Yoga Postures For Meditation

By Patricia | October 21, 2008
Yoga Poses For Better Meditation

Correct Posture And Meditation

The way we hold our body is directly linked with our emotional and mental shape, which is why it is very important to maintain good posture while practicing meditation. The right posture ensures that you are comfortable, your body is relaxed and in the position to benefit completely from the session. The correct posture helps you remain alert and aware; both of which are very important for effective meditation.

The most common problem that that occurs during meditation is slouching. Holding a slouched posture while meditating negates the benefits brought on by the practice; when you slouch, your body folds, closing the chest and as a result restricting breathing capacity. It makes you feel dull and lethargic. If held over a long period of time, poor posture can lead to conditions of depression and low self esteem. Slouching also causes tension in the body, particularly the neck, shoulders and back. As a result, you are bound to feel uncomfortable and highly distracted during your session.

While the ideal way to meditate and maintain good posture is by sitting in the full lotus position – sitting on the floor with your feet resting on your things, soles facing upwards and palms resting on your thighs – this isn't the only way to meditate. Many practitioners find it difficult to sit in this position and prefer the half lotus position or just a simple cross-legged pose.

For those who can’t sit down, you can practice on a chair or with the help of a cushion placed on the floor for support. Whichever pose you opt for it is essential to remember the following points to hold good posture during meditation:

Upright Spine – It is absolutely essential to hold a straight spine while practicing meditation, without slouching or over-arching.  At the same time, while your spine should be upright, it shouldn't be tensed.

Sometimes you can lose the right posture if you are sitting very low. In such a case, it is best to use a cushion for support. Make sure the back portion of the cushion is slightly elevated (in comparison to the front) so as to slightly tilt your pelvis forward, enabling you to hold good posture.

If your back hurts, or you find it hard to keep the spine straight without support, start off by practicing with your back to the wall. Keep pulling yourself a little forward with each session.

Relax – Hold your head straight and evenly balanced. It is best to close your eyes and relax your jaw.  Make sure your shoulders are drawn back and are relaxed. The same goes for the neck. Rest your open palms on your thighs, this ensures your arms are relaxed.

Sit Still – It is essential to sit still and allow the mind and body to heal and grow. Constant movement will disturb posture and the practice. If you find it hard to still, you might want to pursue some gentle yoga exercises.

Listen to Your Body –If you feel even a hint of discomfort during your practice, something isn't right. You might be new to meditation and your body is yet to get used to the process – in such a case, it is important to start small. Begin with five to ten minutes of meditation per day and increase the time frame as your body gets used to the practice. You could also start off with some stretching exercises before you meditate, this will help warm up the muscles and reduce discomfort.

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