What is the best meditation position?

woman sitting on rock looking at forest

best meditation position

Did you know that the word meditation comes from the Proto-Indo European root word med, which means taking appropriate measures? Are you looking to start or improve your meditation, and are exploring the best meditation position? 

From sitting up to laying down, there are various methods of meditation. In this article, explore which is best and why meditation is so beneficial. Read on to explore this answer and more to be saying “om” in no time. 

why does your meditation posture matter?

When you’re looking for more mindfulness or spirituality in your life, it’s important to keep in mind that there are various techniques and methods you can try. While some will tell you that sitting on a chair or cushion is the best option, do what works for you and your body. 

If you have a strong back and good knees you can choose a resting position such as “the Buddha.” You will take a seated position with your legs crossed. There are many variations of hand positions you can choose depending on your needs and intentions. For example, you can rest both of your hands in your lap to promote calm and stability. You can have one hand in your lap while the other points towards the earth, representing enlightenment. Many say that the Buddha position helps to keep them relaxed.

If you can’t stay seated in this position, there are many other positions for you to try so that you can enjoy the numerous benefits of meditation. 

the buddha meditation

why should you meditate?

Meditation offers numerous benefits to the practitioner, from improving inner-peace, increasing self-awareness and creating the life of your dreams. Mediation is mental training. If you find it difficult to be in the present moment,  or focus your mind on your day-to-day activities, mindfulness meditation can improve your ability to be present in the now moment. By tuning-in to the present moment, you return to your natural state of happiness. 

Gain Peace

Meditation is a way to clear your mind and release any stress that you’re holding mentally, emotionally, or physically. You may notice that in certain situations, negative memories pop-up in your mind. Meditation teaches you how to become aware of these memories, separate from them, and inquire what they have to teach you. Understanding that there is more to negative experiences than pain allows you to experience a great sense of calmness. 

Improve Concentration

Meditation can help you improve your ability to focus and learn. One study from Harvard University found that during an 8-week meditation program, they noticed positive changes in the brain regions that deal with the self, stress, empathy, and memory. 

While many note that meditation helps with calmness and relaxation, it’s also found to have psychological and cognitive benefits as well. Stress  can cause our minds to worry, removing us from the present state. By intentionally focusing on the now moment, we reduce stress. Being mindful allows us to focus on the task at hand, therefor improving our concentration.

Gain Inspiration

While our brain often operates on autopilot throughout the day, allowing repetitive thought patterns to run the show, meditation can improve our mental habits. Again, mediation is a tool to train the mind. Rather than going along for the ride unaware that we can control our thought patterns, meditation allow us to take the rains. When we choose our thoughts, our reactions, our responses to life then we know that meditation is working. When we realize that we have control over our mind, this is how mediation encourages inspiration. Many creative minds have used meditation throughout the years to help with art, musical inspiration, writing books, inventing new technology.

“Innovation is not the product of logical thought, although the result is tied to logical structure.”   –  Einstein

Helps Insomnia

Many people have difficultly falling asleep due to an overactive mind. Meditation can help calm the mind and fall asleep easier. Focusing on the in-breath and the out-breath calms the mind, activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Try deep breathing for 1 minute. Breathe-in your nose for 3 seconds and breathe-out of you mouth for 3 seconds. Do this 10 times and you’re done. Here’s a 1 minute mediation video if you prefer a guided meditation.

What to consider before choosing a meditative position?

Before you begin your meditation practice, it’s important to factor in any injuries or weaknesses within your body. Make sure that what you choose will be comfortable, since discomfort can be a distraction. 

As you sit, how do your shoulders, neck, and face feel? They should be relaxed and not tense. Ensure that your entire body, including your legs, is relaxed, yet alert. You want to be relaxed but no so relaxed that you fall asleep.

Always find a posture that’s comfortable for your body. Ensure that you maintain alignment and with your spine straight. The goal is to feel balanced so that you’re not straining or leaning too far in one direction.

Mantras

Mantras are a popular way to to get into a meditative state. It’s a way for you to focus on a thought or intention instead of on a racing mind. The mantra acts as a healthy distraction for your mind so that you can focus on the task at hand. It’s kind of like if you have a dog that’s constantly barking while you’re trying to work, it’s difficult to concentrate or be productive. So you give the dog a bone to keep it busy and quiet. This healthy activity makes the dog happy and allows you to get your work done.

One example of a mantra is saying, “Om”. If Om isn’t your thing there are various other mantras out there you can choose, or create your own. 

