What is this position called and why can only I do it?

Hi all. I’m a long-time lurker on the SD, so I figure my grand entrance should be with the most ridiculous question ever. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been able to sit in this particular position. My calves are bent around to the outer sides of my thighs, my feet flexed and pointing outward. It’s actually very comfortable for me… I just plop down on my knees and my legs naturally unfold to each side. I’m 29 and doing this hasn’t grown any more difficult than it was when I was 5.

Here’s a picture!

Most people who see me do this think they can do it too… it doesn’t look particularly difficult… but when they actually try it, they find themselves struggling to actually lower their butt to the ground. I never realized this was odd until recently. I’ve never thought myself to be “double-jointed” nor do I think I have a freakish amount of flexibility… or any amount of flexibility that is above average for that matter. My mom can’t seem to do it either, in fact she’s always argued with me that I’m going to somehow hurt myself doing it (I don’t know how)

Is there a name for this pose? Why am I able to do it while other people can’t? :confused:

While the pose itself may or may not have a name, there is a name for your joints. You have what is known as hypermobility, which is just a fancy word that says you can move your joints farther than most folks.

IANAD, but as I understand it, hypermbility is usually genetic in origin and by itself usually isn’t necessarily anything to worry about. However, the genes responsible for it are also responsible for a lot of other connective tissues in your body. In some cases, the underlying condition leads to a progressively debilitating disease where your joints sorta just get too loose, eventually decaying to the point where you can no longer walk.

It would probably be a good idea to discuss all of this with your doctor.

ETA: Wikipedia article on hypermobility, which lists a lot of info.

Sorry, don’t know what it’s called.
Just wanted to add that I’m an over 50 male that’s always been able to do this. I can even stand right up from it, although I feel like I’m going to blow out a knee sooner or later by doing it. I’m not double jointed, just really flexy.
The only others I’ve ever seen do it are really young kids… and you.

Yikes. That was not information I ever expected to hear. If I can bring myself to remember something as (currently) inconsequential as this the next time I end up in a doctor’s office, I guess I will bring it up!

I had a number of friends when we were kids who sat that way. I never could.

How does “modified virasana” sound?

I might be able to get into that position, but it is very likely that I would need a lot of help getting out of it and some significant recovery time before I would walk away from it

My wife and son can both sit like that. She and my son can both sit with their toes pointed to the sides, but say it’s much more comfortable with their toes pointed backwards. They’re both very flexible.

My wife had Rheumatoid arthritis (it’s been in remission for several years now).

Nice! That does look very much like what it is :slight_smile:

She may be hypermobile or not but unless I am mistaken what she is demonstrating is “W-sitting” - a consequence of “femoral anteversion.” When she stands she can likely point her toes way in, past pointing to each other, but can turn them out only a little ways. As a young child she may have tripped over her own feet but might have been a decent sprinter as a teen. She likely cannot sit “criss-cross applesauce” either.

It is very common in kids, mostly outgrown, and many elite sprinters have some degree of it. Apparently biomechanically it helps with the push out of the blocks.

I’m a 51 year old male and I have no problem sitting like that.

Don’t all kids sit this way? My two did.

I’m not sure if there’s any difference in the Virasana pose mentioned above and W-sitting… the former involves the calves being tucked to the sides where W-sitting involves the legs kind of sprawled out a little bit (like a W)… I never had any abnormalities in which direction my toes could face and I definitely can sit cross-cross-applesauce (am right now as I post this!)… I think this thread has more people that can do it than I’ve ever met IRL in adulthood.

I sat like that a ton when I was a kid. Can’t do it anymore.
I’ve always wondered if my adult knee issues comes from that.

Hm, strange. I’ve always been told I was “double-jointed” and could most things that that name comes with, but this was weird.

I can do one side as you pictured, but the other feels too strained. I probably could if I forced my foot, but decided against trying.

Now if you’ll invent an appropriate side-sitting pose, we’ll use the Sanskrit of your username for it. :slight_smile:

I used to sit like that ALL the time when I was little, but it’s more difficult now for sure when we do it in yoga

Almost all babies and toddlers can and do sit like that at some point. We call it “W-sitting” and try to discourage it because it’s really hard on the developing hip joints and may aggravate hip dysplasia or lead to walking pigeon toed. (Although take that last point with a grain of salt - there are so many things which are supposed to cause or cure pigeon toeing, and most of it ends up being entirely unimportant in the long run.)


I have found this a very comfortable sitting position for as long as I can remember. I’m 67. I often thought it had something to do with the fact that my right leg was turned outward from birth. I wore corrective shoes or braces for a while and now both my feet properly face forward. My right knee, however, is now turned inward.

I was told as an adult that sitting that way is very bad for one’s knees. Mine have been fine until the left one was injured in a car accident.

Interestingly, my granddaughter prefers to sit in a ‘W’ as well. She is four and has never had any problems with everything being as straight in line as it should be.


Both of my girls W-sit a lot, and we’ve been told to discourage it when we see it. My youngest in particular has very low muscle tone, and her therapist says she sits like that because it easiest - it uses the least amount of muscle strength. We’ve got her trained at 18 months to change to a “legs pointing forward” position when we say “fix your legs”.

As kids my sister and I used to sit like that all the time. We could scoot across the floor by scissoring our legs in that position.

Then I got old.