Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)

Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)


What is Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)?

Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)

Swastikasana, or Auspicious Pose, is a meditation pose for practitioners who are unable to attempt the more challenging asanas like Siddhasana and Padmasana. 

In this yoga asana, one leg is placed on top of another, and then the position is stabilized. In Swastikasana, this part of the legs resembles the symbol of the Swastika. 

In yoga, Swastikasana asana is widely used as a seated meditation and Pranayama pose. As a result, this can be described as an exercise that helps calm the mind and attain realization of the unity of existence. 

The word comes from the Sanskrit root words ‘Su,’ meaning success or prosperity, 'Asti' means existing and 'Ka' means making something happen.

The Swastika has been in Indian culture for more than 5000 years. This is a symbol of peace and auspiciousness, and Hindus use it at the start of every spiritual or cultural festive event. 

This pose has been described in the 11th-century Hatha Yoga text, Vimanarcanakalpa, and was attributed to the sage Mareechi

Sanskrit Name: स्वस्तिकासन         Pronunciation: Swa-uh-st-ihk-aa-sun-aa

Pose Type: Seated                      Also known as: Auspicious Pose

Strengthens: Mind, Spine, and Neck                   

Stretches: Knees, Ankles, and Groin 

Health Benefits of Swastikasana

  • Improves posture.

  • Opens the pelvic muscles.

  • Relaxes and rejuvenates the mind. 

  • Strengthens the knees and ankles. 

  • Enhances the flow of Prana (energy) in the body. 

  • Increases mental focus and mindfulness. 

  • Aligns the spine and strengthens the back.

  • Activates the Muladhara Chakra and Ajna Chakra. 

When to Avoid Performing Swastikasana

  • Avoid if you have severe back pain.

  • Avoid if you have sciatic issues.

  • Avoid if you have a slipped disc.

  • Avoid if you have had a recent surgery.

  • Avoid if you have inflammatory knee arthritis.

  • Avoid if you have a severe injury in the knees or spine. 

How to do Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)

Below the practice is divided into four parts: preparation, posture step, alignment cues, and relax flow. 

Later you will come across a few posture modifications and variations for beginners and intermediates to modify their practice if needed. 

Part 1: Preparation for Swastikasana 

To prepare for the Auspicious Pose, you must warm up your legs, core, and glutes. Here are a few poses that can help: 

1. Dandasana (Staff Pose) - Sit in the center of your mat and begin with your legs extending in front of you, with your toes pointing toward the ceiling. Keep your spine upright, your hands placed to the side of your hip flexors, and your gaze focused in front of you. 

Dandasana (Staff Pose)

Hold this pose for 60 to 90 seconds while engaging your core muscles. This posture will activate your hamstrings, glutes, ankles, and core muscles. 

2. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose) - This is the best yoga posture to reach the deepest parts of your glute muscles. Start by taking a seat in the middle of the yoga mat with your back straight. Now, bend your legs from the knee and make a prayer formation with your legs.

Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose)

Hold your feet together with your hands, keeping your knees close to the mat, and maintain this pose for 60 to 90 seconds. For a deep hip and thigh opening, you can lean forward or try to do butterfly flaps with your legs. 

3. Sukhasana (Easy Seated Pose) - Sit in the center of your yoga mat with your sitting bones at ease. If your sitting bones hurt, add some folded blankets under your glutes to make them more comfortable. 

Sukhasana (Easy Seated Pose)

Now, interlace your legs so that your right foot is placed below your left knee and vice-versa. Hold this pose here for 3 to 5 minutes with a straight spine. This pose is closely related to the positioning of the Auspicious Pose. 

Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Swastikasana 

The following are steps to practice Swastikasana or Auspicious Pose:

Step 1: Take a seated, upright position on the floor and spread both legs in front of you. 

Step 2: Start by simply bending your left leg from the knees and placing your left foot's sole on the inside of your right thigh. 

Step 3: Next, bend your right leg from the knee and place your right shin in the space between your left and thigh muscles. 

Step 4: Make sure your knees are touching the yoga mat. Engage your core and straighten your spine. Keep your hands in Gayan Mudra against your knees and close your eyes.

Step 5: Relax your whole body by breathing consciously. You can also practice Pranayama or Meditation in this position for a mindful session. 

Breath Awareness: 

Keep your breathing regular and at a steady pace. Make sure to breathe deeply and exhale twice as much as you breathe in.

Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold Auspicious Pose for 5-10 minutes.

Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold Auspicious Pose for as long as it feels comfortable. 

Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind

Being conscious of your sitting posture is important, especially when you are performing this asana for a long duration. Below are some Auspicious Pose alignment cues to keep you safe from injury: 

  • Avoid rounding of the spine: Only a straight and upright back during Swastikasana will help you reap the most health benefits of the pose. If your back hurts and you’re unable to keep it upright, try sitting beside a wall and to build some strength in your spine. 

  • Don’t cross the same leg for too long: Make sure that you interchange your crossed legs after a few minutes. This will ensure a balanced engagement of both of your legs and prevent restriction of blood circulation in any one leg. You can change your legs after every 2 minutes. 

Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Swastikasana 

After a long sitting session in Swastikasana, it’s helpful to regain blood circulation back around your legs and hip muscles. Here are a few counter yoga poses for relaxation after your long Auspicious Pose practice: 

1. Baddha Konasana Uttanasana (Bound Angle Forward Bend): After the Swastikasana practice, change your leg placement into Namaste formation. Hold your feet with your hands and gently bend your upper body forward on the ground. 

Baddha Konasana Uttanasana (Bound Angle Forward Bend)

Bend forward only as much as you feel it’s comfortable for your back and glutes to tolerate. This pose will help your spine to relax, and your glutes activate blood circulation after a long Swastikasana practice.

2. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose): This posture will bring the spine into a natural shape, stimulate your heart, and relax the pelvis. From the Bound Angle Forward Bend, sit back up in Baddha Konasana for a few deep breaths. Maintain the prayer formation in your legs, exhale deeply and gently bend your torso back toward the ground. 

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

First, place your hand on the ground, then your tailbone, then your mid-back, and finally your neck. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and unwind your entire body. Push your knees outwards and try to keep them close to the ground. 

Swastikasana Modifications and Props

Here are a few Auspicious Pose modifications with props to make your practice easier:

  • Get wall support: Even after engaging the core muscles, holding your spine straight can feel slightly uncomfortable. If this is the case, try sitting in front of a wall for added support. 

Get wall support

For best results, make sure you don’t rely on the wall completely. As you start to gain spinal strength with time, slowly keep moving away from the wall and try to sit straight with your own body weight. 

  • Sit on a soft surface: If you are feeling discomfort in your sitting bones during prolonged durations of Swastikasana, try adding some folded cushions or blankets below your sitting bones and/or glutes. 

Sit on a soft surface

These cushions will help ease the unnecessary pressure on your pelvis and make it easier for you to hold the position longer. 

Swastikasana Variations to Consider

Below you can find some interesting Auspicious Pose variations that you can incorporate into your regular yoga practice: 

1. Auspicious Pose with Raised Arms: Begin by aligning your lower body in Auspicious Pose. Now, engage your core, inhale and lengthen your torso as you bring your arms overhead. Exhale and slowly move your shoulders away from your ears.

Auspicious Pose with Raised Arms

Hold this pose with raised arms for 1 to 5 minutes and feel the burn in your shoulders. This posture variation will help you increase your shoulder and spinal strength. 

2. Auspicious Pose Forward Bend: Get into Auspicious Pose with your legs and take a few deep breaths. Inhale deeply and exhale even deeper as you start to gently bend forward from your torso. 

Auspicious Pose Forward Bend

Round your spine and engage your core muscles. Rest your forehead on the mat and extend both of your arms in front of you. Hold this pose for 1 to 5 minutes and this pose will stretch the entirety of your back muscles as well as your deep pelvic muscles, making them stronger and flexible with time.

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Level-Up Poses After Swastikasana for Advanced Yogis

Now, if you have mastered the art of performing the Auspicious Pose, it’s time to take your practice to the next level and get into the following advanced seated yoga positions. 

Level-Up Pose 1 - Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Level-Up Pose 2 - Baddha Padmasana (Bound Lotus Pose)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Gupta Padmasana (Hidden Lotus Pose)

Level-Up Pose 4 - Padangustha Padma Utkatasana (Half Lotus Tip Toe Pose)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

Bound Lotus Pose

Bound Lotus Pose

Gupta Padmasana

Gupta Padmasana 

 Padangustha Padma Utkatasana

 Padangustha Padma Utkatasana

Similar Seated Poses like Swastikasana

Take a look at the below list of some seated yoga poses, which are similar to the Swastikasana practice. 

  1. Virasana (Hero Pose)

  2. Dandasana (Staff Pose)

  3. Padmasana  (Lotus Pose)

  4. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

  5. Siddhasana (Accomplished Pose)

Frequently Asked Questions about Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)

What are the benefits of Swastikasana?

Can beginners perform Swastikasana pose?

Who should not perform Swastikasana?

What are the different types of variation in Swastikasana?

Articles about Swastikasana (Auspicious Pose)
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