Learn more about Bija Mantras

Meditating on Objects

This is another form of distracting the mind so that you can quiet the mind to reach your higher self. You are focusing your attention on a physical object in order to prevent your mind from wandering. You can reach an almost hypnotic state by viewing different objects. For example, watching a candle’s flame or sitting in front of a fire place can be very meditative. Looking into a pond, running water such as a fountain, a river or the ocean is very helpful. Watching the trees blowing in the breeze is another great option.

If you’re not sure which item to choose, start with nature. Water, earth, fire or wind. If you’re able to go outside, find a park bench or take a walk in your neighborhood. What are you’re drawn to? Let yourself be guided by what brings you joy.You can focus on whatever object works for you whether that’s an image, tree, or another item of value. As you view the object, avoid stating what it is.  Don’t try to reflect it to the past or future, focus on the present. Just be where you are. 

sitting position

One of the most common meditation postures is sitting cross-legged. Ideally you want to sit up strait as comfortably as possible without straining. The idea is to be relaxed so that you can allow your mind to rest. If you feel uncomfortable in anyway then adjust your seated position until you find the sweet spot of complete relaxation.

You can use a yoga mat, a towel or something to soften the floor if you prefer. You may also use a comfortable cushion or yoga block so that your hips are higher than your knees. Remember there is no one right way to do it. Try different seated positions to find what works best for you.

One point to note is that it may take a few breaths before you’re able to completely relax. As your mind and body settle, then you will sink deeper into the meditation. It’s similar to “relaxing into the position” during a yoga class. Many times during our yoga practice we can get into a position that is uncomfortable and we immediately want to move away from the discomfort. Often times the yoga teacher will instruct the class to “relax and breathe into the position.” At first this seems ridiculous and impossible…and then our body releases. Relief & astonishment!

This process of learning to trust your body and your breath can be applied to every day life. Learning to be calm and mindful in a stressful situation is beneficial when life offers challenging circumstances. 

seated meditation

kneeling position

In order for this position to be comfortable, find what works best for your comfort. This requires some knee and ankle flexibility. Using a yoga mat underneath your knees to prevent knee pain, a towel or a pillow can help tremendously. 

You can place your hands on your knees or thighs, and relax your arms. Or you may choose prayer position or another mudra depending on your intention for the meditation. The kneeling position is a great position for those who find sitting cross-legged uncomfortable. 

Remember to breathe deeply and keep your neck relaxed, allowing your shoulders to drop. When you exhale you’ll feel your body relax. Keep a level gaze and looking forward even though your eyes are closed. You may want to try tucking your chin. Gently tucking your chin can help prevent any pressure on your neck. 

lying down meditation

Some enjoy lying down for meditation and find it more relaxing than seated. Lying down can help you get into a meditating sate more easily than seated becasue you are completely relaxed. First, lay down on your back and have your arms out on your side, palms facing up in receiving mode. Allow all of the muscles in your body to relax, and release any tension that you’re holding, many times unknowingly.

Keep your feet about hip-distance apart and allow your toes to naturally fall out to the side. This is the same as Savasana at the end of a yoga class. If it’s uncomfortable, you can change different parts as necessary. 

standing position

This is a great way to help keep your body strong while you meditate. It works your core and leg muscles while standing. 

If you have an injury that doesn’t allow you to sit for long, this is a good position for you. Also, for those who suffer from chronic pain or other conditions. 

When you’re in a standing position, ensure that your entire body is relaxed. Soften any parts of your body that you notice tightening up.

what if my mind wanders during meditation?

In the beginning, it’s normal for your mind to wander during meditation. Don’t focus on trying hard to let go of your thoughts. Allow them to come up and be there. Just notice your thoughts and observe them as they float on by. Don’t judge yourself for the thoughts and don’t judge the thoughts.

Simply be the observer. Once you realize that you’ve been wandering around in your thoughts, bring your attention back to your breath. It’s aa easy as thinking, “Breathe-in,” and “Breathe-out.” The more you practice this mind control, the easier it becomes. Remember it’s hard until it’s easy. You are training your mind to be quiet.

We live in a busy world with many responsibilities and information constantly bombarding our minds. You can’t meditate wrong; just do what you can do. Practice a few minutes every day and you will be amazed at the progress you have made in a just a short amount of time. Remember to be kind to yourself; give your self a break because it’s all good.

how long do i have to meditate?

In the beginning, it’s normal to start out with 3-5 minute sessions. If you ask Google “Happiness Guru,” he will say to start with one breath! Why? Because it’s easy. Anyone can focus on one breath, in and out. And then go about your business and your life. Nothing has changed, except that you may feel a little bit better and more relaxed. 

