Yoga for Beginners

Meditation for beginners: How to find a comfortable seat.

Learning to meditate is no walk in the park! But with our top tips on how to find a comfortable sitting position you'll be one step closer to discovering the benefits of this amazing practice.

You’ve heard about the benefits of meditation - and know that your mind is desperately busy. No doubt when you think about meditation, you imagine a buddha like posture with legs in lotus, spine long and eyes closed. But ever tried to sit that way? It's freaking hard! 

Today we give you some more beginner friendly sitting options for embarking on an adventure with meditation.

If you've ever tried to meditate or sit in stillness you’ll probably know that it’s not just as easy as just plopping yourself down and closing your eyes. In fact, if you can stop thinking about your "TO DO LIST" for more than two mins, you’ll probably notice that the first challenge is finding a comfortable seat. 

How the hell can you 'get your mind to be still' when your hips are on fire and it feels like someone is driving hot pokers into your shoulder blades?

Well today we’ll share three of our favourite ways to sit and get comfy in meditation.

If you're just getting started with your yoga practice - it might come as a surprise to know that the physical postures as we know them only became popularised in the past 200 years or so - and their main purpose are to strengthen the body & nervous system in order to sit and prepare the body & mind for the practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation.

learn to meditate


Easy / Joyful Pose
You probably identify with this cross legged posture as something you might have done in kindergarten or in primary school - most likely you sat on the floor a lot in those earlier years but no doubt as you got a little bit older you became more used to sitting on a chair as a preference. 

So this might be the first time that you’ve sat on the ground like this for quite a while and if your hips or knees are stiff it might not feel that great.

Our top tips for getting comfortable in this pose are:

1. Elevate the hips on a block or a bolster.

2. Take the knees wider apart.

3. If you are really struggling, use a wall for back support.

The meaning of Sukhasana is joyful or easy, so why not use props that make this pose joyful and easy for you instead of feeling like you need to fidget every two seconds to get comfy.


Accomplished Pose
Siddhasana is like the "P-Plates" of a sitting meditation posture. You’ve ditched the L’s and can probably sit cross legged fairly comfortably now but you might still struggle to sit up tall.

I like to use a block as a base for the hips. This is one of our favourites because you can make a really long base of support from shin to shin and hips are a little higher, which makes it easier to maintain a natural curve in the lower spine. 

Ergonomically – the spine is happy, rather than sitting with the tailbone and lower back tucking under.


Top tips for getting comfortable in this pose are:
1. Use a block for a firm base of support.
2. Heels line up with each other and the groin.
3. You should feel a nice broad base of support from knee to knee through the line of the shins.



Hero Pose
Another option we love - especially for beginners for those with super tight hips is Virasana.
Also known as Hero pose this kneeling posture is best skipped if you’ve got knee issues or ankle issues. But one of the good things about this pose is that the thighs or the femurs are actually rotating inward a little bit so this is ideal for folks that suffer from sciatica – a condition that might mean sitting cross legged is difficult.

Top tips for getting comfortable in this pose:
1. Use one or two blocks or a bolster between the knees and under the hips.
2. The heels of the feet should lie ‘just’ on the outer edges of the hips (or blocks)
3. Toes point directly back (rather than out to the sides which may strain the knee ligaments).

So there are three options for you and ways that you can use props in order to come to comfortable sitting meditation positions in Yoga. 


Before I sign off - let me just say that like ANYTHING - learning to meditate TAKES TIME, but know that you have OPTIONS! 

In the comments section below I'd LOVE you to share with me:

1. Which of these postures do you like the best?

2. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to meditation? 

7 Simple Yoga Stretches to Tame Tight Hamstrings

stretch tight hamstrings


As a yoga studio owner, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me they had tight hamstrings and it might surprise you to know that hamstring flexibility is something that I struggle to maintain.

Give me a handstands (so much fun!) and backbends (so energising) over painful hamstring stretches any day!  I put on muscle mass easily and do well with strength based poses, but maintaining flexibility is not something that comes easily at all. Even coming from a dance background - my hammies are very stubborn and it takes a lot of work to keep them feeling stretched out. So believe me when I say I KNOW!

