These Are Probably The Best Meditation Positions For Beginners For Good Posture

Published by Paul Harrison on

What are the best meditation positions for beginners?

Your meditation posture is incredibly important. Not just for your body, but for your mind too. 

Whether you’re meditating sitting on a meditation chair, a mat, or the floor, you need to have proper meditation posture, otherwise you may experience knee and back pain.

If you have a bad body position when meditating, you will put pressure on your spine, and this could potentially lead to spinal injury.  

This might not be a problem if you only sit to meditate for a few minutes, but if you’re meditating for an extended period of time (which could be hours if you’re at a Vipassana retreat) then you definitely need to have the right posture when meditating.

Even if you are lying down to meditate, you should ideally still adopt one of the proper meditation positions. 

But what are the best meditation positions for beginners?

Let’s take a look at the 7 most important meditation postures. 

7 Best Meditation Positions For Beginners To Learn For Good Posture

These are the technical positions for meditating. However I highly recommend you read my guide on how to sit for meditation, because for many people these technical positions are not ideal.

1. Quarter Lotus

Quarter Lotus is a position in which your legs are gently crossed with feet underneath the opposite knee.  

2. Half Lotus

 Half Lotus is different to Quarter Lotus because one foot is on top of the opposite knee.  

3. Full Lotus

Full lotus has both feet on the knees

4. Burmese Position

Burmese position is an easier position to lotus. It is done sitting with both feet on the floor and feet in front of the pelvis (not crossed).  

5. Seiza

Seiza is a kneeling position usually on a meditation cushion.   

6. Chair

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to sit on a chair or cushion. Actually, a good chair will improve your seated meditation posture.

7. Shavasana

Shavasana is lying down with the arms and hands at the side of the body, legs a little spread.  

8: Standing Up

Yes, one of the best meditation positions for beginners is standing up. This is a good option, especially if you have injuries of arthritis. Standing up will also help you to focus and to feel grounded when meditating.

And of course, you can always do dance and dynamic meditations.

But these technical positions are not necessarily the best meditation positions for beginners

Newsflash: No matter what any flexible yogi may try to tell you, it does not matter if you can sit with your legs crossed or not.

In fact, sitting with your legs crossed could be doing more damage than good.

Forcing yourself to sit crossed-legged could cause health problems (read this article on the BBC).

  • Sitting crossed-legged can:
  • Increase blood pressure
  • Cause knee injury
  • Cause problems in other areas of the body as you compensate for lack of balance in your legs
  • Cause varicose veins

In other words: sitting cross-legged is probably not the best meditation position for beginners.

So what are best meditation positions for beginners?

Ultimately, it’s up to you what meditation position you meditate in.

Your meditation posture is up to you, and you should decide based on your own body.  

Are you comfortable?

You will know that you have bad meditation posture if you are uncomfortable.  

Is your posture when meditating healthy? 

It can be hard to know if you’re sitting with perfect posture when  meditating. But you can easily get a sense of whether your spine is in alignment or not. If you think you have bad meditation posture, you probably do, so move.

Are you fidgeting?

One way to know if you have good meditation posture is to notice whether you’re fidgeting. 

Meditation is about focusing. When we focus we do not fidget. So, if your meditation posture is making you fidget while meditating, it’s probably wrong.

Are you trying to look cool?

If I had a dollar for every person who tried to do full lotus just because it looks cool… well, I’d probably donate it all to OXFAM. Point is: it doesn’t matter if you look good when you meditate. That’s not what the meditation postures are for. All that matter is that you’re comfortable and not putting any strain on your body.

If you have bad meditation posture you might experience pain afterwards

When you finish your meditation session do you have any muscle tension, numbness, or soreness? If so it’s a sign you’re in the wrong position. The key signs to look for are knee and back pain.

Do you have a serious issue?

If you have a known medical condition which is interfering with your meditation, ask a professional. Your physiotherapist will be able to suggest the best meditation posture for you.

Would a meditation chair / mat / cushion help?

A high quality one of these will provide support for your spine and sitting muscles. It will help to prevent injury. Here’s our picks of the best meditation cushions.

Are you forcing yourself to stay in one meditation position too long?

The best meditation position for beginners might be a combination of different postures. 

Normally in meditation we do not move. We’re supposed to be still like a heron. But if you are truly uncomfortable it is far better to get up and move for a few minutes that to continue in the meditation posture for longer (which could cause injury).

Why don’t you take it easy?

Remember the meditation is mostly for the mind, not the body. While you might push yourself physically when you exercise, you shouldn’t push yourself when you meditate. Chill. Go easy. Use the meditation posture that feels best for you.

So, really, there is no one best meditation position for beginners. It is entirely up to you and your body. 

With these tips you can find the best meditation position for you. This will help you to stay comfortable and safe when meditating.  

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation

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