Perfect Meditation Position
This picture is taken from a nice guided meditation (part of a series) posted to YouTube. I captured it because it so beautifully illustrates the ideal meditation position.
Let's examine it in detail.
About Her Meditation Posture
There are a number of details worth noting about her position, called out in this excerpt:
- Knees below the hips.
The first thing to note is that she has more or less automatically found a place to sit where her knees are lower than her hips. That is the "gentle slope" that I found so comfortable for sitting cross-legged in my martial arts practice.
- Thighs at a 20-degree angle.
With her knees below her hips, her hips are at approximately the ideal 20-degree angle.
- Ideal pelvic tilt.
That angle induces a forward tilt of the pelvis, which in turn produces a small curve in the lower back. That tilt positions her torso forward, over the center of the tripod created by her knees and backside--so it is in the most stable position possible.
- Upright spine.
Her straight, upright spine is balanced over her center of gravity, so virtually zero muscular energy is required to maintain it. (If the spine is bent, on the other hand, gravity keeps wanting to pull it down. Then the muscles have to work to stay up, which causes them to tire quickly.)
- Neck straight.
Her neck is straight and upright, as well, rather than pushing forward.
- Head level, balanced over spine.
Her head is level, looking neither up or down. And because her neck is straight, her head is balanced over her spine. (The head weighs approximately 14 lbs. Balanced over the spine, it is effectively weightless. But for every inch forward it moves, it weighs an additional 10 lbs. That weight causes the back to bend, and induces muscular tension up and down the spine.)
- Elbows hanging down from shoulders.
In this position, her hands are over her heart--a great position for a heart-centered energy flow. They can also be in prayer position—a great position for meditating on (or with) the deity or guru you connect with. But, just like positions where you have hands in your lap or resting on your legs, her elbows hang down so her upper arm is essentially vertical, allowing her shoulders and arms to relax.
In short, she perfectly illustrates the ideal posture for meditation. With the vertical alignment she exhibits, there is no tension in her back, neck, shoulders, or arms. So she can stay in that relaxed position for a extended period of time.
Of course, she is flexible enough to maintain that posture while sitting on the ground! For many of us, that can be a difficult feat to achieve.
The "Instant Meditation" Bench, helps you achieve that posture without requiring you to cross your legs. At the same time, in conjunction with the Bench Yoga program, it helps you to achieve advanced positions like the one she is sitting in.
Let's examine that position now.
About Her Sitting Position
If you look carefully, you can just make out the small green cushion she's sitting on. But also notice that she's sitting in Lotus Pose!
One of the advantages of that pose (if you can manage it) is that you can sit comfortably just about anywhere, as long as the surface is reasonably flat.
In this case, there probably wasn't a surface that was flat enough, so she used a small cushion. But the advantage of the Lotus position is that your feet and ankles are never come into contact with a hard surface! Instead, only the fleshy parts of your thighs and backside are in contact with the surface you're sitting on, so you are effectively sitting on a "cushion", no matter where you are.
Of course, Lotus Pose requires a great deal of flexibility! And it's hard on your knees. So even when you can do it in your younger years, it may not come easily later in life.
Again, that is where the "Instant Meditation" Bench, excels. It lets you sit comfortably at every stage of your practice.
In addition, you can use the Bench Yoga program to help you move to intermediate cross-legged sitting positions that will let you sit comfortably on the ground—on a grassy hillside, for example, or on a shallow slope next to a lake.
Sometimes, too, you can even sit on a rock! Once you find out how comfortable it is to sit with one leg crossed and other down on the floor, you'll find places where a log or a flat spot on a rock is just high enough of the ground to let you sit with one leg tucked in, and the other on the ground, so once again, only the fleshy parts of your body are in touch with any hard surfaces!