How to Sit for Meditation Using the Best Seated Meditation Posture

A seated meditation posture is an essential foundation for a healthy meditation practice. Chances are, you’ve probably seen someone sitting cross-legged and looking peaceful in some magazine. But what’s the best way for you to sit for meditation?

There’s a short answer and a long answer…

The short answer is: whatever posture is the most comfortable for you is the best way.

The long answer starts out this way: it depends…

There are many seated meditation postures that will support your meditation practice. Why would you want to use them? Because they’re easier to maintain for longer periods of time without getting exhausted or fatigued. Trust me, when you’re meditating for 2 hours, you don’t want to get a leg cramp.

Before we take a look at these seated meditation postures, let me emphasize that while meditation is great, it can cause pain in the body, especially if you try to sit in full lotus without preparing for it. So, learn from my mistakes…

I’ve found through person experience that meditation without stretching, like Hatha Yoga, is tough on the body. I cannot emphasize this enough: if you’re going to meditate, consider taking up Hatha Yoga. The Saints and Sages of India weren’t dummies. They sat for long periods of time, and they recognized the importance of having a strong, limber body for meditation. And that’s why they developed Hatha Yoga. When I do some Yoga stretches before I meditate, my meditation goes much smoother. It’s much easier to quiet your mind when you’re body isn’t talking to you because it’s stiff.

So if you’re serious about meditation, give Hatha Yoga a try.

Ground rules for sitting

Before we choose a seated meditation posture, there are two things you might keep in mind:1. If you sit on the floor, sit with something propped under you, like a folded blanket, pillow or meditation cushion. Every picture in Yoga Journal shows someone in a seated meditation posture on the floor without a support. DON”T DO IT. It looks cool, but it will really mess up your knees.

2. If it hurts, don’t do it.

Okay, now we’re ready…

Seated Meditation Posture #1 – Sitting on a Chair

Sitting in a chair Most people think about a seated meditation posture being cross-legged on the ground. But the most simple seated meditation posture is actually sitting upright in a chair. Here’s how:1. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the ground. If your feet don’t touch, use a pillow, or folded blanket under your feet (as seen in the picture).

2. Feel the two sitting bones beneath you (your butt bones).

3. Open through your sitting bones by reaching back to the gluteal flesh (your butt) and pulling it back and out from underneath you. When you do this, you’ll feel the two sitting bones more firmly connected to the chair beneath you, and you’ll feel a wider base of support while sitting.

4. Feel your connection to the chair through the two sitting bones as you lengthen through your spine. Place your hands on each side of your body and lift up, so you create space between the hips and lower ribs.

5. Lengthen through your spine and imagine space between each of your vertebrae to create length in the spine.

6. Gently drop your chin down and in, so your neck is in alignment with your spine, and lengthen through your neck to the top of your head.

7. Make sure your low back is not overly arched, if it is, gently tuck your tailbone and gently draw in on your abdomen.

8. Place your hands on your legs either palm up or palm down. Or you may fold them in your lap.

9. Take a moment and make sure you feel comfortable. Make any adjustments you need to make to get comfortable. Stay relaxed, even as you keep your body nice and upright (this is a real feat).

10. Gently close your eyes and prepare for meditation.

Seated Meditation Posture #2 – Easy Pose

Easy Pose This is the easiest cross-legged seated meditation posture. Hence the name…1. Sit on your meditation cushion or folded blanket. Cross your legs at the shins, and make sure your feet are under each knee.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to alternate which leg is in front. One day, do your right leg forward, the next day, your left. Or, switch legs halfway through your meditation (although this may disrupt your state of relaxation).

2. Feel the two sitting bones beneath you (your butt bones).

3. Open through your sitting bones by reaching back to the gluteal flesh (your butt) and pulling it back and out from underneath you. When you do this, you’ll feel the two sitting bones more firmly connected to the earth beneath you, and you’ll feel a wider base of support while sitting.

4. Feel your connection to the floor through the two sitting bones as you lengthen through your spine. Place your hands on each side of your body and lift up, so you create space between the hips and lower ribs.

5. Lengthen through your spine and imagine space between each of your vertebrae to create length in the spine.

6. Gently drop your chin down and in, so your neck is in alignment with your spine, and lengthen through your neck to the top of your head.

7. Make sure your low back is not overly arched, if it is, gently tuck your tailbone and gently draw in on your abdomen.

8. Place your hands on your legs either palm up or palm down. Or you may fold them in your lap.

9. Take a moment and make sure you feel comfortable. Make any adjustments you need to make to get comfortable. Stay relaxed, even as you keep your body nice and upright (this is a real feat).

10. Gently close your eyes and prepare for meditation.

Seated Meditation Posture #3 – Siddhasana

SiddhasanaA Siddha is an enlightened being, someone who has realized his or her oneness with the divine. The name of this seated meditation posture is Siddha-asana, meaning the seated posture of an enlightened being. I personally like this position, because it allows the knees to drop below the hips, and for me this is much more comfortable than easy pose. Try if for yourself and decide.

1. Sit on your meditation cushion or folded blanket. Pull one leg in toward your groin so the top of your foot is toward the floor. Then pull your other foot in so it is either in front of or on top of the first foot.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to alternate which leg is in front. One day, do your right leg forward, the next day, your left. Or, switch legs halfway through your meditation (although this may disrupt your state of relaxation).

2. Feel the two sitting bones beneath you (your butt bones).

3. Open through your sitting bones by reaching back to the gluteal flesh (your butt) and pulling it back and out from underneath you. When you do this, you’ll feel the two sitting bones more firmly connected to the earth beneath you, and you’ll feel a wider base of support while sitting.

