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Can’t sit with your legs crossed for long? Here’s what your body is trying to tell you

Published on:31 March 2021, 12:51pm IST
Sitting cross-legged for more than a minute is next to impossible for some people. This shows that their health is slipping out of their hands.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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How long can you sit with your legs crossed? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Pinching pain, numbness, and cramps – these are problems that arise when certain people sit cross-legged for a while. It’s a sign that something is miserably wrong with your health, especially the muscles of your lower body. Oh, and did we tell you being immobile for a long time and not staying active adds to the trouble.

You will be shocked to know that being unable to sit crossed-legged is a clear sign of tense muscles. 

You’ll be surprised to know the many benefits of sitting cross-legged

1. It improves range of motion.
2. It improves blood flow.
3. It is a great way to stretch your muscles, without even doing anything.
4. It is also good for your knees and joints.
5. It improves your posture.
6. It boosts your bowel movement.
7. Lastly, when you sit cross-legged, your ankles tend to put more pressure on the arteries of your inner thighs. This makes your heart pump more blood, leading to better supply of oxygenated blood to other body parts, improving their functioning.

sitting cross legged
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring muscle cramps. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s what your body is trying to tell you if you can’t sit cross-legged for more than a minute
1. You have weak glutes

Your body weight, while sitting cross-legged, lies on the glutes and if they aren’t strong enough, the area will feel numb. That’s why you need to indulge in exercises that are good for the glutes.

If you can’t do that, ensure that after every hour, you stand and walk a little to improve the blood circulation in that area.

2. Your thighs aren’t strong enough

That’s why we suggest you work out your legs at least once a week, so that you don’t have to face these problems. Your thighs also bear the stretch when you sit cross-legged, and not having stronger thighs won’t help you hold the pose for a really long time.

3. Your pelvic muscles are weak too

Having loose pelvic muscles is as worse as having them way too tight. Therefore, you need to maintain an optimum balance. When your pelvic floor muscles become way too tight, it becomes hard to mobilize them. The only solution is to be regular with your pelvic exercises.

4. You blood isn’t circulating properly

Stiff muscles means your blood is not circulating properly, and that’s the only reason you feel numbness in your lower body. This is not at all a good practice, because as you age, this will become a major issue. This will bring more stiffness in your joints and your ankles will also bear its brunt. This will hamper your movement as well as the posture. So, beware ladies!

sitting cross legged
Keep your legs up on the wall please to improve blood circulation. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s how you can rectify this problem

There are many stretches that can help you develop better hip mobility, and stronger pelvic floor muscles. In fact, it is a proven fact that yoga plays a major role in bringing more agility to your lower body. 

Here are some yoga poses and stretches that will help you sit longer with cross legs

1. Child pose – It will help in making your hamstrings and quads more flexible.
2. Pigeon pose – This one is basically for your hip mobility.
3. Toe touch – To relax your leg muscles.
4. Vajrasana – To stretch your thigh muscles to the max.
5. Lunge pose – This one is again for your glutes.
6. Bridge pose – It helps to properly align your pelvic muscles properly.

Hold each exercise for 10 seconds, see the difference within a month.

Now you know why your mum always tells you to fold your legs and sit!

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.