As time goes on, you can increase how long you meditate. A good rule of thumb is 15 minutes per day. If you can meditate for 15 minutes every single day you will see miracles in your life. You will improve your mood, your health, your wellbeing, your relationships with others and yourself. you will be happy and have purpose in your life. Meditation will become your tool to peace, happiness, decreased stress and anxiety. All of this from simply focusing on your breath. Remember, consistency is the key. This habit will permeate your being and infiltrate your life and transform it into heaven on earth.

women with tattoos on her left arm sitting on the floor in white work out pants and white sports bra

meditation for beginners

If you want to start meditating, do less than what you’re able to do. This way it never seems like a burden. Start with one minute. Do this for a week. You can meditate anywhere but just like going to the gym or school or work, when you have an environment that encourages the activity, it’s easier to do the work. So if you can find a spot in your home where you like to sit or lie down, go sit in that spot and focus on your breath for one minute. Practice inhaling and exhaling slowly and deliberately for one minute. As this becomes easier and you want to meditate for longer, add one minute at a time until you’ve worked up to 15 minutes per day.

Once you’re done, write down how you feel afterward. This is a great way to document the benefits of your work. Over time, you’ll be able to look back to see how much you have evolved.

How to be consistent with meditation

To ensure that you make meditation a regular habit, you’ll want to have reminders to meditate each day. Consider having the reminder in the center of where you walk each day so you’ll see the reminder throughout your day.

The different types of meditation are:

  • Focused meditation
  • Visualization meditation
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Spiritual meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Progressive meditation
  • Loving meditation
  • Transcendental meditation

Explore the different meditations to see which is right for you. You’ll want to feel comfortable and feel it’s beneficial as you do it.

mindfulness meditation

There are different types of meditation you can try, one being mindfulness meditation. This is about staying in the present moment instead of worrying about the past or future. Focusing on the now. All we have is this now moment. We can’t go back to yesterday. We can’t preview tomorrow. By being fully aware of where we are, what we are doing and who we are with, we become mindful people. Mindfulness allows us to enjoy life moment by moment and fully experience life. Mindfulness is the antidote to fear of missing out or “fomo.”

Mindfulness is also the absence of judgement. Mindfulness is being mindful of what is happing in your world, in your experience. For example, when you have different emotions, notice them, pay attention to them rather than ignore and suppress. Allow yourself to be joyful when you’re happy. Celebrate the good times, the small wins at work and every day life. 

Also allow the “negative emotions” to have their space. See them for what they are, sadness, fear, anger, depression, resentment, or jealousy. Do not judge the emotion. Acknowledge that you have the emotions, say it is okay. Think of yourself in the third person. Say to yourself, “I see that this person is having this emotion.” That doesn’t meant that you are stuck in this emotion forever. Experience it and move on.

This is a practice that mindfulness meditation helps us to develop our awareness of our emotions. Once we recognize them, we can observe them and choose how we will respond in any situation. This is the power that we hold. We can choose how our own state of being regardless of our circumstances and environment. Remember that this is a lifelong practice so enjoy the journey.

Spiritual meditation

While meditation isn’t a form of any religion, you can make it into a spiritual practice. Meditation is a way to tune-in and find the answers to the questions you’ve been asking. You have all of the answers. Making time to quite the mind to find them is the key to your happiness and creative power.

Meditation connects you to your inner guidance system. We all have this inner guidance system. It’s there whether we recognize it or not. The beauty is that we don’t have to go looking for the answers outside of us. The answers are within. We find those answers by focusing on our breath. The breath is the your connection to your life force energy or Source. Learning to breathe and become aware of the breath connects you to your higher self-

kundalini meditation

Kundalini meditation is about focusing on your primal energy. It’s about releasing any stress you’re experiencing and channeling your energy. 

It’s a part of Kundalini yoga, where you move energy throughout your body. The belief is that energy is at the base of your spine (root chakra) that needs to release into the seven chakras of the body. 

how to perform kundalini meditation

You may have heard of people talking about their “Kundalini Awakening”. Kundalini has to do with the seven main chakras. The first chakra is the root chakra at the base of the spine, represented by the color red. A Kundalini awakening is when the person has an energetic experience during meditation where they feel the energy in the root chakra activate and travel up their body all the way to the top of their head to their crown chakra.

 “In Sanskrit, kundalini means “coiled snake” referring to the dormant energy residing in the base of the spine. the goal of Kundalini meditation is to awaken this powerhouse of energy to clear the chakras and activate their connection with Source or the Divine.

First, choose a relaxing space in your home or outdoors where you will not easily be disturbed. If you don’t have a space like this in your home, you can create your sacred space. Decorate it with candles, stones or rocks, flowers, incense, anything that makes your feel good.

