One of the biggest reason that many people quit meditation before they get to enjoy the real benefits from it is because they find it almost impossible to sit still and stay focused during a sitting meditation.
When you factor in that it’s also one of those things that we often try and figure out on our own, then it’s no wonder it becomes more difficult than it needs to be.
Does My Meditation Posture Matter?
Look, if you’re having trouble establishing a regular daily practice then posture is the least of your worries. In the beginning, it’s more important to be comfortable than it is to try and become a human pretzel. Later on, as you get more settled into your meditations, then you can start to play around with your posture.
Ideally, you’d aim to sit on a firm cushion on the floor that elevates your hips above your legs and helps to keep your spine as straight as possible. Your legs of course would be crossed in front of you. I also tend to use a yoga mat to put under the cushion so my feet and ankles are comfortable. If you have carpet or a soft surface then that obviously won’t matter as much.
How Can I Relax More Into A Sitting Meditation?
The first thing to understand is that the mind and body finds it hard to sit still and be quiet because it’s not used to it yet. When we lead busy and distracted lives we’re always on the go mentally, physically and even emotionally. Never really taking the time to just stop for awhile and be.
This means that the mind and body gets hard-wired to ‘doing’ something all the time, even if it’s not beneficial for us like worrying, addictive behavior, or never being able to switch off our busy mind. A lot of people think that reading a book or watching TV is switching off, but in reality the mind is still active as it has something to do.
The mind hates to be still and will try it’s best to make sure it doesn’t happen. That’s why we have to treat it like an infant at first as it usually chucks a tantrum the first few times you sit down and try to clear the mind because it is not happy with what you’re asking it to do.
Step 1 – Commit To Meditate
That’s why when you’re first starting out in meditation it’s important to accept what your mind wants, rather than try and fight it. So start with committing to sit on your chair or on your cushion every day. Don’t worry about how long you are going to sit, or what meditation you are going to do, all you’re doing for now is committing to sit down to meditate.
Step 2 – Have No Expectations
Once you sit on your cushion or chair then just sit there as long as it feels pleasant. It make be for a few seconds, or it may be for 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter about the time, but rather that you’re just giving yourself permission to sit there without any rules about time. This helps to tell your mind that it’s okay if it wants to do something else, which in a sense takes some of the pressure of it. Just by sticking to the routine of meditating every day and sitting for as long as you feel like it will allow your meditations to gradually deepen.
Step 3 – Reward Yourself
Give yourself a treat after each meditation. This might mean that you call up a friend to have a chat, or have a piece of your favorite fruit, or do something that is fun for you and makes you feel good. Just by doing 1 thing to reward yourself for meditating it’ll go a long way to reinforcing that this is something that is good for you. Even your mind will enjoy that!
If you enjoyed this post please comment and share if you want more content like this.