How to Sit for Meditation

When we talk about meditating, visions of monks sitting in lotus pose may come to mind, but there are actually many ways to sit for meditation. Today I'll be showing you how to practice and modify Sukhasana, Easy Seated Pose. It’s important that you find the most comfortable position for you. This may mean modifying with props, and that’s okay. Physical discomfort will detract from the meditative experience, and there are already so many forces working against us without this added obstacle. So please do make yourself comfortable, and if you need to adjust midway through your meditation practice to get comfortable again, that’s totally allowed

POSE: Easy Seated Pose
SANSKRIT NAME: Sukhasana

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HOW TO: Sit with one ankle crossed in front of the other. Evenly root into both sit bones, lengthening the tailbone toward the earth. Draw the front ribs in and drop the shoulders back, allowing the spine to be as tall as possible. This makes room for the breath to flow smoothly. 

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MODIFICATION OPTION: Sukhasana with folded blanket or block under the hips

BENEFITS: Adding a blanket or a block under the hips takes strain off of the lower back, hips and knees by tilting the pelvis slightly forward. It allows the hips to open more easily. 

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MODIFICATION OPTION: Sukhasana with pillows under the knees

BENEFITS: Adding a pillow under each of your knees will help lessen the inner thigh and hip stretch. 

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MODIFICATION OPTION: Seated in a chair

BENEFITS: If getting down on the floor is not possible, you can be seated in a chair instead. This may be more comfortable for tight hips. 

HOW TO: Be seated in a chair with the feet flat on the floor. The ankles are directly below the knees, and the knees are hip distance apart. Do your best not to slouch into the back of the chair. Sit up tall with the shoulders relaxing away from your ears. 

Once you find your comfortable seated position, there are many options for hand placement. Placing the hands face down on the knees has a grounding effect. You may also practice with the palms facing up to symbolize that you are ready to receive prana (life-force energy). You may also try practicing with the hands in a Mudra. Each Mudra has different benefits. Experiment with what feels right to you. It may be different for each practice.