How do you sit when you meditate?

One of the classic images that come to mind when you think about meditation is that of a yogi sitting in lotus position on the floor, back almost impossibly straight. For people new to meditation, it’s a position that can be uncomfortable and hard to maintain for longer periods of time.

While posture is important in meditation, you’re not expected to adopt the perfect posture immediately. It is something you will develop over time.

Body postures are perhaps most well known in yoga where practitioners use Asanas, or body positions to tap into deeper levels of relaxation, awareness, and strength. Meditation, as a branch of yoga, also encourages certain body postures

For traditional seated meditation, there are many different ways to prepare your body for a session. Traditionally, meditation postures have consisted of sitting crossed-legged with certain mudras (hand positions) in place. However, sitting crossed-legged for longer periods of time is the most common challenge to individuals who are new to meditation, and it’s a major reason why some people quickly abandon the practice altogether. It takes time to get used to sitting crossed-legged without having your legs fall asleep within minutes.

The reason this position is so popular is because it encourages a rested state while at the same time having an active body, which includes your legs. When done properly, your body should not sit heavy on top of your legs. It is an energized position where the entire body remains straight and upright.

When you meditate, the goal is to get your body to a state of restful awareness, where you can witness the fluctuations of the mind. You don’t have to sit cross-legged, but it is important to make sure you’re comfortable, as this is the number one rule in meditation. Here are a few important things to consider when choosing a position and preparing to meditate.