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The Best Posture for Meditation

Getting comfortable and adjusting your posture to the correct position is integral to a productive daily meditation practice. Here’s a checklist to help get your body situated correctly. Read more about daily meditation practice in The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Mediation Guide Integrating Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness.

• Adjust any supports you use to help you sit comfortably.

• Your head, neck, and back should be aligned, leaning neither forward nor backward, nor to the side.

• Your shoulders should be even and your hands level with each other so your muscles are balanced.

• Your lips should be closed, your teeth slightly apart, and your tongue against the roof of your mouth, with the tip against the back of your upper teeth.

• Start with your eyes closed and angled slightly downward, as though you were reading a book. This creates the least tension in your forehead and face. If you prefer, leave your eyes slightly open, with your gaze directed at the floor in front of you. Your eyes will move during meditation, but when you notice they’ve shifted, return them to where they were.

• With your lips closed, breathe through your nose in a natural way. It shouldn’t feel controlled or forced.

• Relax and enjoy yourself. Scan your body for any tension and let it go. All the activity of meditation is in the mind, so the body should be like a lump of soft clay—solid and stable, but completely pliant. This helps keep physical distractions to a minimum.

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