Wear clothing that’s comfortable and loose to wear like your favorite yoga pants and lulu lemon top. Some say to wear lighter clothing while doing this meditation. You want to wear fabric that can breathe so that you don’t overheat.

Find a time that’s best for you to focus and relax. If mornings are when you like to work out, you’re most creative, and open- minded then see how that works with your schedule. Many people like to get it done so that they can continue on with their day. Others like to knock a few items off of their to-do list and then take a breather to recharge. Do whatever works best for you and your schedule. Use the time you’re the least likely to be distracted or interrupted. If you decide to try to do it first thing in the morning but all you can think about is the building mountain of of tasks on your agenda then that is not the best time for you. Use you best judgement. Remember to go with the flow of your life. Don’t force it. It should feel easy and fun! 

Set an intention or choose a mantra before you begin meditating. When your mind wanders, keep this mantra or intention front of mind. Our minds are busy, that’s their job. Meditation is teaching the thinking mind to relax for a few moments. Returning to your breath and to your mantra helps your mind stay calm.

  • As you begin to meditate, you will send your breath to your root chakra to activate this space. Imagine the color red pulsating at the base of your tail bone.
  • As this energy activates, allow it to rise up to your second chakra, your sacral charka, represented by the color orange. Breathe-in and breathe-out focusing on this chakra center. Allow it to activate.
  • Then as you breathe – in allow your breathe to move up to the third chakra, your solar plexus represented by the color yellow.
  • Breath-in and out here in this chakra for a few moments until you feel ready to breathe-in to the fourth chakra, your heart chakra represented by the color green. Allow this color to pulsate with each inhale and exhale. Remain here as long as you feel called to.
  • When you’re ready, breathe-in the color blue and send it to your throat chakra. Breathe-in and out; allow the color blue to pulsate in your throat’s center, feeling the energy in this center.
  • Next breathe-in the color indigo and allow the light to move to your third eye chakra located in the center of your forehead. Feel the joy and the bliss; allow it to pulsate. Breathe-in and breath-out. Bask in the joy of the light.
  • When you’re ready, breathe in the color purple or white to the top of your head or the back of your head. Listen to you intuition and follow its guidance. Allow your entire body to buzz with this amazing feeling, pure love and light.
  • Once you feel the energy rising from your root chakra all the way to your crown chakra, then you want to be sure ground yourself before going back to your day.

Ground yourself by sending the light and energy into the earth. This doesn’t have to be the literal earth. It means the floor or chair or bed on which you’re sitting. Imagine your energy and light going into the earth. It’s important to ground and connect to the earth after your meditation so that you remain here on earth in this reality. You can also eat something to help bring you back to here and now.

Try this Chakra Clearing Mediation

Woman sitting crosslegged at sunset in meditation

focused meditation

Focused meditation is when you focus on your senses such as your breath during meditation. You’ll often hear in a guided meditation, “return to your breath.”

You may also consider trying to listen to some sort of background noise such as a gong, rhythmic drumming, or staring into a flame can help entertain your thinking mind as you allow your higher self to emerge. If you feel your mind wandering, return to your breath or your focal point. Continue to do this throughout the entire meditation. This is the practice.

visualization meditation

This is a form of meditation that sounds exactly like what it is. You will visualize or see in your mind’s eye the place that you will be visiting during your meditation. Visualization is used in by many professional athletes. It can also be used to enhance peace, relaxation, and calmness by focusing on a positive image or scene. Engaging all of your senses during your meditation brings about optimal results. Did you know that your brain cannot tell the difference between a real event and an imagined event? The more realistic you make your visualization the more relaxed and peaceful you will feel.

Another type of visualization meditation is where you picture yourself successfully performing a task or achieving a goal. Perhaps you want to visit Italy. Imagine the town, the buildings, the weather, the sound of the people speaking Italian. Imagine sitting outside at a cafe enjoying a coffee or a meal. Feel the feelings of being there.  Visualization helps make it real in your mind. Once you have a clear picture of what you want, then your’e better able to take action to reach that goal. It’s about finding motivation and focus.

A fun exercise is to create a Vision Board.

yoga

If you’re wanting to try other relaxing forms besides meditation, check out yoga. Yoga is also about focusing on the here and now instead of the past or future. Yoga is a physical form of mediation. Yoga teaches us how to be present, how to relax in challenging situations, and to become aware of our breath. We can apply this meditation method to our daily lives.

