Seated Cradle (Hindolasana)

By Elizabeth Herman┃Posted: May 29, 2019

Seated leg cradle-- Hindolasana (Hin-dole-AA-sun-aa) is often used as a warm up for hip opening postures and leg stretches. A simple seated hip opener that gently stretches the hamstrings, pelvic floor muscles, groin, and gluteus maximus, it also helps to release tensions in the lower back and hips due to long hours at a desk. In Sanskrit, “hindola” means swinging cradle, and “asana” means posture or yoga pose.

Level of difficulty- Beginner

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Begin sitting with your legs in Easy Pose (sukhasana or cross legged).

  2. Reach down, grab the outside of your right foot and bring it into the crux of the left elbow.

  3. Wrap your right arm around the outside of your right knee.

  4. Cradling your leg and rocking it side to side, create a stretch in your right hip and IT band, along the side of your leg.

  5. As you inhale, grow long through your spine and roll your shoulders back. Take 8-10 breaths then switch sides.


  • Both seated and reclined cradle poses benefit the hamstrings, hips, and pelvic area and can be included in yoga sequences that focus on those muscles.


  • Students with any injury to the hips, knees, lower back, and/or spine should take precautions with this pose.

  • Students with arthritis of the hips, knees, and spine should practice this while seated on a cushion or even a chair, with complete guidance from a yoga teacher.

Modifications and variations

  • After practicing seated cradle pose on the right, stretch out the right leg and hold it in the air, toes pointed toward the ceiling, with your right hand supporting your leg at the knee, calf, ankle, or foot. Straighten the spine and sit erect. Hold this for a few breaths. Repeat on the left side, after seated cradle pose on the left.

  • Sitting in Easy Pose, twist your head, neck and shoulders from the waist to the right and left, alternating sides, looking behind you and progressively increasing the speed as you repeat the twists. Right and left arms, alternating, should touch the floor behind you on either side.

  • For reclined cradle, begin lying on your back. Bend your knees, placing both feet flat on the ground below them. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Begin pressing your right knee away from your upper body, opening your hips. Lift your legs toward your chest. Threading your right hand between your legs and your left hand outside your left thigh, interlace your fingers against the back of your left thigh. Inhale and then exhale, drawing your legs in toward your chest while energetically continuing to press your right knee away from your body. Practice on each side for about 8-10 breaths.

Preparatory poses and follow up poses

Browse our entire yoga poses library and learn more about each yoga pose in detail.

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at to find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

Are you interested to become a 200 H certified yoga teacher?

Sri Sri School of Yoga offers the most traditional (scripture-based), classical and authentic teacher training programs globally. Its certification is Yoga Alliance compliant. 

To find out more about teacher training offered in North America, talk to a Yoga Teacher Training Advisor. Click here to schedule your appointment!

Art of Living Part 1 course: Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being.

Subscribe to Art of Living Blog Digest