4. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow in front of or on top of your right knee.
  5. Keep your right hand on your side with your palm on the floor.
  6. Maintain a straight back while doing the pose and practice with the opposite leg as well. 

14. Pigeon pose

pigeon pose

Pigeon pose stretches the thigh, back, and hip muscles.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Do a half kneel with the left leg forward and right leg on the ground.
  2. Let the left knee bend towards the left hip and heel towards right hip as you extend the right leg behind you
  3. Make sure that your right leg is flat on the ground with your foot pointing back.
  4. Straighten your back and keep your gaze forward.
  5. Place your hands on your sides for additional support in maintaining a straight back.

15. Fire Log pose

Fire

This pose engages the core, thigh, and back muscles. It also improves hip flexibility.

Crystal Cox/Insider


How to do it:

  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor with the left foot below the right thigh.
  2. Use your hands to place your right ankle above the left knee.
  3. Move your left foot forward until it rests comfortably below the right knee. Keep both feet flexed.
  4. Sit up straight and rest your hands on your lap.

Insider’s takeaway 

Seated yoga poses are great for stretching the spine and improving your posture while also engaging other muscles like the core or shoulders. Various poses help you build muscle strength and increase hip flexibility and mobility.

“In any case, if there is pain in any yoga posture, stop and consult a yoga professional before continuing that pose,” says Snode.