You Can Sit However You Please When You Meditate
Picture someone who’s meditating. What image popped into your head?
Well, if you’re like most people, you probably pictured a yogi sitting in the lotus position with his legs curled into a pretzel, his feet resting on top of his knees, and his hands resting palm up atop them. The sort of position that looks so uncomfortable to the lay person that it has become a symbol of the perfect mental state.
Because if you weren’t in a state of total mental clarity and harmony, how could you possibly be comfortable sitting in such a convoluted pose? Like so many other things that we’ve absorbed through pop culture, though, this image is misleading at best, and outright wrong at worst.
What’s The Proper Way To Sit When You Meditate?
Meditation is a part of a huge variety of disciplines, and it seems like they each have their own, special pose you have to be in when you do it. Whether you’re sitting or kneeling, placed atop a pad or on the hard ground, it can get confusing if you try to keep up with every possible instruction when it comes to how you need to position your body for proper meditation.
It seems there are dozens of different ways to meditate, but there’s actually a greater truth buried in this variety. That you can sit however you please when you meditate, because it isn’t about what pose you’re sitting in that actually matters.
The Way You Sit Is Just One More Piece of Routine
Almost everything you associate with meditation is set dressing in one way or another. For example, it isn’t necessary for you to burn a stick of incense when you get started, but for some people that helps ease them into the proper state of mind. The same is true for a relaxing, instrumental soundtrack, or the burble of water in a small fountain. These are all tools we use to help make getting into the proper state of mind that much easier, but at the end of the day, they’re still tools.
The way you sit when you meditate is no different.
This isn’t to say that how you choose to sit doesn’t matter, though. Far from it, in fact. Your position needs to be comfortable, and it needs to be easy on your body as well as your mind. It has to be a position you can hold, and which is conductive to your kind of meditation. Lastly, it needs to be something that comes naturally to you.
It Isn’t About How You Sit
Meditation takes practice, and it’s easy to get caught up in all the details surrounding it. What time do you do it, how long do you do it for, where are you sitting, how are you sitting… these are all just details. But they’re details that can trip you up, and make it hard for you to successfully meditate. They’re the trees that will stop you from seeing the forest, if you will.
This is why it’s important to remember that meditation is all about you. You have to do what’s comfortable for your body, and what fits with your life. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind that you can kneel or sit, with your legs crossed or not, as long as you’re comfortable. Because if your body is comfortable, that makes it easier for you to turn your focus inward, and to keep your mind clear.
Nothing makes your meditation harder than trying to ignore that throbbing in your lower back, or the ache in your knees. So if your body is complaining, don’t be afraid to find a different position.