Often when we begin to meditate, and we learn that we have to sit with our back upright and straight and our legs crossed.
Sitting this way it’s all too easy to think ‘too much effort, I give up’ — particularly for those of us who were brought up in the Western world.
After all, we use chairs to sit on most of the time and are not accustomed to sitting on the floor (past childhood anyway). Our bodies are not used to it, thus making our hips tighter, muscles in the legs tighter, and our spine certainly does not want to remain that straight.
The reason why we sit in such a manner for meditation is so that our body stays active, whilst our mind becomes still.
If we lay down, or lean against something, there’s a chance our body would over-relax, and perhaps fall asleep.
If you’re finding meditation uncomfortable physically it might be time to bring your attention to the mental side.
- Why are you doing this?
- What is your reason?
Forget the person next to you, forget the lady at work who told you meditation worked wonders for her, what is it that you want from this?
Everyone meditates for different reasons:
- stress relief
- to increase concentration
- or to generally become a better person in everyday life
Each time you meditate remind yourself of this reason before you begin, it will fill your posture with purpose, determination and positive energy for your meditation, helping your spine to stay straight and strong.
How to maintain good posture
A good way to envisage your body is to sit calmly, as though you are lifting off the ground.
Your mind is becoming more still, as is your body, but the crown of your head is moving towards the sky, lengthening your spine and encouraging a strong posture, without too much tension.
This will also make it easier to bring focus to your breath.
If you struggle with keeping your spine upright due to a lack of concentration, a slump or a sleepiness, try to keep your attention focused on one thing. The best tool to use is your breath, keep your focus on the point of entry and exit of the breath into the body, and notice the rhythm and method of movement.
Using these few tips can help to keep your awareness both on body and mind in your meditation practice, and help you to keep a strong posture each time you sit down to meditate.