In this blog post with the help of my partner (and anatomy nerd) Exercise Physiologist, Russ Young,  we're going to show you 7 Simple Yoga Stretches to Tame Tight Hamstrings.  You can either follow along with the pictures (pin it if you're on pinterest to come back to later) or if you're really serious, then I recommend you join our simple online course to get you started with a home practice "Press Pause - 5 Easy Practices for Better Sleep, Focus & Flexibility".



The Hamstrings consist of a group of 3 muscles at the back of the thigh.

Biceps Femoris (located at the back of the leg on the outside)

Semitendinosus (located at the back on the leg on the inside)

Semimembranosus (located at the back of the leg on the inside)


The hamstrings are responsible for flexion at the knee joint (bending the knee) and extension of the thigh (moving the upper thigh backwards). 

The hamstrings also can contribute to the range of motion possible regarding the anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis.

When the hamstrings are very tight, there is often a tendency to tuck the tailbone too much leading to a reduction or removal in the natural curve of your lower back.


You can quickly test your hamstring flexibility by standing up with your feet hip width apart & folding forward to touch your shins or toes.

Stand side on to a mirror. As you fold forward, try to flatten your lower back out (by sticking your butt back and lifting your tailbone).

If your posture is really rounded in the lower back and you are unable to reach below the shins by keeping a flat back then chances are your hamstrings are tight.


Tight hamstrings can lead to a decrease in the natural lumber curve of the spine.

Over time, this can cause pressure on the discs in your lower back which may lead to subluxation or a ‘bulging disc’.

In this blog post we’ll be sharing strategies from our experience from a combined 30+ years in yoga, exercise physiology & teaching beginners.


Because the hamstrings are relatively long it is possible to experience different types of tightness or tenderness in various parts of the muscle. Knowing what kind of tightness or tenderness you have is crucial as sometimes what you think is tightness might actually be a sign of injury and needs a different approach (rest and strengthening vs stretching).


If your hamstrings are tight in the belly of the muscle, or lower down the leg and it eases off as you breathe and hold the stretch, this usually indicates general tightness.

Beginners, those new to yoga, those who train a lot, and those who have week abdominals will usually experience this kind of hamstring tightness. 



If you have any of the following symptoms - it is possible you have a strain

  • There is acute pain up and underneath your butt cheek at the sitting bone (ischial tuberosity)
  • Stretching feels more painful as you deepen the stretch and when you lift your tailbone
  • You can pinpoint a small area up under the butt cheek where there is pain
  • Your butt or upper inner thigh continues to hurt or ache AFTER the stretch
  • The pain is getting progressively worse when you stretch
  • There is pain when you sit for long periods of time

This type of injury can be common in those who have been practicing yoga for a while, or started rigorously after a long break and is indicative of an injury at the origin of the hamstring where it joins the pelvis.

This type of injury most commonly happens when there is a focus on a lot of forward bends without sufficient strengthening or warm up (eg: ashtanga yoga students often suffer from this type of injury). This is known as ‘yoga butt’ and definitely not a fun injury to deal with. It can also sometimes feel like you need to stretch it out - but you’ll notice that after stretching it continues to ache and eventually gets more and more painful.

If you suspect you have a strain, it is crucial to ease off all forward bends and seek a diagnosis and treatment which will usually involve rest and strength work.


  • Warm up first with a few sun salutations or if you are completely new to yoga - you can even do these stretches after a 5-10min walk.
  • Hold each pose for 5-15 breaths focusing on deepening the posture as you exhale.
  • Try to drag the heel of your front leg back as you stretch - this will help activate the muscle.
  • Remember to work within your body's comfortable limits - never straining.
  • The first pose is a strengthening pose for the upper hamstrings. The subsequent postures are designed to help improve hamstring flexibility.

1. Bridge Preparation (Setu Bandhasana)

2. Standing Forward Bend with Blocks (Uttanasana)

3. Kneeling Hamstring Lunge

4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

5. Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

6. Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

7. Supine Leg Extension (Supta Uttita Hasta Padangustasana)


If you like this post or know someone who trains a lot that would benefit from this sequence we love it if you can use the social links below to share the love (we'll be sending some good karma your way).


Now over to you....

We'd love you to leave us a comment below and let us know what your tight spots are? Hamstrings? Shoulders? Neck? Somewhere different?

What poses are you working on this year to overcome those tight spots?