How to find the perfect meditation posture

It’s easy with these 6 steps to sitting in a good meditation posture

Many people find that the sitting part of a meditation practice poses a challenge. It quickly becomes uncomfortable or even painful, making it difficult to persist. So how do you find the perfect posture to start a meditation practice and keep going? And why is it important to sit in a good posture?

Why a good meditation posture is important

A good meditation posture is vital. Meditation can be done anywhere at any time, however, a proper posture improves the subtle energy flow through the spine and the nadis. It maintains an even state of mind and improves the quality of your meditation. It also adds a sense of grace to your practice.

If you suffer from back pain and find yourself struggling to maintain the meditation posture, you now understand why it is useful to do yoga asanas as part of your practice. Yoga helps to improve strength and flexibility in the body and is a great physical preparation for meditation.

What is a good meditation posture?

  • A good meditation posture will create a good alignment of the back, neck and head in a natural, upright way.
  • Do not hunch, lean back or forward, or drop the neck backward or forwards.
  • The muscles of the neck, shoulder and face should be relaxed and you should feel comfortable.
  • The arms should feel loose and rest lightly on the lap or the knees.
  • The legs should feel comfortable. While sitting cross legged, you can support the knees with cushions if they stay far from the ground and cause pain in the hips.
  • The body should feel centered, balanced and stable.
  • Be steady but relaxed throughout the meditation.

6 steps to the perfect meditation posture

  1. Find your symmetry between left and right: adjust your posture so your knees and shoulders are even.
  2. Rock gently from side to side and back to front to find your centre and hold it.
  3. Imagine a puppet string running through your centre and pulling you up at the crown, elongating the spine and drawing energy upward.
  4. Breathe in to align your spine and breathe out to relax all the muscles of your body.
  5. Find your perfect balance of being upright and alert and being relaxed and comfortable; not too tense and not too slack.
  6. Ground yourself deeply rooted into the earth and be still and stable like a mountain, unmovable and majestic.

5 traditional meditation sitting styles

Try these different meditation sitting styles to find which suits you best.

Full Lotus

Sitting and crossing both feet over each other to rest on the thighs. This causes a flat triangle base that naturally straightens the back.

Half Lotus

As above but with one leg up and the other resting down. Unless you are very flexible, this may be a more comfortable option.

Burmese

The legs do not cross each other but rest within each other while you sit on the front edge of cushion, using it to support the lower back.

Sitting

If the knees cause some issues, you can sit in a chair but avoid using the back support. Sit up straight on the front edge of a chair.

Kneeling

Kneeling, while sitting on a cushion or on a purpose-made stool, naturally straightens the back.