7 postures to meditate (and how to put them into practice)
Aug 20, 2022
Meditation seeks to bring the body and mind into a state of deep relaxation. This practice implies a correct attention management, we could say that it is a kind of training of our mind to allow us to be more present.
In addition, meditative practice can help us combat stress, relieve anxiety, and enhance our creativity. Some studies have shown that it also has important effects on physical health.
Although meditation is considered as a practice that mainly works the mind, the body and body posture are also very important when meditating. We must adopt a posture that allows us to achieve a state of deep relaxation.
In this article we explain how to perform the most popular meditation positions, in addition to presenting a series of tips on how to maintain the correct posture and avoid possible pain when meditating.
- Related article: "Meditation as a relaxation technique"
Correct meditation posture
Meditation is not a single method, there are different meditative practices, involving different techniques and body postures. But to start we do not need to watch all the available videos or sign up for a retreat. It only takes
It can be practiced in different places and times. Whether we have been meditating for years, or if it is the first time we enter the meditative practice, flexibility in approach is important. The important thing is to find a way of meditating that works for us, and for that it may be necessary to make certain modifications 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 the meditative practice.
There is a well-known seven-key approach to adopting good body posture when meditating. Of course, these tips are flexible and each one can adapt them according to her needs. We must remember that meditation is a practice where the mind and body work together, so it is important to approach posture, like the rest of the elements, in a relaxed way.
1. way of sitting
The posture we adopt when sitting down to meditate It will depend mainly on the flexibility of our hips. The most logical thing is that we begin to meditate, in the way that we usually sit. Some people, when meditating, prefer to cross their legs, others use some kind of cushion or meditation bench. We can also sit on a chair. There is no correct way to sit, as we have said, it is important to do it in the way that we feel most comfortable and we can relax. If we start with a posture that differs a lot from how we usually do it, it is likely that some muscles and ourselves will feel tense.
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Regardless of the way we choose to sit, it is important that the spine is always as straight as possible during the meditative plate. The way we breathe can help us keep our spine aligned, stretching it every time we take a breath. Also, this habit can help us correct our body posture on a daily basis. Paying attention to when we stoop and return to a correct position of the spine can avoid different health problems.
In most of the well-known meditation positions, the hands are placed on the thighs with the palms extended.
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when meditating, we must keep our shoulders aligned and relaxed. Also, to keep your chest open and your back straight, it helps to roll your shoulders back slightly. During practice, it is important that we check posture from time to time, to make sure that the spine remains straight. An easy way to correct poor posture is to inhale by rolling your shoulders back.
A correct posture when meditating also involves the facial muscles. We must place the chin slightly inward and the back of the neck in line with the rest of the body. We also have to (like the rest of the body) keep our face relaxed. This slight tilt of the head can help us release tension, so it can happen naturally, once we are relaxed.
The jaw is a major source of tension, and its muscles are capable of exerting forces of up to 90 kg. Therefore, it is important to release any 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 making some exaggerated yawns. Also while we are meditating we can slightly open the mouth and press the tongue against the roof of the mouth to relax the jaw.
In order not to interrupt the practice, it is recommended to decide if we want to meditate with our eyes open or closed. According to people advanced in meditative practice, it is easier to meditate with your eyes closed, as doing this keeps your face, eyes, and eyelids naturally relaxed. But also we can meditate with our eyes open. But it is important to keep a distant focus point.
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The best meditation postures
As we have just seen, the first step in preparing to meditate is to find a comfortable position that suits us. This helps the body follow the intentions of the meditative practice, supported by alignment and body posture. In addition to the guidelines that we have mentioned, there are a series of pre-designed postures that help us to position the body correctly.
1. lotus room
In this posture, each foot rests under the opposite knee. It is the quintessential position that we associate with sitting on the floor with our legs crossed, since we are little. In this posture, we must 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 helpful in this meditation position to lift the hips and rotate the pelvis forward enough.
If we are starting with the meditative practice, it is advisable to use a wall as a support for the back when performing this and other postures. To maintain a correct posture of the spine, we can put a rolled-up sweatshirt 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 you already have at home like blankets, pillows, and towels.
2. half lotus
The half lotus posture is the same as the quarter lotus, except that we must place one of our two feet on the opposite thigh, the left foot on the right thigh, or vice versa. Therefore, this position requires that we have a lot of flexibility in the hips. If we are not flexible enough, or we notice discomfort, it is better do not use the half-lotus posture, 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 posture.
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3. full lotus
Although this pose and the previous two poses are considered beginner poses, the full lotus position is not easy to perform. To do it correctly we must place each foot on the opposite thigh. As we can see, it is more stable and symmetrical than the half lotus, but it requires more flexibility from the lower part of our body.
The symmetry of the posture brings benefits when considering the interconnection of mind and body during meditative practice. But not everyone can do it, especially this posture is not recommended if we have backs in the hip and knee joints.
4. Burmese position
This posture is less demanding than the previous ones, it is considered easy for anyone who can naturally place their knees on the ground. We must place both feet 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 by leaning forward, backward, to the left, etc. Also, to move the cushion to find a balanced position. If we adopt a balanced position, we will not put pressure on the feet or legs.
6. Seiza posture
In the Japanese tradition, the most common form of meditation involves kneeling. This posture is known by the name of Seiza, which translates as "sitting correctly". This technique usually done with the help of a meditation bench, although a cushion can also be placed to cushion. We can also kneel without any help, yes, the upper part of the feet must be on the ground.
The kneeling position of Seiza, unlike in the Lotus, does not put pressure on the lower part of the body. Some form of cushioning can be used under the knees and feet, especially if we are just starting out with the meditative practice.
Another version of this pose done by sitting on your heels and pointing your toes forward. It's a great stretch for the bottoms of your feet, but it takes hours of practice for those with no experience.
5. Other postures
If for any reason, either we have just started meditating or we suffer some kind of pain -or limitation- to perform the most common postures. We can meditate in more flexible ways. As we have already seen, the important thing is to relax the body.
Meditate in a chair: using a chair when meditating offers all the benefits offered by the other postures.
Lying down meditation: long meditation sessions are likely to cause discomfort, but they should never cause pain. If even when meditating with the help of a chair, we notice pain, we can try doing the practice lying down.
Standing meditation: this practice is recommended, if the meditations frequently end in a nap or if other postures cause pain. It is important to make sure not to lock the knees to maintain a correct position.