Often times when I’m sitting during meditation, I find my thoughts wandering to my comfort in the moment – or lack thereof. I want to meditate comfortably. I don’t know how to sit during meditation. I feel stupid even asking at times.
I’m focusing on my breath, but in the back of my mind there’s a quiet ache I need to address. A kink in my neck. A spot in my back that just won’t crack. A pull in my knees that makes my legs fall asleep when I’m in meditation sitting cross legged. I just can’t get comfortable for meditation right off the bat.
So I developed a little routine to help me ease my body and my mind.
It starts with stretching while breathing. Just like in yoga.
- Start by standing with your feet firmly planted in the ground. Take a few deep breaths. Warm up your neck by slowly shaking your head from left to right a few times, then tilt your head to look up then down. After a few repetitions, bring your ear to your shoulder, feeling a nice stretch down the other side of your neck. Hold for a few breaths, then switch sides.
- Raise your hands as high as you can and spread your fingertips as far as they go. Hold this for a few moments before grabbing your left wrist and sticking rib cage to the right, creating an arc in your frame and stretch along your right side. Hold this pose for a few breaths before repeating on the left.
- When you’re back to standing straight, fold forward to touch your toes. You’ll feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings as well as your lower back. Feel free to slightly bend one knee for a deeper stretch in your opposite leg before doing the same on the other side.
Just adding a short stretching routine does wonders for my practice. It gets relaxes my muscles, strengthens my mind-body connection, and puts me in a zone of mindfulness.
I found the most comfortable meditation position is only possible when I’m completely loose and relaxed. Sitting on a meditation cushion helps a lot. A meditation sitting block will keep your posture upright, important to both your spinal health and your body’s abilities to relax your muscles. You can also use a comfortable meditation chair which also offers great support around your knees.
Getting comfortable in meditation doesn’t have to be hard. Just take a few minutes beforehand to stretch and restore balance to your body.