Meditation is the quickest and, sometimes, the best way to disconnect from the world and reconnect with yourself and your body. The best part of it is, you can meditate anytime, anywhere – at your desk at work, in the car while stuck in traffic or at the grocery store, as you’re shopping. All you need to do is relax and breathe.
It’s important to find a practice that’s perfect for you – that’s another good thing about meditation. You can do it your way, whatever works well for you and approach it as you are.
Why posture is important in meditation
It’s impossible to feel relaxed if you’re not in a comfortable position. Only when you’re totally at rest and at ease can your mind open up and focus.
Regardless of where or how you sit, your spine should be completely erect. If you have the tendency to slouch, meditating is a good time to remind yourself to sit up straight. Otherwise, you will have trouble breathing properly.
Whether you’re meditating while sitting down on the floor or in a chair, comfort is key. Use a mat or a cushion if you need to and make sure the space is clear of any distractions or causes of discomfort.
Draw them back and down slightly while keeping them relaxed the whole time. Doing this opens your heart, your back strong and your breathing relaxed.
Most people find it awkward trying to get their hands in a comfortable position. They always seem to get in the way, don’t they?
When meditating, you can keep your hands at your sides or clasped on top of your lap. If you want to generate more heat and energy, you can lay them flat on your lap with the palms facing up.
This should be kept slack and tension-free to allow for clear breathing. You can release the tension in your jaw by yawning.
Keep your chin tucked without altering the position of your neck and spine. Making sure your chin is in the right position helps a lot in maintaining good posture when meditating. Remember to keep your face relaxed the whole time as well.
You can keep them closed or opened as long as there is nothing in your line of vision that distracts you from relaxing and meditating.
If you choose to meditate with your eyes open, make sure your gaze is fixed on the floor or a painting or tapestry hanging on a wall.
Traditional Meditation Postures
Full Lotus (Padmasana or Lotus Pose)
This posture requires you sitting down on the floor, cross-legged with both feet resting on top of the opposite thigh. You can rest your hands atop each knee or keep your fingers interlocked on your lap.
A variation of the quarter lotus below in which your legs are crossed with one foot resting on the opposite thigh. The other foot can fold underneath the top leg and rest below the knee or thigh.
Burmese (Sukhasana or Easy Pose)
If sitting on the floor cross-legged is a challenge, you can try this relaxed position wherein both feet are laying on the floor.
On a Stool
Meditating on a stool or a cushion is ideal if you are in the habit of meditating for extended periods of time. Consider investing in a good solid cushion or meditation tool if you’re looking to meditating as a consistent practice.
Seiza (propped-up Virasana (Hero Pose) or Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose))
You can also place a cushion or yoga props between your legs while kneeling as a variation to sitting with your legs crossed.
On a Chair
To get the most out of your meditation, you need to adopt a pose where your mind and body are both comfortably at rest. You need a chair that will allow you to sit with your back straight, your feet planted flat on the ground and your hands resting comfortably on your lap.
The be-all and end-all of meditation is finding the posture that allows you to open your heart and mind, breathe freely and focus with relaxation. Finding the perfect pose for you will help you get the most out of each practice and will keep you coming back for more over and over again for a healthier, happier and more sound-minded you.