4. Feel your connection to the floor through the two sitting bones as you lengthen through your spine. Place your hands on each side of your body and lift up, so you create space between the hips and lower ribs.

5. Lengthen through your spine and imagine space between each of your vertebrae to create length in the spine.

6. Gently drop your chin down and in, so your neck is in alignment with your spine, and lengthen through your neck to the top of your head.

7. Make sure your low back is not overly arched, if it is, gently tuck your tailbone and gently draw in on your abdomen.

8. Place your hands on your legs either palm up or palm down. Or you may fold them in your lap.

9. Take a moment and make sure you feel comfortable. Make any adjustments you need to make to get comfortable. Stay relaxed, even as you keep your body nice and upright (this is a real feat).

10. Gently close your eyes and prepare for meditation.

Seated Meditation Posture #4 – Half Lotus Posture

Half Lotus Seated Meditation Posture Half Lotus is the seated meditation posture you do before you move to full lotus. It requires more flexibility in the hips and is definitely an advanced seated meditation posture. If you are just beginning, please stick with sitting in a chair, easy pose, or Siddhasana to start with. If you want to work toward this seated meditation posture, please consider taking up asana practice (Hatha Yoga).1. Sit on your meditation cushion or folded blanket. Pull one leg in toward your groin (as in Siddhasana). Now bring the other leg in, and place the top of the foot in the crease at the inner portion of your leg. The bottom of your foot will be toward the ceiling

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to alternate which leg is on top. One day, do your right leg on top, the next day, your left. Or, switch legs halfway through your meditation (although this may disrupt your state of relaxation).

2. Feel the two sitting bones beneath you (your butt bones).

3. Open through your sitting bones by reaching back to the gluteal flesh (your butt) and pulling it back and out from underneath you. When you do this, you’ll feel the two sitting bones more firmly connected to the earth beneath you, and you’ll feel a wider base of support while sitting.

4. Feel your connection to the floor through the two sitting bones as you lengthen through your spine. Place your hands on each side of your body and lift up, so you create space between the hips and lower ribs.

5. Lengthen through your spine and imagine space between each of your vertebrae to create length in the spine.

6. Gently drop your chin down and in, so your neck is in alignment with your spine, and lengthen through your neck to the top of your head.

7. Make sure your low back is not overly arched, if it is, gently tuck your tailbone and gently draw in on your abdomen.

8. Place your hands on your legs either palm up or palm down. Or you may fold them in your lap.

9. Take a moment and make sure you feel comfortable. Make any adjustments you need to make to get comfortable. Stay relaxed, even as you keep your body nice and upright (this is a real feat).

10. Gently close your eyes and prepare for meditation.

Seated Meditation Posture #5 – Full Lotus

Full Lotus Seated Meditation PostureThis is possibly one of the most well-known and difficult of all seated meditation postures. It is really meant to be done by someone who has been practicing Hatha Yoga for many years. I do not recommend this seated meditation posture to you unless you have personal instruction. However, I include it here so you are aware of it.

1. Sit on your meditation cushion or folded blanket. Pull one leg in toward you and place the top of the foot in the crease at the inner portion of your leg. The bottom of your foot will be toward the ceiling and let your knee drape down toward the floor. Now bend the other knee in toward you and place it on top of the other thigh, toward the crease of your inner thigh, again with the top of your foot on the leg and the bottom of your foot up.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to alternate which leg is on top. One day, do your right leg on top, the next day, your left. Or, switch legs halfway through your meditation (although this may disrupt your state of relaxation).

2. Feel the two sitting bones beneath you (your butt bones).

3. Open through your sitting bones by reaching back to the gluteal flesh (your butt) and pulling it back and out from underneath you. When you do this, you’ll feel the two sitting bones more firmly connected to the earth beneath you, and you’ll feel a wider base of support while sitting.

4. Feel your connection to the floor through the two sitting bones as you lengthen through your spine. Place your hands on each side of your body and lift up, so you create space between the hips and lower ribs.

5. Lengthen through your spine and imagine space between each of your vertebrae to create length in the spine.

6. Gently drop your chin down and in, so your neck is in alignment with your spine, and lengthen through your neck to the top of your head.

7. Make sure your low back is not overly arched, if it is, gently tuck your tailbone and gently draw in on your abdomen.

8. Place your hands on your legs either palm up or palm down. Or you may fold them in your lap.

9. Take a moment and make sure you feel comfortable. Make any adjustments you need to make to get comfortable. Stay relaxed, even as you keep your body nice and upright (this is a real feat).

10. Gently close your eyes and prepare for meditation.

Tired of Seated Meditation Postures? Try Lying Down…

Meditation Posture Lying Down If all this body contortion is too much, this meditation posture is for you. It’s easier then easy pose. You could even do it while lying in bed. Here’s what I recommend though.1. Roll a towel or blanket up and place it under your knees. This will alleviate low back pressure.

2. If you want, place a pillow or folded blanket under your head.

Then just get as comfortable as you’d like to be, placing your hands on your belly or to your side, and try not to fall asleep.

Some people claim that having the proper seated meditation posture induces a deeper meditation experience. While I’m sure there’s some truth to this, I think it’s important to maintain balance in your life. If you want to work toward sitting in Full Lotus, go for it. If you lack that desire, don’t feel discouraged. I know a Swami, a great meditation teacher, who reclines in her Lazy Boy recliner to meditate. She’s been doing it for 30 years. If she can do that, you can too. Just find the position that’s going to work best for you, and make sure you’ll be comfortable being there for as long a period as you meditate.I hope you have found this review of seated meditation postures helpful. If you need clarification, or have a suggestion for the site, please contact me