Meditation & Buddhism

Meditation posture

Meditation posture for beginners

Why do we keep seeing people doing a cross leg position while meditating?

One of the reason for the typical ‘cross legged posture’ in meditation is because it was shown to be the best posture to help the mind maintain a state of focus and concentration for long periods of time. 

Although the posture is important it is also something that you will slowly get use to. So aim for a comfortable posture and slowly make the posture more challenging. 

This picture was taken in Nepal. This little kid is showing really well what a demi-lotus posture is. In the far back you can see a regular cross legged pose. Both are commonly use for meditation.

Here are a few guidelines regarding meditation posture: 

Hand placement:
In Buddhism:
Place the right hand over the left hand with palms facing up. 

The right hand represents compassion while the left hand represents wisdom

In yoga

One of the most common hand placement is the one with the tip of the index finger touching the tip of the thumb. Your hands can be resting on your knees (see the first picture at the top of the article). 

The remaining of the posture:

  • Spine straight: You can wiggle your spine from left to right and front to back to help you find that comfortable spot. Try not to slump over. The goal is to have strong muscle tone without being stiff. You can use a wall at the beginning for support but I encourage you to try a few minutes without the wall so you can slowly build up your muscle tone. 
  • You can sit with your leg crossed or in demi-lotus position (see picture above of the little kid). Some people also rather use a chair. In that case your legs are not crossed but both feet are flat on the ground.

It is normal to feel uncomfortablE at the beginning

More tips on the posture:

  • Breath in and out with your nose 
  • Relax your head
  • Relax your jaw
  • Mouth and lips are slightly open 
  • Close your eyes. If closing your eyes is too dark you can open them very slightly to let some light come in. This is a good tip for beginners that find their inner space to dark.

Last thing:

  • SMILE before starting your meditation. Work with your mind. If you feel discourage every time you want to sit to meditate you will train your mind that it is an heavy task. Being a beginner gives you the chance to plant a positive seed into your practice. A simple smile release positive hormones in your body. Train your mind that you are about to do something positive for yourself.

Accessories:

  • Sit your buttock (specially your tailbone) higher than you legs. You can apply folded blankets or a block under your tailbone. This will also help with any stiffness in your hips or legs.
  • Lean your back against a wall if needed

Don't get too cut up on the posture

It is normal to find yourself restless at the beginning or being physically uncomfortable. Slowly slowly it will get better.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Remember when you were a kid there was no destination; you were just happy to learn how to bike! I invite you to do the same thing for meditation; don’t aim for a destination or a specific result just enjoy trying to learn something new and see where it can bring you!

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