Through the years, meditation postures and techniques have evolved continuously. Amidst these new developments, meditation practice has become more and more beneficial to anyone who has tried it, is trying it, or is thinking about trying it.
So if you are thinking of starting meditation, we suggest that you start right now. But before you get into your meditation journey, it is important for you to know a few postures to help you meditate. Having a posture you are comfortable doing can make a huge difference in the relaxation it will bring to you.
So without anything further, let us start exploring the 4 popular postures of meditation.
Getting to know Meditation!
Meditation is a practice that connects a person to the spiritual aspect of his being, and it has been practiced by people around the world for thousands of years.
In fact, meditation is practiced across different religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Mainly, these religions use meditation to have a deeper understanding of their spirituality, and true self or to experience the presence of a higher being.
People who have incorporated meditation into their daily lives have manifested significant changes in their respective personas, and many practitioners of meditation attest that it can do wonders to make changes in a person’s attitude and outlook in life. It is an activity that requires a person to assume certain postures when they do it. This will allow them to better realize the relaxing sensations brought by meditating.
When you’re new to meditation, obtaining and maintaining a good posture is quite a challenge. However, it gets a little bit easier once you get a posture that you are comfortable doing.
In this section of this blog, we will be showing you the four best meditation positions that you can choose from. Here are some of the most common postures of meditation that people apply:
1. Cross-Legged Posture
Among the known meditation positions, the cross-legged posture or lotus position is the one most prescribed by meditation teachers. The right lotus position is even taught in most meditative traditions.
It consists of keeping the spinal cord straight for efficient circulation. Good circulation enhances blood and oxygen distribution and this stimulates concentration which is the spring of spiritual energy.
How to do this:
- If you are a beginner, place a cushion behind you. You will be using it as a comfortable support.
- Bend your knees to your front.
- Put your feet directly under the knees.
- Make sure you are seated on the front half of the cushion
- Once you are able to sit on the floor, start meditating.
2. Standing Posture
One of the most popular types of meditation is standing posture meditation. This type of meditation is often used in martial arts training, as it helps to improve focus and concentration. In addition, standing posture meditation can also help to improve your balance and coordination.
Keep in mind that the goal of standing meditation is to bring balance and mindfulness to a person. Doing this practice is perfect for people who work in the office and is seated for a long period of time. Standing meditation gives their body a little bit of a stretch.
How to do this:
- Stand in a comfortable position with your feet apart.
- Then, slightly bend your needs while relaxing your hips and back.
- Now begin to slowly raise your arms with your hands in front of your chest.
- Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. While breathing, start to feel your surroundings.
- Hold this posture for 2 to 3 minutes and slowly increase the duration each day depending on your preference.
3. Kneeling Posture
This position requires the meditation practitioner to kneel with both knees on the floor with his buttocks resting on his toes. The heels should stay side by side with hands resting on both thighs.
If you find the cross-legged sitting position a little challenging, this one is for you. By kneeling, you are able to extend and relax your spine without putting too much stress on it. Since you don’t get too restrained in this pose, make sure to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
How to do this:
- Do the kneeling position and relax your arms while placing your hands on your knees.
- Keep your neck relaxed while holding the position
- Look straight forward then slowly tuck your chin while going downwards
4. Lying Down Posture
This next meditation is probably something that people can easily and would love to do. All you have to do is to lie down and meditate. Pretty easy, right?
Make sure that you keep your focus while doing this meditation as you do not want it to become a sleeping session. The lying down posture is similar to Savana in yoga. This requires the practitioner to lie on his back with his legs straight and relaxed.
This posture is not popular among meditation instructors as it mimics the natural sleeping position and can sometimes induce the practitioner to fall asleep. This is more of a stress reliever than a meditation procedure.
These are the most common postures in meditation. These positions can be further enhanced by incorporating them with mudras or hand gestures and by applying meditation enhancers like humming, chanting and deep breathing. These can help to improve your consciousness and put you in a meditative state.
Why does your meditation position matter?
If you are just a beginner in meditation, you will often hear from other experienced meditators that you should always be mindful of your posture. Meditation is not just about focusing on mantras and appreciating or feeling your surroundings. Paying attention position of your body during meditation matters because it affects the quality of your meditation.
Keep in mind that a meditation session may take longer based on what you want to achieve. Consequently, you should not slouch while meditating to avoid further straining your lower back.
With a comfortable and relaxed position, you will be able to focus more easily on your breath and achieve a deeper state of meditation. On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable or tense, it will be more difficult to relax and focus, and you may find yourself getting distracted more easily. Therefore, it is important to find a comfortable position that allows you to relax and focus on your breath.
More importantly, one of the many reasons why you need to practice proper posture is to avoid further back pain. According to Insight Timer, meditation would require “spinal stability and strength.” In that regard, although back pain is pretty common, learning the correct posture can minimize the likelihood of experiencing it.
How to improve your meditation posture?
Now that you understand how important it is to maintain the different meditation poses, it is essential to know how you can improve your own posture. Just as there are a lot of options for different meditation postures, there are a number of things you can do to improve your meditation posture. Here are some of them:
- Step 1: Make sure that your spine is straight and that your head is held up high.
- Step 2: Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang down at your sides.
- Step 3: Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Step 4: take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
- Step 5: Exhale through your mouth.
- Step 6: Focus on the present moment and let go of all thoughts and worries.
- Step 7: stay in this position for as long as you like.
Don’t get too worried if you find it hard to maintain your posture. Remember, meditation is a process. As you get used to the practice, you will start to notice your gradual improvement in achieving a good meditation posture.
How to Choose a Meditation Position
There are many different ways to meditate, and each person may find that a certain position or posture works better for them than others. Some people prefer to sit in a chair with their feet on the ground, while others like to sit cross-legged on a cushion or mat. Some people even prefer to lie down when they meditate.
Whatever you are doing, there is no right or wrong way to meditate, so experiment with different positions and see what feels most comfortable for you. To do this, you can start by choosing what you find the easiest to do the most or the one that you can fit into your time.
For instance, Very Well Mind suggests for beginners to start with the sitting position. Besides being the easiest to start with, it also helps keep your mind focused on meditation.
Don’t forget that the most important factor to consider when choosing a pose is your goals. Each meditation technique offers different physical and mental benefits, so make sure to also take that into consideration when choosing.
Benefits of Meditation
There’s a reason a lot of people are interested in doing meditation. With all the stressors that we face every day, giving yourself the time to relax and to reflect on everything makes a lot of difference.
If you are someone who is constantly stressed and burnt out from work, meditation is a way to go. It is simple and can be done anywhere and anytime whenever you feel like needing it.
There are many benefits of meditation. This includes:
- reducing stress and anxiety
- improving focus and concentration
- promoting overall well-being
- help to increase self-awareness
- improve sleep quality
- reduce pain.
- find inner peace
- better stress management
- fewer headaches
How long should I meditate?
How long you meditate is up to you. As previously mentioned, you can do it even in your free hours. The perfect time to meditate is when your mind and body feel like doing it.
So if you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the length of time you meditate. A general guideline is to meditate for 10-20 minutes per day. However, there are no hard and fast rules – ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how long to meditate.
Forming meditation as a habit requires consistency. If you don’t put your mind and drive into your posture, it will be impossible to achieve a state of relaxation and bring a strong connection with your body and mind.
Hone your meditation skills by choosing the right posture. Find more tips about meditation in our meditation blog posts.