Steadiness, comfort and ease. According to the ancient author of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali, this is what you’re aiming for in your physical body when you practice meditation.
These may not be the first three words that come to mind when you’re sitting still, on the floor, with a straight spine, for 20 minutes. But trust us, find comfort and you’ll be one step closer to a committed meditation practice.
Here are four ways to bring comfort and ease to your meditation practice.
1. Stretch it Out
Before you become still to begin your meditation practice, see if you can move around a bit. Maybe you need to do 10 jumping jacks, maybe it’s a gentle child’s pose to wake up your spine, or maybe you want to wake up your hamstrings in downward dog. Getting your blood flowing and lengthening any tight muscles will allow your energy and breath to circulate freely.
2. Consider Your Position: Sit, Lie Down, or Sip Your Tea, in bed
Seriously! Your meditation practice is about taking focused time out of your day to breathe and be present in a given moment. While having a dedicated meditation posture and space have their benefits (see #3), we’re all about being practical.
If sitting cross-legged makes your spine scream, lie down (and then maybe try a yin yoga class, it’ll help). See if you can find a straight spine in either seated, standing, or lying down to allow energy to move without resistance. Most people find that sitting on the floor helps to feel physically grounded in the present moment, but if a chair is best for you, stick with it.
3. Dedicate a Space
For days that you can meditate at home, choose a consistent, comfortable space you can call your own. See if you can find a small tray or place to set out some candles, inspiring images or symbols that speak to you. You might choose to gently focus your vision on a candle flame during meditation or close your eyes. You may hold an object of importance in your hand for inspiration or support.
Cultivate a sliver of space that is truly yours where you feel at ease.
4. Meditate in Motion
If you’re not able to meditate at home in a dedicated space, don’t worry, you can meditate anywhere! If you take public transit, you’re probably already plugged into your earbuds, so why not plug-in to a meditation, close your eyes, and enjoy the ride. At work? No problem, pop out for a wintery walk at lunch and bring your meditation practice with you.
Soon you’ll be as comfy as a satisfied eagle in her nest.