Meditation can be practiced anywhere without any special training or knowledge of meditation. Though there are some poses for meditation and mudras which are thought to enhance the experience. The poses for meditation can help to calm the nervous system as well helping to achieve mental, emotional and physical stability.
Depending on who teaches you meditation, postures for meditation can be a big thing when it comes to meditating correctly. Meditation is all about relaxation. So if you learn the practice from a guru who has spent years refining their meditation practice and the poses associated with meditation, then you could feel very uncomfortable in your meditation experience.
Some poses and postures can have their benefits when meditating but for the beginner they can be a huge hindrance.So what’s more important for the beginner is to feel comfortable and enjoy the new found experience that meditation can bring.
Meditation Postures (Asanas)
It is important to find a body posture for meditation in which you can remain motionless for a long time. The Sanskrit word for such a position is “Asana”.
A meditation posture is a defined body position that is firm and pleasant throughout exercise. Such a position should therefore be fixed so that the body can remain in it without having to pay attention to it. It should be pleasant so that the body is not perceived as disturbing.
Whether a position is pleasant is usually a question of time at the beginning. After sitting for a long time, every asana becomes uncomfortable. This happens because body and mind have to get used to sitting for a longer period of time without moving.
Some teachers recommend the “seven points of vairochana” as the ultimate meditation posture for those who take meditation to a more serious level. This is a position which the Dali Lama himself recommends in his teachings. It is performed by ensuring:
- That the legs shall be crossed in the Lotus position.
- The eyes remain open.
- The back is kept straight.
- The shoulders are kept at an even angle and are relaxed.
- The gaze is kept at an even level.
- The mouth should be slightly open.
- The tip of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth.
Indeed many teachers of mediation say that the spine should be erect. This is said to encourage the circulation of the body’s spiritual energy which is often called “the breath of life” or “vital breath” or “life force”.
Here I present some simple asanas that are suitable for beginners to learn meditation.
The seated posture
The person can use the floor, a bench, a chair or stool. But must sit up straight with their head and spine in correct alignment. The hands should come to rest comfortably on the knees or arm of the chair while keeping their thighs parallel to the floor.
If you are using a chair then always make sure it is a hard backed chair and it is right for the height for your legs.
- The legs should be straight below the knees.
- Sit upright with your back against the chair making sure that your spine is erect.
- Let your hands rest gently on your knees or put them in your lap with the back of your right one resting gently against the left.
The cross legged posture
The easiest way to sit cross legged on the floor is with the help of a very thin cushion or piece of foam. Your legs crossed in front of you and you’re back resting up against a wall. For beginners to the lotus position or half lotus, the first thing to decide is which half of your body is the more supple or flexible.
- Sit down and tuck the least flexible of your ankles towards the base of your spine.
- Hold the ankle of the other leg bring this up and place the foot down onto the top of your other thigh.
- Ideally try to get the knee of the uppermost leg down onto the floor.
This is the half lotus position, the full lotus position is very hard for the beginner and many beginners cannot find the comfort they need to meditate successfully.
The Lying down posture
Lying down is excellent for visualization meditations. But it can have the problem of the person being so relaxed that they actually fall asleep.
- Whenever possible choose a place to lie down that isn’t too soft, for example the floor.
- Lie with your feet slightly apart with your arms by your side not touching your body, palms facing up.
- If you choose to have a cushion beneath your head make sure it’s only a very thin one. Your head shouldn’t be too far from the floor.
The kneeling posture
The person kneels on the floor with knees together, toes almost touching and the buttocks resting on their heels. It is important to keep the back straight with head and spine in alignment, with hands resting comfortably on the thighs.
Yoga Poses for Meditation
Yoga poses for meditation take some practicing and the beginner to meditation should be careful when trying them. Only do what feels comfortable to you. Meditation is foremost about relaxation of the muscles. So don’t go straining them into an uncomfortable position.
If you don’t feel comfortable with any poses for meditation, then sit in a position that’s right for you. Practice sitting in one of the positions described below when you are not meditating until you feel comfortable with them.
1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
- Begin by sitting yourself comfortably on the floor placing your right foot onto your left thigh.
- Take a hold of your left foot and place this onto your right thigh.
- Keep your spine and body erect with both knees firmly touching the floor.
- Your hands should rest on your knees or place them between your heels with the right hand resting gently on the left.
2. Siddhasana (Adepts Pose)
- Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor with your spine and body held upright.
- Bend and draw the left leg in so that the heel is touching the perineum.
- Bring your right leg up and place your heel against the pubic bone.
- Make sure your body is held erect with your hands in the position as the lotus pose.
- Sit with your legs stretched forward then bend your right leg at the knee.
- Rest the heel against the pubic bone.
- Bend the left leg and place the heel above your right heel close to your pubic bone.
- Rest your hands gently upon your knees.
- Stretch your legs out in front of you then bend your right leg at the knee.
- Place the heel against the groin at the left thigh.
- Bend the left leg and place the heel against the right groin.
- Put the toes of the left foot between the right calf and thigh muscle.
- The hands are put in the same position as Padmasana.
This pose is also known as the easy pose. Simply sit comfortably on the floor and cross the legs, the hands are placed as in the Padmasana pose.
This meditation pose in yoga is suitable as an asana for learning simple meditations. It can be easily taken by most Westerners. It is (after the lotus position – the ‘classic’ meditation posture) the firmest seat and the seat where the back can be kept straight with relative ease.
This pose for meditation also promotes the development of willpower and the release of leg tension. It is also helpful for indigestion. The vajrasana is most likely associated with an “awake”, “attentive” posture.
Description of the meditation posture ” Vajrasana “:
- Kneel with your legs closed.
- Sit on your legs with your buttocks on your heels.
- Straighten your upper body and make sure that your back is straight.
- Stretch your arms loose – DO NOT push your elbows fully.
- Place your hands on your thighs, palms up.
- Stretch your fingers loosely – your fingers and thumb lie together.
- Keep your head straight.
- Close your eyes.
If you notice greater tension in the thighs, calves or instep, then stretching helps you to get used to the seat more quickly.
7. Savasana (Dead Position)
Savasana is the so-called “dead position”. This asana is only recommended as an additional asana. It is the most relaxed position, all tension in the muscles can be released. By being similar to our sleeping position, Savasana causes tiredness in many inexperienced users.
People who are calm by nature will fall asleep easily. This position can be very helpful for nervous or nervous people because of its strong calming effect.
Description of the meditation posture: “Savasana”
- Lie on your back.
- Close your legs.
- Let the feet fall apart in a V-shape, the heels touch slightly.
- Place your arms slightly bent next to your body, your palms facing the floor.
- Close your eyes.
Tip: You can also put a small pillow under your head.
How to practice poses for meditation ?
These meditation poses are practiced during meditation. For this, you set a certain time beforehand in which you remain motionless. This is the only way the loosening process can progress – every movement interrupts it. After a while you will feel the urge to move, whether it is itching, pinching, stinging or pushing somewhere. These sensations are a by-product of your muscles stretching and loosening.
So if your asana starts to get uncomfortable in meditation, let it happen. Do not change the asana if you experience difficulties. After a while the body gets used to the asana and in the end it will be the “most comfortable position you can imagine”.