The main aim of meditation is to attain stillness and calmness of the mind. To achieve this state, not only the form of meditation but also the posture of meditation is vital.
In the ancient Indian and Buddhism culture, meditation position is the most important aspect of yoga study. In the famous book of yoga practice – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it is stated that “Your meditation position should be steady and comfortable.”
In this article, we will discover various meditation postures and factors which can facilitate you to achieve the best position of meditation for yourself.
IMPORTANCE OF MEDITATION POSTURE
Your posture tends to set the mood and nature of your meditation. If you are comfortable then you stay more focused during your meditation. If your posture is steady, then you can sit and engage in a longer meditation. Here are some points you should remember while practicing meditation.
COMFORT allows you to sit without any discomfort or pain. Undoubtedly, no one wants any physical pain during or after meditation. Hence, the meditation position you choose must be comfortable so as to avoid pain and stay fully focused.
STILLNESS of your posture is very important to achieve inner stability. Try moving your body side to side, forward and even backward until you are satisfied with your posture and then remain still.
RELAXATION meditation positions help release stress and tension and fosters calmness of the body and mind. To achieve this meditation state, your posture must be relaxed. Neck, shoulder and back muscles should not be tense and you should feel relaxed. Your movements should also be gentle.
FACTORS AFFECTING PROPER MEDITATION POSTURE
Achieving perfect meditation posture is an art. Along with the above vital points, the following explains other major factors contributing to proper meditation posture.
This is the most important factor affecting your entire meditation and posture. Before the start of the meditation, make sure the environment and place is clean, calm and with no noise disturbance.
Generally, people find comfort in practicing meditation by sitting on the floor. There are various options of sitting material available which provide comfort and a stable position to your posture. Here are some materials you may opt for.
- Meditation benches allow you to sit in a relaxed kneeling position for a long time.
- Rectangular cushions or gomdens for sitting in a cross-legged position comfortably. You may choose gomdens according to your height and its firmness.
- Round cushions can be your best meditation companion if you want to establish a consistent practice. Utilizing them can make your meditation sessions more cosy and long-lasting.
When performing sitting meditation, uprightness is the basic position of your spine and the essence of every sitting position. Sitting upright actually means to straighten the back in order to align the spine.
If you have a flexible body, you can easily perform this posture correctly. However, if you are not flexible enough, then use an extra cushion for the buttocks to support the tailbone. As a result, you will achieve a comfortable position.
The upright position also plays a useful role in counteracting fatigue in sleep deprived people. A research study was carried out to study the effects of the upright posture among sleep-deprived individuals. Result shows that the upright sleeping or sitting posture greatly uplifts alertness among people, as such fostering overall well-being.
No matter which posture or sitting position you opt for, make sure to relax your shoulder and neck muscles, allow them to loosen and keep your back straight if possible.
Hand posture plays a crucial role in your meditation position. The use of hand posture helps deepen mind concentration and enhances inner peace.
There are two ways to incorporate hand posture into your meditation position. One way is to simply place the back of your right hand on the palm of your left hand and slightly touch both thumbs together. Then place your hands in you lap. Another way is to connect your index finger with your thumb of both hands and place your hands over your knees with your palms facing up. In both ways, keep your hands and fingers in a relaxed state.
In meditation, the use of both hands represents gesture of total balance. It means bringing forth balance to the two sides of the brain and body.
Specifically, the right hand is a symbol of awareness, wisdom and enlightenment whereas the left hand represents maya, an illusion of existence. According to Buddhism, hand gesture is a symbolic of enlightenment and freedom from suffering.
This is another factor affecting your proper meditation posture. In any of your meditation position, do keep your head straight and slightly lowering of your chin downwards by 20 degrees. You should not feel tense at the neck or face region.
Gaze (position of eyes) totally depends on your meditation method and posture. If you want to close your eyes, then gently close your eyes to soften your eyelids. If you want to perform focus meditation, then find a focal point and allow yourself to focus your eyes on it. You can try both ways and choose the one that works best for you.
There are many positions of meditation but very few positions are best and comfortable for everyone.
DIFFERENT MEDITATION POSITIONS
Meditation is not one-size-fits-all. There is a wide array of meditation positions available to suit your evolving needs. The following explains various meditation postures that are practiced by people all over the globe:
1. Sitting Position
The most commonly practiced position for meditation is the sitting position. You can either meditate cross-legged or even while sitting in a chair. This totally depends on your comfort level.
Practicing sitting meditation is greatly beneficial to your health. A research study on sitting meditation exercise was carried out among diabetic patients. Results showed that the participant experienced a significant decrease in blood pressure as well as blood sugar level after the study.
This is the most easy and comfortable meditation position. Your muscles are fully relaxed and at the same time active enough to keep you focused. Here are few variations you may perform for a cross-legged sitting meditation.
Full Lotus Position: Legs are crossed with each foot resting on top of your opposite thigh. It is one of the best and widely recognized meditation poses. It is also a stabilizing pose that provides overall natural support and body alignment. The full lotus position helps you gain flexibility and strength in the long run.