Meditation has been highly respected and widely practiced around the world for centuries. Many people enjoy taking advantage of the wide range of health and mental benefits that it can provide including reducing stress, helping to control anxiety, a stronger sense of self-awareness, and even memory loss prevention. And, the best part of training yourself to engage in this exercise? It can be done anywhere, at any time, and for as long as you want.
However, while many people understand and embrace all the ways this practice can positively impact their lives, there is still massive debate over the best ways to go about it. For some instructors, there are explicit positions that absolutely must be used to reach a truly heightened state. For others, wherever and however you feel most comfortable is the best way to go. While there is an array of sitting positions that people have always used, they can often feel uncomfortable which will usually impact your ability to clear your mind.
As a result, many meditators are now beginning to wonder whether or not they could effectively meditate while lying down. Can the same results be achieved through this position? Here is what you need to know about choosing to meditate in these specific positions and how they can benefit you starting today.
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It is widely known that meditation positions can have a tremendous impact on your ability to concentrate and set your attention and resolve to follow through with the practice. This means that you need to make sure you’re able to stay completely focused on your mind and moving it towards your specific goal while you meditate. However, this doesn’t have to mean you remain completely uncomfortable the entire time.
This is why so many people choose to meditate in a sitting position. Sitting allows you to adjust your posture perfectly to keep your body feeling light and refreshed without losing your focus or drifting off. That being said, just sitting on the floor and trying to center yourself definitely isn’t the best way to practice the art of meditation.
There are several different positions you can take while sitting that will help get you into the best state of mind including the quarter, half, or full lotus position. The lotus position is achieved by sitting cross-legged on the floor with your ankles placed on the opposite thighs. However, to achieve a full lotus, you’ll need to be extremely flexible. Luckily, a half or even a quarter lotus where you move your legs into more comfortable angles can be just as effective.
Another factor you’ll need to be aware of is your spine. Today’s lifestyles are making issues such as slouching and hunching more and more of an issue every day. However, when you practice meditation, you want to keep your spine as straight as possible. Every time you exhale, you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of your posture and reposition yourself accordingly to keep your body completely aligned.
Many people often wonder what they should be doing with their hands while they meditate. Hands can be quite cumbersome, and being hyper-aware of this body part can end up dragging your attention away from where it should be. The best thing you can do with your hands while you meditate is to keep them placed on your thighs with your palms down, which many people believe will keep you more grounded.
Another option would be to place your hands with your palms facing up in your lap. Experts believe that this method will help promote stronger energy and heat.
The lotus pose has been around ever since the art of meditation has been practiced, and it’s been able to gain quite a reputation as a result. Many people take advantage of this traditional pose to completely calm their minds and recenter themselves, leaving behind the cares and concerns of the world around them and focusing on only themselves and their bodies.
The pose itself also elongates and stretches out the knees, hips, ankles, and spine. This can help tremendously with issues relating to back pain and has even been known to relieve aches related to menstrual discomfort.
While sitting is the most favorable position for effective meditation, it’s not the only option out there. If you find sitting to be extremely uncomfortable and even impacting your ability to focus, then lying down is another perfectly acceptable position.
Taking a lying down position during meditation has been known to bring people into a more relaxed state, which can even lead to them falling asleep completely. While you definitely want yourself to feel at ease, losing focus and falling asleep is the exact opposite of what you’re looking to achieve. However, as long as you’re able to train your mind to stay centered and concentrated, then there should be absolutely no issue taking up this pose.
If you’re going to try lying down as your preferred pose for meditation, there are a few tips you should keep in mind that will help ensure you reach your peak mental state.
- First, choose a comfortable surface that’s wider than your actual body.
- Keep your legs about hip-distance apart for better energy flow.
- Place your hands away from your body with your palms facing upward. This will help keep you focused and controlled.
- Do not allow your back to fall into the surface underneath you. Try and keep your spine as straight as possible without losing your natural tension.
- Focus on your breathing and on your posture so that you don’t end up falling into a more relaxed state.
While you might think that this is more a pose for relaxation than meditation, there are actually a number of different benefits that this kind of pose can provide.
First and foremost, it is physically easier on the body. This means that people who are suffering from health issues or chronic pain will find that lying down allows them to focus on the actual meditation technique than just their pain and discomfort. This is mainly because there will be less tension on the muscles throughout your body as well as significantly less pressure on your spine and joints.
Secondly, it can help you deal with issues such as insomnia. While you certainly don’t want to fall asleep during your actual meditation practice, understanding how to focus your body and leave behind certain difficulties that you face during the day can be a great way to train your body to immediately relax once you’re lying down, which will certainly help you tackle your issues with insomnia.
Meditation has always been a respected practice, and the pressures and stresses of today has made it more popular than ever before. However, if you’re looking to get into meditation, but find that sitting is just too uncomfortable for you to handle, it’s important to remember that there are other positions out there that can help you reach a heightened state today.