Learning to meditate is no walk in the park! But with our top tips on how to find a comfortable sitting position you'll be one step closer to discovering the benefits of this amazing practice.
You’ve heard about the benefits of meditation - and know that your mind is desperately busy. No doubt when you think about meditation, you imagine a buddha like posture with legs in lotus, spine long and eyes closed. But ever tried to sit that way? It's freaking hard!
Today we give you some more beginner friendly sitting options for embarking on an adventure with meditation.
If you've ever tried to meditate or sit in stillness you’ll probably know that it’s not just as easy as just plopping yourself down and closing your eyes. In fact, if you can stop thinking about your "TO DO LIST" for more than two mins, you’ll probably notice that the first challenge is finding a comfortable seat.
How the hell can you 'get your mind to be still' when your hips are on fire and it feels like someone is driving hot pokers into your shoulder blades?
Well today we’ll share three of our favourite ways to sit and get comfy in meditation.
If you're just getting started with your yoga practice - it might come as a surprise to know that the physical postures as we know them only became popularised in the past 200 years or so - and their main purpose are to strengthen the body & nervous system in order to sit and prepare the body & mind for the practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation.
Easy / Joyful Pose
You probably identify with this cross legged posture as something you might have done in kindergarten or in primary school - most likely you sat on the floor a lot in those earlier years but no doubt as you got a little bit older you became more used to sitting on a chair as a preference.
So this might be the first time that you’ve sat on the ground like this for quite a while and if your hips or knees are stiff it might not feel that great.
Our top tips for getting comfortable in this pose are:
1. Elevate the hips on a block or a bolster.
2. Take the knees wider apart.
3. If you are really struggling, use a wall for back support.
The meaning of Sukhasana is joyful or easy, so why not use props that make this pose joyful and easy for you instead of feeling like you need to fidget every two seconds to get comfy.
Siddhasana is like the "P-Plates" of a sitting meditation posture. You’ve ditched the L’s and can probably sit cross legged fairly comfortably now but you might still struggle to sit up tall.
I like to use a block as a base for the hips. This is one of our favourites because you can make a really long base of support from shin to shin and hips are a little higher, which makes it easier to maintain a natural curve in the lower spine.
Ergonomically – the spine is happy, rather than sitting with the tailbone and lower back tucking under.
Top tips for getting comfortable in this pose are:
1. Use a block for a firm base of support.
2. Heels line up with each other and the groin.
3. You should feel a nice broad base of support from knee to knee through the line of the shins.
Another option we love - especially for beginners for those with super tight hips is Virasana.
Also known as Hero pose this kneeling posture is best skipped if you’ve got knee issues or ankle issues. But one of the good things about this pose is that the thighs or the femurs are actually rotating inward a little bit so this is ideal for folks that suffer from sciatica – a condition that might mean sitting cross legged is difficult.
Top tips for getting comfortable in this pose:
1. Use one or two blocks or a bolster between the knees and under the hips.
2. The heels of the feet should lie ‘just’ on the outer edges of the hips (or blocks)
3. Toes point directly back (rather than out to the sides which may strain the knee ligaments).
So there are three options for you and ways that you can use props in order to come to comfortable sitting meditation positions in Yoga.
WHAT TO DO NOW
Before I sign off - let me just say that like ANYTHING - learning to meditate TAKES TIME, but know that you have OPTIONS!
In the comments section below I'd LOVE you to share with me:
1. Which of these postures do you like the best?
2. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to meditation?