4 Meditation Postures to Try

When most of us think of meditation, the classic, cross-legged pose comes to mind. And while this posture is a favorite for a reason, there are plenty of other options for your practice. 

What matters most when you show up for a meditation session is comfort. You want your body to feel supported, and the best support for you can change day to day or week to week. During some sessions, you may feel anxious, and benefit from a posture that incorporates lying down. During others, you may want to feel grounded, and enjoy sitting cross-legged on the floor. A comfortable meditation cushion, like the set we created, can provide the right amount of support for a variety of postures.

Here are 4 postures to try during your next session:

We’ll start with the classic favorite first! Sitting in a cross-legged position is a natural choice for meditating, but the important thing here is to make sure your spine, legs, and feet are being properly supported. Your meditation cushion can help with this, and you should prop yourself up so your knees are lower than your hips. If you’re on a trip and have forgotten your cushion, place a blanket or folded sweatshirt under your feet to support your ankles. 

As you meditate, keep your back straight yet relaxed, and rest your arms on your legs or in your lap. 

For beginner meditators or those who find sitting cross-legged to be uncomfortable, you can also meditate sitting in a chair, with similar considerations for your back and arms as you move through the exercise.

Lying Down 
Ever wondered if it’s okay to meditate while lying down? The answer is yes! However, if you tend to meditate first thing in the morning, this posture may cause you to drift back to sleep, so just keep that in mind as you experiment. 

Lie down on a yoga mat, with your legs stretched in front of you and your arms at your sides (you can also rest your hands on your stomach or chest to draw extra attention to the way the body rises and falls with the breath). Prop your head under your meditation cushion for extra support.

This posture can also be recreated in bed while following a sleep meditation

It’s true! You can meditate while standing up as well. In fact, this posture can actually feel quite refreshing after a day spent hunched over a computer. 

While this position may not feel as natural as some of the others, practice can make it become more familiar. Start by placing your feet firmly on the ground, and relax your legs, neck, and shoulders. Rest your hands in front of you and close your eyes.

For this posture, it’s best to start with shorter meditations of around 5 minutes, and work your way up to longer ones.

Kneeling is another great alternative to the traditional cross-legged pose. It still allows for a sense of grounding, and helps support the spine throughout the process. 

The traditional Japanese position is called seiza, and involves kneeling with your knees shoulder-length apart. Lengthen your spine, without overextending your back, and allow the head to stay level. Fold your hands in your lap, or place them palm down on your upper thighs. 

You can also use a round zafu cushion here for added support.

Although not technically a “posture,” a Standard Dose bonus for your practice is to consider a walking meditation. This involves taking a mindful stroll through nature, and carefully observing your surroundings. We have a guided recording you can follow here to make the most of your time outdoors.

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