While meditation is a brain exercise, the physical part plays a big role too. Today, I am going to be very specifically talk about meditation positions. While some beginners may think that sitting on the floor with your legs crossed is the default or even the only position for meditation, it is definitely not. In fact, I just happen to find that mentioned popular meditation position a little uncomfortable to me, so that’s not my favorite position even I am the kind of people that have the tendency to stick to default options. And there are some people that have injuries or simply have bad knees that they need other positions to complete their meditation process. Let’s take a look at a list of meditation positions now.
Sitting on Chair or Sofa
As mentioned, I found sitting on the floor with legs crossed uncomfortable. It may have to do with my old right knee injuries. My right knee has been healed but it doesn’t work as smoothly as my left knee. My favorite meditation position is to simply sitting on a chair or on my sofa, with my hand gently put on my laps. Although that’s not as iconic as the leg-crossed position, I find this position to be the most natural meditation position. As a bonus, you can achieve this position anywhere, in your home or on the bus.
Sit on the Floor with Your Legs Crossed
This is probably the popular meditation position. To achieve this position, put a cushion or mat on the floor and sit on it with your legs crossed. You can have your left leg on top of your right leg or vice versa. Just find a way that feels comfortable to you. Put your hands on top of your laps. Some like to have the hands face up and some like to have them face down. For those of you who have bad knees like me, you may not feel comfortable meditating in this position. You don’t have to force it, there are many other meditation positions that you can choose from.
Stand During Meditation
It can be surprising to some people to know that you can actually stand while you meditate. Remember, everyone is created differently. For some people, they feel that standing make them more comfortable than sitting on a chair. And there is another group of people who can have some back pain sitting for a long time. To stand in a comfortable position for meditation, the key is to keep some distance between your leg foot and your right foot. Make the distance around shoulder wide. You can use that as your guideline and adjust to read a position that you are comfortable with. For me, I found that standing to meditate won’t allow me to get myself to get into the half-asleep mode as easily. Yet, I can see how it is a good way to meditate for those of you that have some serious back pain sitting. For the hand positions, some people like to just keep the arms on the side like they would naturally do standing. Some like to put their hands on their belly to feel their breath to make their breath meditation easier.
Kneeling Meditation Position
You can also kneel on the floor for your meditation. You will definitely need your cushion or mat to not make your knees feel painful. For the hands, you have the choice between just putting them on your laps and touching your hands with each other and place them near the center of your chest. For people who have flexible body, this can be an effective meditation position. For me, I can’t even do that for a minute. I find this meditation position put too much stress on my knees. For people who have bad knees, you should avoid this position. The good thing about this position is that it is relatively easier to keep your back straight.
Lye Down to Meditate
For those of you who have bad knees and bad backs, it is indeed a good idea to lye down on the floor when you meditation. You will definitely need a mat. Simply lie on the mat with the face facing the ceiling. You arms should be on the side of your body in relaxed positions. Slightly move your legs apart from each other until you feel comfortable and nature. Make them shoulder-width apart roughly should usually do it. One common question about this meditation position is: how it that different from sleeping? The quick answer is that although the position may be similar to your usually sleeping position or even the same, when meditating, you are assigning a simple task to your mind such as repeatedly reading a mantra or observing your breath. Therefore, your mental state and your purpose are definitely different. That’s the theory. However, for me, in reality, I do actually have a hard time keeping myself from actually sleeping. It is possible that because I usually don’t have enough sleep or this meditation position just doesn’t suit me. Having said that, this is probably the most suitable meditation position for those of you who have a long history of body injuries, especially back injuries or knee injuries.
Detail #1: Keep Your Spine Straight
No matter what meditation position you choose, one thing you should always do is to keep your spine as straight as possible. Don’t force it though. Just make it straight in a natural way.
Detail #2: Relax Your Shoulders
If you meditate daily, there is a good chance that your shoulders are generally more relaxed than those who don’t. Still, reminding yourself to keep your shoulder relaxed is a good thing. Having tight shoulders can reduce the comfort and effectiveness that you can get from your meditation session.
To sum up this blog post, there are mainly four meditation positions: sitting on a chair, sitting with legs crosses, standing, kneeling and lying down. You should first filter out the meditation positions that can make you feel uncomfortable or even painful due to hurting your bad knees or bad back, etc. Then if there are a few of these positions remaining, choose the one that allows you to meditate most effectively.