Posture is how we hold ourselves, both literally and figuratively. In meditation, there are two postures to consider — the inner, and the outer. The inner posture is our attitude; when we meditate, it’s a posture of open-mindedness.

But what about our physical posture? Does it matter that much?

The short answer is yes. Our physical body is the support of our mind.

It must be relaxed but sturdy, supportive yet not rigid. The right meditation posture will put you in an ideal position, literally and figuratively, to reach a meditative state.

Note that this is nothing to do with yoga poses; the only pose required for good meditation posture is to sit. And while there is an ideal way to sit, there are variations to accommodate all practitioners.

Explained: The Importance of Meditation Posture

There are four key considerations when it comes to meditation posture:

• Comfort. The position must be comfortable. Straining oneself into a position the body finds uncomfortable or painful is not conducive to meditation.
• Relaxation. Muscles should be relaxed when meditating or practicing grounding techniques. While seated, arms should rest naturally by the sides. The hips should be slightly higher than the knees, so the muscles relax.
• Alignment. The hips, the back, and the neck should all be aligned. This is arguably the most important factor. No hunching forward or leaning back.
• Stillness. Stability is key in relaxation. The body must be stable and hold its shape while you sit and meditate. Be still, be calm, be centered.

Tips For Great Meditation Posture

1. Imagine your spine is a stack of coins. This is an explanation straight from classic Buddhist texts. Obviously, the spine is naturally curved, and a perfectly straight spine is actually a sign of problems. But simply imagining that your spine is a column of stacked coins will give you the mental picture necessary to bring your spine into the correct position.

2. Be a puppet on a string. Imagine a string attached to the center of the crown of your head. Now imagine it drawing you upwards from that point. This helps to stretch out the spine to feel lighter and straighter. Use you breathing to get the most of this; when you breathe in, the string pulls you up, and when you breathe out, your head stays where it is while the body relaxes down.

3. Sit like a mountain. This goes back to stillness and stability, one of the staples of good meditation posture outlined above. A mountain is unmovable, stable, and majestic. Use the visual of a mountain to keep your posture straight and stable once you’ve achieved your ideal positioning.

4. Find your center. Your ideal meditation posture should balance perfectly on your center of gravity. It’s easy to find if you’re centered. Once you’re seated rock your upper body gently from side to side, and back and forth. You will find the point in the middle that is most balanced for you. This activity also helps you to let go of tension before meditation begins.

5. Make your body reflect your state of mind within meditation. Not too slack, but not too tight. Physically relaxed and alert at the same time. This physical balance is the same as the mental balance you seek to achieve in meditation. Getting the physical balance first will make the mental balance easier.

6. Be symmetrical. The ideal meditation posture is symmetrical. This is of particular importance for knees and shoulders — they should be the same height on either side. Hands should rest on your lap or knees, so long as they mirror each other. This will help find your center and keep you solid while you meditate.

If you find that sitting directly on the floor is uncomfortable and distracting for meditation settings, you could also consider a meditation cushion. Check out the guide to meditation cushions by Unify Cosmos here.

Author's Bio: 

I’m a personal growth and spiritual practice advocate, a meditation teacher and an expert in the field of meditating with brainwave entrainment/binaural beats technology.