Have you ever noticed during a yoga class, how when you get into an uncomfortable position, you stop breathing momentarily? It’s a natural reaction. When something hurts or is uncomfortable, we tend to freeze for a moment. It’s almost like you’re bracing yourself in anticipation of what’s to come. Rather than tense up, deliberately breathe in the moment. Mentally tell your body to relax. Yoga can be a great way to relax and just be.

On a personal note, yoga taught me about the power of the breath. The yoga instructor would have us “send our breath” to different parts of our body. At the time, my twenty year old self did not understand what she meant but I did it anyway. About three months into this practice I found that I no longer had aches and pains in my body. I was astounded at how focused breath work has such a beneficial impact on my body.

Additionally I was much calmer mentally. When I sat down to take a certification test, I breathed to calm myself down and passed with flying colors. There are so many amazing benefits to deliberate breathing.

decrease stress

Yoga is found to help decrease the amount of cortisol in your brain which is the stress hormone. One study finds that it lowers stress when they studied yoga on stress for 24 women. 

Reduces inflammation?

Some believe that it can help reduce inflammation. It is a known fact that chronic stress can increase inflammation and discomfort. Meditation reduces stress therefore reducing inflammation in the body.

Inflammation can lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. More research is necessary in order to confirm this. The American Cancer Society talks about how Meditation calms the mind and body.

better posture

Yoga is known to help improve flexibility as one of its physical benefits. Yoga can help to improve your core strength over time. Many times we are tight in certain parts of our body without realizing that we have limited range of motion. Improving core strength can help your posture. Your core is your support so it is of utmost importance to maintain proper stability for every day functionality.

Also, consider pilates as well for your posture. Pilates is similar to yoga in many ways but has a few key differences. Originally Pilates was created as an active recovery program for injured dancers. Stability and balance are two main benefits of Pilates. When practiced properly, Pilates is considered a rigorous and challenging workout. 

yoga poses

The cobra pose helps improve your posture. Before doing any exercises, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor first. Please listen to your body. It is wise and is constantly communicating with you. Trust yourself and you’ll know what to do.

To perform Cobra Pose, first, lay down on your stomach and have your hands by your side with your elbows drawn in by your rib cage. Have your upper section lift off the ground while keeping your hands on the ground.

child's pose

In order to do a child’s pose, you’ll start on all fours in a quadrapeg stance. Then you will  sit back on your heels as you reach your arms forward in front of you. Relax, breathe and rest.

child's pose yoga

mountain pose

Mountain Pose, or Tadasana is a wonderful standing pose to practice. First, stand with your feet hip width apart. Stand tall keeping your tailbone tucked under your hips. Open your chest with your arms at your side. Imagine that your spine is elongated the top of your head to the base of your tailbone. Remember to keep your tailbone in line with the rest of your spine. Engage your thighs and roll your shoulders back and down. Breathe and feel your body expand.

Have your chin back where your ears are above your shoulders. Ensure that your body is aligned from your head to your feet.

forward fold pose

To do this position you’ll first want to stand. Distribute your weight evenly on your feet. tuck your tail bone under. Stand tall, chest up. Look straight ahead.

Shoulders down, top of the head up toward the ceiling. Activate your legs, your calves, your thighs. Engage your core. Press the belly button towards the spine. Allow your body to bend at the hips. Keep your legs straight if your body allows. Bend your knees if that is what your body needs.

Next, grab your elbows with your opposite hands and breathe as you bend forward. Release your arms. 

yoga vs meditation

Yoga is a form of meditation but not all meditation is yoga. Meditation and yoga share many similarities. Meditation is a vehicle to find inner peace; physical exercise is not required. Yoga is a physical activity first. It is the physicality which links the body to the mind, teaching the student how to connect to the breath.

Yoga offers many types of practice as does meditation. Yoga can be used to get into a meditative state.

how to learn meditation?

There are many ways to learn how to meditate. You can either buy meditation-videos, attend classes in your area, or learn it online. There are different meditation videos on Youtube with instructors. Also, you can find meditation instructors on different websites, or sign up for online classes. The real answer is to take action.

Try one type of mediation and if it resonates with you, keep going. Be adventurous. Remember you can’t get it wrong. Follow your heart, your intuition. Follow what feels good and what feels right in your heart and you’ll always be on the right path. Remember to trust yourself. You are you highest authority. Tap-in to you. All it takes is one breath and the desire to get to know yourself.

what is the best meditation position?

Now that you’ve explored the answer to the question, what is the best meditation position, you should have the right idea which is the right choice for you. Remember that one isn’t better than the other, it’s what’s best for your body. 

Are you ready to start a more positive life and go after your dreams? Contact me today by setting up an appointment. Let’s work together diving deep and listen to your soul’s true needs

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