Ideal Meditation Posture

January 1, 2016

So let’s go and talk about the ideal meditation posture because the traditional and most ideal meditation posture is to sit up straight in padmāsana with the spine erect. And when we do this what we’re doing is were actually transmuting the energies of the physical body as well as the inner, subtle nerve currents. And again, posture so important and it becomes more so as your meditation deepens and lengthens.

And you want to ensure that your head is on straight. Because when your spine is straight and your head is balanced at the top of the spine those vital energies of your body, the prāṇa, is quickened. And the prāṇa gets intensified because all of the energies flood freely through the nerve system.

And in this position there is no room for worry, depression or sleepiness during our meditations. But somehow if we get tired, if our head is not balanced and we sort of slump the shoulders forward, we lose that straight spine and then we short-circuit the vital energies, the vital Iife energies, the prāṇa, and allow our minds to have mental arguments or other unhappy experiences.

So the key to meditation is to sit dynamically, to be relaxed and poised at the same time. Now, I’ve mentioned this word a few times but in Sanskrit the ideal posture is called padmāsana or the full “lotus position.”

Padmāsana - The Ideal Meditation Posture

Now take a look at the photo and I apologize if it’s a little bright and you can’t see from the stonework and the lighting. But if you take a look carefully, you’ll notice that the right foot is on the left thigh and the left foot is resting on the right thigh. This is actually the most stable posture to assume for meditation. With this posture you can sit like this for hours on end.

Now if you’re not used to this, if you’re not used to sitting like this, and physically it actually may be impossible for some of you to bend at the hips like this, to open your hips like this. So if that’s the case please do not do this because you will be tearing nerve ligament- nerves and ligaments and all sorts of things. And we don’t want you to do that.

So the idea is this is the ideal posture. And you’ll notice that the right hand is resting on top of the left-hand. Palms are facing up and the thumbs are touching. So when the hands are resting like this in the lap, the shoulders are resting as well. And everything is so comfortable that you can maintain this posture for long periods of time.

Work With Your Body

Again I want to emphasize and encourage that you work with your body. Personally my body is not flexible enough to do full lotus. And I certainly don’t want to stress my knees are joint and the same invitation, and the same care, I highly recommend for you.

You know when I sit for meditation that’s why I’ll sit in a way that’s comfortable to me. So if you’ll take a look at the second photo there on the right, you’ll notice that this fellow here he’s kind of elevated. He is not sitting in padmāsana. He’s got his feet crossed for sure. But because he’s elevated a little bit, it’s comfortable for him.

And so just like this fellow here, if needed, I will elevate my bottom with a cushion or a block so that, you know, I can comfortably keep that straight spine for the duration of my meditation.

And if needed wear socks, wear shoes, if it’s going to take away any discomfort from your ankles and toes. And again cover yourself with a shawl or sweater if you need to keep warm. The idea here is to gently work with your body and get as close to the ideal of padmāsana as possible.

I also have a downloadable PDF that you can look at that has some links to products such as cushions, pillows and blocks that can help you with your meditation.

And I hope this helps. So take care of yourself, enjoy your meditations, and I’ll see you in the next video.