7 postures for meditation (and how to put them into practice)

Meditation seeks to bring the body and mind into a state of deep relaxation. This practice involves correct management of attention, one could say that it is a kind of training of our mind to allow us to be more present.

Additionally, meditative practice can help us combat stress, relieve anxiety, and boost our creativity. Some studies have shown that it also has significant effects on physical health.

Although meditation is considered a practice that primarily works on the mind, the body and body posture are also very important when meditating. We must adopt a posture that allows us to reach a state of deep relaxation.

In this article we explain how to perform the most popular meditation positionsas well as the presentation of a series of tips on how to maintain the correct posture and avoid possible pain during meditation.

    Correct meditation posture

    Meditation is not a single method, there are different meditative practices, which involve different techniques and body postures. But to get started, we don’t need to watch all the available videos or sign up for a retreat. He only needs sit back, relax and breathe.

    It can be practiced in different places and times. Whether we’ve been meditating for years or it’s our first time getting into meditative practice, flexibility in focus is important. The important thing is to find the way of meditating that suits us, and for this it is possible that certain modifications will be made along the way.

    Before sitting down to meditate, it is necessary to know a series of key points to correctly position the different parts of the body involved in meditative practice.

    There is a well-known approach, of seven key guidelines, to adopting good body posture when meditating. Of course, these tips are flexible and everyone can adapt them according to their needs. It must be remembered that meditation is a practice where mind and body work together, so it is important to approach the posture, like the rest of the elements, in a relaxed way.

    1. How to sit

    The posture we adopt when we sit down to meditate it will mainly depend on the flexibility of our hips. The most logical thing is to start meditating, as we usually sit. Some people, when meditating, prefer to cross their legs, others use some type of meditation cushion or bench. You can also sit on a chair. There is no right way to sit, as we said, it is important to do it in the way that makes us feel most comfortable and manages to relax. If we start with a posture that differs a lot from the way we usually do, it is likely that certain muscles and ourselves will feel tense.

      2. Spine

      However we choose to sit, it is important that the spine is always as straight as possible during the meditative plateau. The way we breathe can help us keep the spine aligned, stretching it every time we breathe. In addition, this habit can help us correct our body posture on a daily basis. Paying attention to when we bend and return to a correct spine position can save us from different health issues.

      3. Hands

      In the majority of well-known meditation positions, the hands rest on the thighs with the palms extended.

        4. Shoulders

        During meditation, we need to keep our shoulders aligned and relaxed. In addition, to keep the chest clear and the back straight, it allows the shoulders to be raised slightly towards the back. During practice, it is important to check the posture from time to time, to ensure that the spine remains straight. An easy way to correct poor posture is to inhale as you move your shoulders back.

        5. Face

        Correct posture during meditation also involves the facial muscles. Place your chin slightly inward and your neck in line with the rest of your body. We must also (like the rest of the body) keep the face relaxed. This slight tilt of the head can help us release tensionso it can happen naturally, once we are relaxed.

        6. Jaw

        The jaw is an important source of tension and its muscles are capable of exerting forces of up to 90 kg. Therefore, it is important to release any type of tension that we hold in the jaw before meditating. We can do this before starting the practice, applying a small massage in the area or performing exaggerated yawns. Also while we meditate you can open your mouth slightly and press your tongue against the palate to relax your jaw.

        7. Watch

        In order not to interrupt the practice, it is recommended to decide whether we want to meditate with our eyes open or closed. According to people who are advanced in meditative practice, it is easier to meditate with your eyes closed, as it keeps your face, eyes and eyelids naturally relaxed. One too you can meditate with your eyes open. But it is important to keep a distant point of view.

          The best meditation postures

          As we have just seen, the first step in preparing to meditate is to find a comfortable position that suits you. This helps the body follow the intentions of meditative practice, supported by body alignment and posture. In addition to the guidelines we have mentioned, there is a series of predefined postures that help us to position the body correctly.

          1. Lotus Room

          In this position, each foot rests under the opposite knee. This is the position par excellence that we associate with sitting on the ground with our legs crossed, since we are small. In this position, keep the hips above the knees and lean slightly forward to allow rotation pelvic Also, ideally, the knees should rest on the feet. A meditation cushion is useful in this meditation position to lift the hips and rotate the pelvis far enough forward.

          If we begin the meditative practice, it is recommended to use a wall as a support for the back when performing this posture and others. To maintain correct posture of the spine, a rolled-up sweatshirt can be placed between the base of the lower back and the wall.

          Finally, as always, it’s best to experiment and see what works for us. You can find meditation cushions online, or you can use things we already have at home like blankets, pillows, and towels.

          2. Half-lotus

          The position of the mid-loto is the same as that of the quarter-lot, except that we must press one of our two feet on the opposite thigh, the left foot on the right thigh or vice versa. Therefore, this position requires us to have a lot of flexibility in the hips. If we are not flexible enough or notice any discomfort, it is better do not use the half-lotus position, to avoid putting pressure on the knee joints.

          People who practice yoga use the inverted pigeon as a warm-up, to prepare the joints for the pose.

            3. Lotto over

            Although this pose and the previous two are considered beginner poses, the full lotus position is not at all easy to do. To do it right place each foot on the opposite thigh. As we can see, it is more stable and symmetrical than the half-lotus, but it requires greater flexibility from the lower part of our body.

            Postural symmetry brings benefits when considering the interconnectedness of mind and body during meditative practice. But not everyone can do it, especially this position is not recommended if we have back pain in the hip and knee joints.

            4. Burmese Stance

            This position is less demanding than the previous ones, it is considered simple for anyone who can naturally put their knees on the ground. Both feet must be placed on the ground in a horizontal position in front of the pelvis.

            To find the most comfortable position for us, we can try different inclinations, we can experiment leaning forwards, backwards, to the left, etc… Also, move the cushion to find a balanced position. If we adopt a balanced position, we will not exert pressure on our feet or legs.

            6. Seiza Stance

            In the Japanese tradition, the most common form of meditation is kneeling. This posture is known as the number of Seiza, which translates to “sitting correctly”. This technique usually done using a meditation bench, although a cushion can also be placed for padding. One can also kneel without any help, yes, the upper part of the feet must rest on the ground.

            Seiza’s kneeling position, unlike Loto, does not put pressure on the lower part of the body. Some types of padding can be used under the knees and feet, especially if we have just started meditative practice.

            Another version of this pose this is done sitting on the heels and placing the toes pointing forward. It’s a great stretch for the soles of the feet, but it takes hours of practice from those with no experience.

            5. Other positions

            If for some reason we either just started meditating or we suffer from some type of pain -or limitation- in performing the most common postures. We can meditate more flexibly. As we have already seen, the important thing is to relax the body.

            • Meditate in a chair: using a chair during meditation offers all the benefits offered by the other postures.

            • Prolonged meditation: Prolonged meditation sessions are likely to cause discomfort, but they should never cause pain. If even while meditating with the help of a chair, we notice pain, we can try to perform the practice lying down.

            • Standing meditation: this practice is recommended, if the meditations often end with a nap or if other positions cause pain. It is important to be careful not to lock the knees to maintain a correct position.

            Bibliographic references

            • Babauta L. (2016). Meditation for beginners: 20 practical tips for understanding the mind.
            • How to meditate: Meditation posture. (2017).
            • McDowell D. (2016). Don’t just sit there! 5 alternative meditation positions.
            • Rinzler L. (2015). Everything you need to know about meditation posture.

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