Sit, Stand, Kneel, or Lay Down?
There are many similarities between prayer and mediation. Both are an effort to communicate with the spiritual world. Both are also done in quite the same way for most people. What position works best for you though? There may be things you hadn't considered when thinking about your meditations or prayers. Let's take a few minutes to experience some variations and find out where you are most comfortable.
In marketing you see most people meditate sitting in what is called the ‘Lotus Position.’ But this position may not be right for you. Your ability to be in any single position for more than five minutes is a key factor you want to consider. It is more important that you are comfortable for the entire duration of your meditation than what position you are in. You don’t want a cramp or sore joint to be a point of focus as you are working on deep breathing and clearing your mind.
First, the basics. Find what position works best for you while keeping these things in mind:
Keep your spine straight if possible - this avoids tension on other parts of your body and allows you to breathe more freely and deeply.
Let your hands go where they want. Don't overthink this part. If you want specific results add a mantra and refer back to my previous blog called 'Meditation Hands.'
Place your legs in a position that will not cause cramping or pain after maintaining that position for five minutes or more. Yes, you are only starting with 3 minutes but who knows how long you decide to stay in meditation?
Comfort is key. You can wear what you want and meditate in any location you are safe in but, the more comfortable you can make yourself the better. Most importantly consider being comfortable for the duration.
Try to drink some water first if you can. Hydration is usually a good thing and can prevent a cough from a dry throat or something like that happening at the most relaxed moment you have experienced in a while.
So let's take a look at some options for positions.
Sitting - This one is pretty simple; so you would think. There are actually more than thirty variations in the Yoga world that are considered seated meditation poses. We
can leave that to the pros. The Japanese have been meditating for centuries and actually developed a meditation chair for sitting meditations. You can order one of those, choose to sit in a chair nearby, on the floor supported against your couch, lotus, legs out in front of you, in your car, or any other seated position. More than anything, any time you sit to meditate you want to be sure it's a comfortable position you can stay in for at least five minutes.
Standing - Yes! You can meditate while standing! This is considered ‘active’ meditation but it is still meditation. Many of you do it already but don't realize how deeply you are going. We call this 'day dreaming.' Darn it... Did you just realize you have been meditating your whole life?!? Take the time to stand at your window and stare out at nature. Better yet, step out into that beautiful sun and look at something that draws you in. Stand and stare at that for three to five minutes. Or, close your eyes and clear your mind. Just be supported by a wall or other surface that you can lean against if needed. Again, the basics are important here. Day Dream away but now do it with intention in your thoughts as you stare off.
Kneeling - As if you were in prayer, kneeling can be an effective position for some. Kneeling can cause strain on your spine while keeping it straight for a longer duration but if this is your comfortable position - go for it! At a retreat I made my own 'Meditation Bench' for kneeling. These are great for shifting your weight to a comfortable position when kneeling. You might also want to consider having something to lean back against should you feel the urge. Depending on your age, strength, and health you may want the safety of support but enjoy kneeling. The key is to be comfortable, safe, and not feel like this is a chore. For prayer or mediation I highly recommend a bench for the kneeling position.
Laying Down - Here you want to try and lay flat on your back if possible. If you can’t - your side works but try to keep your chest open and your spine straight for easier deep breathing and more comfort. You can add a pillow under your head; even behind or between your knees for added comfort and support. Just try not to fall asleep unless that is your goal. For added support or comfort you can try different types of mats like this, I Love mine, ProSource Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set:
*Lying down is especially helpful if you:
Are preparing for sleep
Have health issues preventing you from other positions
Want to focus on a mantra
Want to work out some difficult emotions you fear may surface
My only rule about meditation is No Rules! This is how you can let go and allow yourself the space to relax more freely and confidently - it is Your Space after-all. Release the worry and concern about doing anything the right or wrong way and just relax into what is natural. Let your mind go while your body is in comfort and enjoy!
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