How should I sit when meditating?

Meditation Positions and Posture

Sitting is the traditional position for the type of meditation we teach at Ten Percent Happier but you don't have to sit to meditate. The goal is to maintain an alert focus on whatever anchor you've chosen - like your breath, the feeling of your feet on the floor, or your hands. There are lots of other anchors and exploring the Ten Percent Happier app will teach you about them. Meditation isn't restricted by position, ability, or equipment so try some different options and see which ones work for you. 

Sitting

Sit with an upright spine, uplift the chest, do not over-arch or slouch in the lower spine, relax the abdomen, relax the shoulders (do not allow the shoulders to roll forward). The chin should be slightly tilted down. Your hands should be folded in your lap or resting on your thighs. Make sure you have enough support under your seat so that your butt is higher than your knees (don't worry if you have to sit on a larger cushion to do this- it is worth it!). This helps create the gentle arch in your low back that is essential for supporting the upper body without creating too much tension in your back. If you are sitting in a cross legged position, you may want also want to put cushions under your knees to support them. You can also sit in a chair, ideally upright with your feet on the floor.

Laying Down

If you want to meditate laying down, you'll commonly lay flat on your back with your feet slightly apart and your hands either out at your sides or your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your stomach. 

Standing

Standing seems simple, right? When you meditate while standing, try setting yourself up first by lightly rolling forward and backward, left and right on your feet - then come to center. Relax the abdomen, relax the shoulders (do not allow the shoulders to roll forward). The chin should be slightly tilted down. Your hands will be at your sides. Take a deep breath and you're ready.

Walking

Traditional walking meditation is done very slowly, with care and attention paid to how your feet make contact with the ground and leave the ground. However, you can meditate while walking at any speed! In the app, search for Walking to find several teacher's approaches to walking meditations. Once you get the hang of it, you can practice meditation easily throughout your day! You can even incorporate loving-kindness into your walking meditation.