In cross leg stretches you can twist, side bend and forward bend while sitting with legs crossed. You can also "lift yourself up."
If you have difficulty sitting upright with crossed legs, then an option is to sit with one shin folded to the outside of the thigh in a semi-kneeling posture. This is also a good option if you have difficulty bending forwards with legs crossed.
While sitting cross legged you can practice backward bending and forward bending the spine. Start by lifting and lowering your tailbone so that your lumbar spine alternately bends backwards and forwards, then carry the bending actions up into the thoracic spine. This is a great way to build pelvic awareness.
While sitting with legs crossed you can twist your spine with the help of your arms. Or you can put your hands together in prayer in which case you have to use the muscles of the waist and ribcage (the obliques and intercostals) to drive the twist.
You could also stretch the shoulders.
You can stretch the shoulders while sitting cross legged by clasping the hands and reaching the arms rearwards behind the back. You could also touch them together in prayer behind your back.
You could also stretch the shoulders with the arms in front of the body using the eagle pose shoulder stretch. Another option is the cow face arm position.
To stretch the back of your hips you can bend forwards while sitting cross legged.
While bent forwards try increasing the forward tilt of you pelvis. Push your pubic bone down and back. Pull your tailbone forwards and up. So that your hip muscles are active, try pressing your feet downwards into the floor.
Try to make your arms feel long. Reach your shoulders forwards and make your palms feel open. To add a slight twist lift one arm while pressing down with the other hand (not shown.)
To add a side bend for your spine, reach your arms to the side while bending your upper body sideways. Bending to the left try to expand the right side of your waist and ribcage. You could work on reaching your right-side-ribs away from your pelvis while pulling your left-side-ribs towards your pelvis.
Another option for the cross legged seated yoga pose is to bend forwards and reach an arm across the chest to the opposite side. Then sink the shoulder and ribcage on the side of the arm you are stretching.
Reach the other hand forwards.
From the shoulder stretching position you can bend the elbow and use the shoulder to press it into the floor so that the ribcage lifts.
Then put the hands together in prayer and use both shoulders to drive the twist.
A very simple cross leg stretch is to reach your spine and arms upwards. Work at lifting your ribs up away from your pelvis. Draw you head away from your ribcage. Reach your shoulders up and at the same time make your arms and fingers all feel long.
So that you get a better feel for the action you can relax arms and spine while exhaling then continually lengthen upwards while inhaling.
To practice lifting up with legs cross start by setting up the arms and shoulders.
Spread the shoulder blades then pull the arms inwards to activate the latissimus dorsai muscles. Prevent arms from rotating inwards. To use the lats to help you lift your body, create a downward pull on the arms, at the same time pulling the hips upwards. First lift just your hips and when you are comfortable holding this position then try lifting one foot, then both feet.
Make your yoga poses less wobbly with less effort. Grounding and centering are two techniques for creating stability in yoga poses.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
Rather than fighting through joint pain here is an overview of the approach that I've used to help alleviate hip pain, knee pain or shoulder joint pain while doing yoga poses.
Make balancing easier. Use pressure sensitivity to feel your center of gravity.
A yoga approach to how to do squats including how to stay balanced, and avoiding knee or hip pain even while going all the way down.
Camel Yoga Pose or ustrasana is a kneeling pose that can be used to stretch the hip flexors. One key action that may help in getting your pelvis forwards more is pushing your hands forwards, either against your feet or against the floor.
The transverse abdominis can have an affect on sacroiliac joint stability as well as stability of the lumbar spine and the T12/L1 junction.
Fluid tensegrity joint anatomy looks at the tendency of the body to maintain space within the joints. The question is, how is this space maintained?
Why improve body awareness? So that you can use your body more effectively and fix problems yourself when they arise.
How is tensegrity maintained at the joints even as the body adopts non-tensegrity postures or movements?
Why being present is the oppositve of thinking and how to utilize both modes effecively.
Pigeon yoga pose variations include lifting the front hip and resting it on the floor. Learn how to activate the front hip in either variation for better hip control and more effective stretching.
Creating tensegrity in yoga poses. What is tensegrity, why should we aim to achieve it when doing yoga or any other activity where mindfullness is required?
Obturator externus anatomy for yoga teachers. If you have hip pain in forward bends and your hip feels weak, obturator externus may be the culprit.
Yoga stretches for tight hamstrings. Learn to feel when your legs are active and when they are relaxed so that you can gradually stretch tight hamstrings.
An experienced yogi's yoga pose has a sense of bigness. How do you as a beginner add bigness to your yoga poses?
Basic yoga sequence for flexibility. Includes hip, hamstring, quad stretches and neck stretches and recovery exercises.
Back strengthening yoga poses can be used to strengthen the back of the body including hamstrings, glutes and both the lower and upper back.
A look at getting your feet off of the wall and balancing in handstand plus tips for greater arm stability.
Yoga pose sequences for flexibility and strength. These sequences can be used for improving hip and shoulder flexibility and strength.