One of the first things I learned about meditation is that if you can't get physically comfortable, you won't be able to relax mentally. When I started meditating regularly, for example, I quickly realized I'd need a backrest, something more comfortable to sit on (cue this comfy meditation pillow), and a rug or carpet so my feet weren't pressing into my hard floor. I also realized that doing a yoga practice before meditation was the perfect combination to quiet my mind and relax my body before sitting down to meditate.
I unfortunately don't have time for a yoga session every morning, and even with my pillow-rug-backrest combo, I sometimes still struggle to get comfortable enough to have an effective practice. So when I saw this set of stretches to help you comfortably sit criss-cross, I paused my scroll on TikTok and rolled out my mat. Created by Offbeat Yoga, this video teaches six quick stretches designed to open up your hips and get you ready to comfortably sit cross-legged. It only took me a few minutes to complete (I held each stretch for about 10 breaths), then I went straight into meditating - and I could feel the difference. My hips were less stiff and upright, and it felt easier to relax into my seated position. My favorite pose was definitely the reclined twist with foot to floor. It's a simple movement, but it brought a glorious stretch to my hips!
If you feel uncomfortable when you cross your legs, try out the quick stretch session above and see if it helps! And here are some more hip stretches to help you release tension and feel more comfortable sitting.