Explore this simple practice to find a comfortable posture when meditating.
When we think about meditation, we mainly focus on our thoughts. It is almost as though our thoughts are separate from our bodies. We are so focused on remaining in our heads that we can sometimes forget our posture.
Meditation involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body.
Meditation starts and ends in the body. It involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body. That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax if we give it a chance.
Use this posture practice at the beginning stage of meditation or simply include it into your daily morning routine to stabilise yourself and enjoy a few short moments of relaxation. If you have injuries or other physical difficulties, you can modify this to suit your ability.
Explore This Practice to Improve Your Posture
Time: 3 to 5 minutes:
- Find a comfortable place to seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, a meditation cushion, a park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
- If on a cushion on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you. (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead.) If on a chair, it’s good if the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
- Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body. The spine has a natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
- Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You are tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
- Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently down-ward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
- Be there for a few moments. Relax. Now get up and go about your day. And if the next thing on the agenda is doing some mindfulness practice by paying attention to your breathing or the sensations in your body, you’ve started off on the right foot—and hands and arms and everything else!