Can we change posture during meditation?
How do I sit properly during meditation?
Most people prefer to sit while meditating, and one of the first difficulties we encounter while meditating is the posture we are asked to adopt.
Often times, during meditation, we are so preoccupied with how we are sitting that we don't really get to actually meditating. It is therefore worthwhile to clear up any ambiguities in advance. So we have one less distraction.
When it comes to posture, a number of questions can arise:
Is it okay to sit in a chair? Can I meditate lying down? Can I lean on it? What do i do with my hands Do I meditate with my eyes open or closed? Do I have to be able to do the lotus position? etc.
There are many types of meditation: walking meditation, Qi-Gong, yoga etc. In this article I would like to limit myself to sitting meditation and go into more detail on the posture. Other blog posts have dealt with topics like mindfulness in general, the effects of meditation or mindful eating, so if you are interested in these, feel free to browse a little!
But now back to sitting meditation.
Standing motionless is not a must.
In general, even if you decide on a posture, you don't have to stay in that position for the devil. If the leg falls asleep, you can endure it, but you don't have to go through any pain. The posture should support the meditation and not distract us further. So if you ever need to change your position, you can of course do so. Then try to change your position slowly and carefully, especially if you are meditating with other people who do not want to disturb you.
For actual posture, it should be comfortable enough that you can be mentally relaxed, but not so comfortable that you feel sleepy. It is therefore advisable not to meditate lying down, but to sit down. And when sitting, it is better not to lean against it.
What should one sit on while meditating?
On the chair
This means that if you are meditating while sitting in a chair, slide to the front edge of the chair. This makes it easier not to lean against.
In addition, the pelvis tilts a little forward, which makes it easier to straighten the spine. The same applies to sitting on the floor: it is advisable to sit on a meditation cushion, stool, block, etc., thereby tilting the pelvis a little and relieving the spine.
If you choose to sit in a chair, both feet should be parallel and completely on the floor. As a result, you sit stable and can therefore more easily keep your attention stable.
Or would you rather be on the floor?
When you sit on the floor, there are basically two options: Either you sit in a variation of the heel seat or in a cross-legged seat. In the heel seat, the thighs lie on the lower legs, the knees point forward, the feet back and the shins on the floor.
There are various variations in the cross-legged seat (lotus position, cross-legged position, etc.). There is no right or wrong here. The main thing is that your seat is stable and supports mental relaxation and concentration. It may be a good idea to also support the knees with pillows / blankets to protect the knees.
In both variations (heel seat or cross-legged seat) you can raise your pelvis with a pillow, blanket, etc. Here you can vary the height and thus find out your personal optimal seat height over time.
Many meditation cushions therefore have the option of removing material in order to adapt the pillow to your own needs.
Where to put your hands
Now that your seat is stable and as comfortable as possible and your spine is relieved and upright, the next question is about your hands. In various spiritual traditions, so-called mudras (hand postures) are used to pursue certain goals in meditation (e.g. strengthening concentration, increasing energy, etc.).
One of the most famous is the mudra, in which the thumb and forefinger are touching and the other three fingers are extended. This is a science in itself and if you are interested, you are welcome to delve deeper into the matter, but we would like to reduce ourselves to simply putting our hands down in this article.
Here, too, you can try out what feels good for you right now. Either place your hands in your lap or on your knees (palms either up or down).
The head is in line with the spine and is slightly lowered. The mouth is neither completely open nor completely closed, the jaw muscles are loose. We try to keep the face relaxed - eyebrows and forehead are relaxed.
Closed eyes while meditating
The last point I would like to address is the eyes. Again, there are two options: the eyes are either closed or slightly open. There are good reasons for both. Beginners in particular are easily distracted and therefore like to meditate with their eyes closed. This not only reduces distraction, the other senses are also “sharpened”. For example, it is easier to perceive the breath, which is often used as an object of meditation.
With a little more practice in particular, it is advisable to meditate with your eyes slightly open. In this way we don't draw a line between meditation and “real life”. This makes it easier in the long run to "take" the benefits of meditation with you into everyday life and to adopt a more mindful posture during the day.
If you choose to meditate with your eyes slightly open, your gaze is slightly lowered. The eyes do not focus, but look into the empty space. Here it is important that the view is relaxed. So it is not a problem if the eyes focus on the ground in front of us. The attention should not be on the gaze, but should continue to be on the object of meditation, often the breath.
Unspecific but true - you can't go wrong
As mentioned earlier, there is no right or wrong in posture during meditation. Try out what works best for you. Often this also depends on the day - what works on one day may not be the right position for you on another day. Most importantly, your position helps you to be relaxed and focused. Precisely according to this criterion, you should sit while meditating so that you have to deal less with the posture and can meditate more easily.
If you still find it difficult to find the right position on your own and you want a little help, take a look at our online studio or watch this video. If you are already doing well, you are also very welcome - we also offer advanced meditation.
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