Sitting Meditation

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The knees should ideally also rest on the floor. Depending on your flexibility, it may take a bit of practice for the muscles to stretch and the knees to begin to drop. A cushion under the knee s can help. Imagine the top of your head being pulled upward towards the ceiling, which straightens your spine, then just let the muscles go soft and relax. There should be a slight curve in the lower region of the back. In this position, it takes very little effort to keep the body upright. The left foot is placed up onto the right thigh and the right leg is tucked under.

This position is slightly asymmetrical and sometimes the upper body needs to compensate in order to keep itself absolutely straight.


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If you sit more than 45 minutes a day, I recommend that you alternate which leg goes on top. The most stable of all the positions is the full lotus, where each foot is placed up on the opposite thigh. This is symmetrical and very solid, but only if you can be relax in it. You can sit kneeling using a seiza bench , which keeps the weight off your feet and helps keep your spine straight. You can also sit kneeling with a pillow between your legs.

If you sit with your pelvis against the back of the chair, you can use a cushion behind you to help keep your back straight. The hips should be slightly higher than the knees, this keeps you from slouching. Keep your feet flat on the floor. There are ways of encouraging alertness when lying down. If your knees are not bent you might place a pillow under your knees to take the stress off the low back. A few options:. We recommend any position where the arms and hands can be relaxed, often palms up or down on your thighs or folded on your lap. If there is neck, mid-back or shoulder strain, a small cushion can be placed under the folded hands.

Put a soft pillow or two behind your lower back to make sure your spine is straight, in an upright position.

General Guidance

If sitting cross-legged bothers your knees, stretch your legs out in front of you. Whichever sitting meditation position you choose, the posture pointers are the same: the back is straight yet relaxed, the head and neck are aligned over the spine, and the arms rest on the legs or in the lap. When it comes to your hand positions during meditation, you can either place them on the legs, palms down, or in your lap, palms up, one hand resting in the other.

Can I meditate lying down?

Dress Your Practice

To set yourself up, lie on your back with your legs about hip-width apart, toes relaxed out to the side, arms extended alongside your body, palms turned up. If it feels more comfortable, try placing a thin pillow under your head and bending your knees to 90 degrees so your feet are flat on the floor, or put a pillow underneath your knees to elevate them.

Sitting Meditation Instructions

This will help to protect your lower back and prevent any additional strain. The whole point of a meditation practice is to learn to bring the quality of mindfulness into our daily life. As it is, most of us probably spend too much time sitting, hunched over our computers, so how nice that we can also practice meditation standing up!

Standing up to meditate is probably not as familiar to most of us as other positions unless you practice tai chi or qigong , but here are a few ways to try it. Stand comfortably with your feet hip-to-shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent not locked , hips and spine relaxed. Gently raise your arms to mid-chest height as if you were holding a large beach ball in front of you, with the hands relaxed and fingers lightly extended. Imagine your head is suspended by a piece of string.

How to Sit in Sitting Meditation | SpringerLink

Breathe normally, preferably through the nose. Feel and observe the body and mind, encouraging the whole body to soften without letting the posture collapse or becoming rigid or tense.

follow link Hold for 2 to 3 minutes, gradually building up to 10 to 15 minutes a day. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your feet so your heels are slightly closer together than your big toes.


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Place your hands over your belly, right hand over left, to feel the breath moving through your body. Allow your body to root down through your feet with each exhale. Imagine your energy lifting out through the crown of your head with each inhale. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, feet parallel, knees soft.

Is There a “Right” Way to Sit for Meditation?

Relax your neck and shoulders, and let your arms hang by your sides. Take a moment to rest your attention on the sensations at the base of your feet at the point of contact with the ground and on the crown of your head. Sometimes I will do a standing or lying down meditation instead of the sitting position. It's harder in the early phases.

20 Min Sitting Meditation

It will get easier as you practice more. Keep working through the energy, and before you know it, you'll be able to do it eyes open, walking around in a crowd. It's a marathon not a sprint to get there. It helps to start off in a way that you can maintain daily practice.