Have you ever thought about how best to sit for meditation? People ask, "Do I have to sit cross-legged? It would kill my hips!" Not at all necessary. In bed? hmm... can you be too comfortable? Here are lots of ways to choose from.....
Of course, if you do fall asleep from meditation, it will be a very peaceful and refreshing sleep. But it would be a pity to turn meditation into a trigger for sleep - meditation is worth much more than that.
If you really want to recline for meditation, there's this....
This is the Corpse Pose
Great for meditating, too. The spine is straight, and there are no distractions from fluffy cushions. And, since we all do and must make that final letting go, it means that it is something that we can do... and so we can let go to an enormous level while we still live and breathe, too. Letting go of the mind for a while, and all the things it busies itself with.
What about sitting up? Here are the best chair positions
You can see that "steadiness and ease" - and alertness! is what a posture is about. Having the spine straight really does make a difference. Even when you are standing or walking, notice how much more good energy there is with your spine straight, compared with slouching along. Some might call it prana, others chi, some non-obstruction of the spinal cord, others that it assists the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Call it what you like, but alertness is intrinsic to best practice for meditation.
Ultimately, the best meditation posture is the you one can maintain, and at the same time, maintain steady alertness, without letting the mind wander - or at least bringing it back again and again and again.
If you really want to go traditional, try any of these cross-legged positions
Because they are so old they all have Sanskrit names
Lotus is Padmasana in Sanskrit. It is THE most traditional position. It has the advantage of being a very self-contained posture, one that promotes awareness. The spine is straight and there is no slouching. But is it for everyone? Of course not. If it were a requirement, how many would be excluded? Anybody in a wheelchair, or confined to bed, for instance. And anyone whose hips are just too stiff to sit.
Some like to say you should work through the pain of the hips. Nonsense. Sit in another position, one that you can maintain in steadiness and ease, though without making the mistake of supposing meditation is about self-indulgence.
All of the other cross-legged positions are fine, and they are shown here in order of simplicity.
Their Sanskrit names, except perhaps for the last one, are Padmasana (Lotus Posture), Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Posture), Siddhasana (Perfect Posture), and Sukhasana (Easy or sweet Posture). The last one illustrated which we have called Casual Cross was perhaps considered altogether too easy to grace with a name!
Thanks to Jani for being a great model and a great meditator
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A whimsical glossary of terms related to Meditation, Mindfulness, and Yoga. Get the skinny on what these words and terms really mean. If there's something you'd like explained that's not on here, drop us a line and we'll update it and let you know.