3 Types of Meditation Poses
Whenever we prepare to meditate, it’s important to find a comfortable seating position and maintain a good posture. There are a myriad of meditation postures you can assume. However, the key element of a good posture is a straight back.
Meditation poses for beginners shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, you only need to consider 3 things:
- Muscle relaxation
When meditating, your shoulder, neck and face muscles need to be relaxed. If you’re using one of several sitting poses, your arms should simply rest naturally, either let your hands rest on your knees or lap. Also allow your legs to relax by sitting in a comfortable position. In case your knees fail to touch the floor, use cushions to raise your hips so they are higher than your knees. Comfort and relaxation is critical when performing different meditation poses.
Your entire body needs to be aligned during meditation. Maintain your head, neck and back in an upright position. This means no hunching forward and no leaning back – sit upright in a straight comfortable position while keeping your chin lowered slightly. To avoid slumping, you could try raising your chest a bit.
Whether you’re practicing sitting poses or standing poses, it’s important to maintain your body stability. Try achieving a sense of balance by gently rocking your body forward, backward and sideways till you find the equilibrium of your meditation postures. Sitting still is critical during the entire meditation period. Preferably, for a complete mindfulness and awareness practice, your eyes should remain open. You could also close them slightly or completely if that’s what you prefer.
4 Types of Meditation Postures
There are different meditation poses you could try out. Here are the most popular:
- The chair
This is one of the best meditation poses for beginners. Sitting on a chair is not only comfortable for first-timers but it also helps meditators to maintain a straight spine. There’s really no shame in sitting on a chair – it’s as effective as other sitting poses. Use a straight backed chair and sit towards the front, to ensure that your back doesn’t rest on the back of the chair. You should support your own spine without leaning back, but if you need a cushion at your lower back that is fine too. Your feet should be firmly placed on the floor. Ensure your knees and hips are firmly aligned as well. The goal is to find a relaxed position where you are upright and aware.
- The quarter/half/full lotus
The lotus position is one of the most effective meditation postures that exist, which is accomplished when sitting. In the quarter lotus, you should cross your legs loosely upon sitting. Each foot should rest below the opposite knee/thigh. The half lotus has a slight variation – although your legs still remain crossed, only one foot rests loosely on the other thigh. The second foot remains folded beneath the upper leg. In the full lotus, both legs remain crossed. Each foot rests on top of the opposite thigh. Almost no one can assume the full lotus posture, no need to try! Avoid straining your body to get into a pose that is difficult for you. The point of meditation is to sit upright and become aware, not to torture your body!
- The Burmese Position
Among all the different meditation poses, this one really stands out because of its ease. It especially suits those individuals who can’t sit in a cross-legged position. When you sit, let your feet lie flat on the floor. This ensures that you remain in a relaxed meditation pose, also known as the easy pose.
- The Seiza Pose
This meditation posture also serves as a perfect alternative for those who dislike crossing their legs in any of the lotus positions. In the seiza, you kneel down and then put a cushion in between your legs. You could also use yoga props. This age-old posture is a slight variation of the Hero Pose. It’s one of the best meditation poses for beginners since it’s easy to perform and it doesn’t strain your muscles.
Our minds contain a tremendous wealth of untapped potential. According to Trinlay Rinpoche, an authentic meditation teacher, the mind is the true source of our individual well-being. It’s from the mind that thoughts, feelings, ideas and principles are created and processed, giving birth to habits, actions and inventions. It’s important to keep our minds free from unhealthy thoughts by engaging in different meditation poses, whether sitting or standing poses. I recommend the Mindworks Meditation App for individuals looking to develop their meditation techniques. It not only contains various meditation poses for beginners but also has incredibly transformative mind talks.