Meditation positions: a quick guide

Some meditation positions to get comfy, deepen your practice, and maximise benefits.

There are many different ways to meditate , but one of the most important aspects of this practice is finding comfortable meditation positions. When done properly, meditation can help you achieve greater mental clarity and calmness —both of which can make for better health overall .

What are the 3 ideal positions to be in during meditation?

We'll dive into the poses in more detail later in the guide, but before we begin here's a snapshot of the 3 most popular meditation poses that have been used by practitioners over the years:

  1. Lotus position

    This is probably the most recognizable pose in meditation and it's easy to see why. It looks graceful and serene—perfect for a peaceful atmosphere. The lotus position involves bringing both legs up to rest on top of each other, with both feet resting on opposite thighs.

  2. Corpse pose

    The corpse pose is the most basic and popular position for meditation. It's a simple resting pose that allows you to stretch out your body, relax into the floor and get comfortable.

  3. Burmese position

    The Burmese position is another common pose. It involves you sitting on the ground with your legs folded in front of you, resting on the floor.

What is the meditation sitting position called?

The traditional meditation sitting position is called the lotus position, and many consider it the ideal pose for the practice. That said, it can be quite tricky to master. Here's how to practice the lotus pose, and other (perhaps comfier) meditation sitting positions to try:

Lotus position

  • Sit cross-legged, with one foot resting on top of the opposite thigh.

  • You can also try placing your hands on your knees while sitting in this pose or placing them palms together at chest height.

Half lotus

  • Cross your right foot over your left thigh so that it rests on top of or is supported by the left thigh. You can use a pillow to support your foot if needed.

Burmese position

  • In this position, you sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Place both hands on top of each knee in a prayer-like pose.

Seiza position

  • Seiza is a traditional Japanese sitting position

    in which the legs are folded underneath the body and the buttocks rest on feet. It is used for meditation and other spiritual practices, such as prayer.

  • The hands are folded loosely in one's lap, with palms up or down (the right hand will be higher than the left).

  • The back should be straight, with head looking straight ahead and not toward either shoulder.

Chair meditation

  • This is a more Western concept, but it can be just as effective and a lot more accessible for some people.

  • It involves sitting in a chair with your back straight and hands on your lap (or another position).

  • Sitting up straight will help you concentrate better, while not fidgeting or moving around will also help you focus.

Is it ok to meditate lying down?

Yes, it is okay to meditate lying down. This can be a great way to end a yoga session, or a longer meditation practice, as it helps you relax and release tension in the body and clear your mind before continuing the day.

However, most experts recommend sitting up for the length of your meditation session. This is because lying down can make you feel drowsy and even fall asleep, whereas sitting up straight can help you concentrate and stay alert.

If you do wish to meditate lying down, here's a pose to try:

Corpse pose

  • Lie on the floor or bed with your feet slightly apart and your arms by your sides.

  • The palms of your hands should be facing up.

  • Close your eyes, relax your muscles and breathe deeply.

Mudras: Hand positions for meditation

In whatever position you chose, there are different options to place your hands. Mudras are hand positions that have been used in meditation for thousands of years. They help to focus the mind and body, while also serving as a reminder of your intention. There are many different mudras, so you may want to experiment with some before settling on one that feels right for you.

The most common mudras for meditation are the Gyan mudra and Dhyana mudra:

Gyan mudra

  • Touch the tip of your thumb and your index fingertip, and hold your other three fingers straight. Rest the back of your hands on either knee or by your side if you're lying down.

Dhyana mudra

  • Sit with your hands facing upward and place your right hand on top of your left palm, touching the tips of your thumbs to form a 'triangle'.

Best position to meditate: Final thoughts

Meditating with the right posture is essential to achieving a deep and beneficial practice—there's nothing more distracting than being uncomfy. We hope that this article has helped you to choose the best meditation position for you.


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