the question literally everyone asks is how to sit to meditate

Padmasana, more commonly known as The Lotus position, is of course the most well known meditation position…. but, with each foot placed right up against the opposite thigh, it’s also one of the most difficult (and uncomfortable!) to achieve. So is it necessary?

how to sit to meditate - lotus

lotus position

The Lotus position is a great way to sit to meditate, but I think it’s also important to remember that The Budha is never usually portrayed/seen in full Padmasana, so if it’s not happening for you it’s definitely not something to worry about.

When working with anything from the ancient traditions we should of course strive to be as authentic in what we do as possible, but there is balance in that, as it’s also important to remember that these are not traditions of punishment or retribution.  Keep love in the centre of what you do whenever you’re meditating, and you can’t go far wrong.  Stay focused on what you are creating, rather than what you might look like.

It’s great to be as opened out as possible while meditating, and that’s why Lotus is so great.  It opens up your hips like no other position, as well as invigorating the nerves in your legs… It’s also much harder than it looks!  I broke my leg 3 years ago, so Lotus position is a no-go for me, though I struggled to find it invigorating before that too.  So how do I sit to meditate?

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What’s important to think about the way you sit to meditate?

  • Start with the basics, you want to be a comfortable temperature, which will often be a bit warmer than usual because as you relax, your blood pressure will drop, and you can start to feel a bit chilly.
  • You want your back as straight as possible – imagine a thread coming from above you and suspending you by the crown of your head.  Nicely elongating your back without going as far as uncomfortable stretching.
  • As part of your back opening up you want your hips above your pelvis. If you can achieve this comfortably on the floor that’s great, but it can be alot easier if you sit your bottom on a cushion, rolled blanket, or even a wee meditation stool.  I also sometimes use a yoga brick with a blanket over it.
  • You also want your arms opened up, by this I mean a space between your upper arms and body, which can involve rounding your elbows out, rather than tucking them in.
  • You’ll want to rest your hands on your knees to hold your Mala , using your right hand to work with the beads, while your left-hand holds the weight and length of the mala.  It’s important that your mala doesn’t dangle on the floor while you meditate.

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as you sit to meditate

Remember that you want to be comfortable so that you can focus on the meditation process, not on your numb butt!  But you don’t want to be so comfortable that you start drifting off, losing the focus and intention of the meditation.  Active meditation is more than a relaxation process, and can create wonderful things in your life – it’s worth being a little uncomfortable for.

Sit in a way that enables you to remain focused and aligned with your intention. If you start to notice that you are feeling a little fidgety try to stick with it, bringing your intention back to the breath, the mantra, the heart of your meditation.

If real discomfort starts to break into your meditation process take it as a sign that something isn’t right, take a moment to check in with your body to see what needs adjusting, then make the changes needed before dropping back in to your meditation process.

the more you meditate, the easier it gets

Try out some different ways to sit while you meditate to see what works best for you, and trust the process.

The more you meditate the easier it generally becomes to create the focus and intention needed to stop your physical body breaking through into the process – give it a go and see what feels right for you.