Meditation involves being still and quiet, both in your body and mind. The problem with a still body and a quiet mind is that it draws your attention to any discomfort. If you plan to meditate for long periods, you need to get your body comfortable.
Then again, maybe you don’t.
Discomfort has its place. It can keep you awake and focused. It can drive out other distractions.
But, and I may be going out on a limb here…
I assume that if you want more discomfort, that’s easy to arrange. If you want to change something, it’ll probably be to decrease discomfort.
And with that not-so-controversial assumption in our minds, let’s talk about posture and meditation.
Firstly, it’s a myth that you need to sit cross-legged. You can sit however you like. In fact, you don’t even have to sit. I usually meditate while sitting in an office chair. I’ve done it lying down and standing up.
A few times, I’ve meditated while walking around. I find self-hypnosis works better – I can use the ever-changing scenery and the sensation of walking to drive the experience. For other people, mostly those who are really good at shutting down their inner dialogue, they meditate while walking with no problems.
So do whatever you need to. If doing yoga keeps you calm and focused, do that. If that sounds terrible, don’t worry about it.
Secondly, sitting upright is not necessary natural. Our ancestors walked most of each day for most of their lives. If you’re not comfortable with it… well, neither were they.
But if sitting still appeals to you, then here’s how to do it right.
Your ears, shoulders and pelvis should form a straight line. If you have a mirror handy, use it. If not, don’t worry. There’s a better way to measure it than eyeballing your reflection.
The first thing to check is to see if there’s any tension in your body. Focus especially on your pelvis and lower back. If you are holding the posture using tension, then you’re not really holding it. The goal is to remain relaxed throughout.
Then work your way up your core. Are your stomach and back muscles relaxed? If not, release any tension and adjust your position as needed.
Check your pelvis again to make sure the tension hasn’t moved.
Do this again with your shoulders. Release any tension and move them into a stable alignment.
Finally, check your head and neck.
This exercise takes practice. If you need a month or two to get it right, take a month or two. It’s time well spent.
Or just lie down to meditate.
And if you want to learn more about how to use self-hypnosis – whether you’re lying down, sitting up or walking – then click the link below. You can learn to explore your own inner reality even as you navigate the outer one.