Claire Eve Macdonald

Body Position During Meditation

I enjoy meditating but I think my meditation could be enhanced if I were more comfortable while meditating.  It is hard for me to find a completely comfortable position to sit in.  I try to sit cross-legged with my vertibrate straight up.  My right knee always feels tight and my right foot often falls asleep.  If my back is not leaning against something I begin to feel pain in my back after about ten minutes.  Then I begin to slouch but I try to come back to a straight back.  I think if I found a comfotable position I would want to meditate for longer.  Is it bad to lay down and meditate?  I know I would not let my body fall asleep.  Any advice?

Submitted on 10 Dec 2010 01:33

Irem Choksy

Hey Claire,

I would recommend getting into the mood/mode of meditating before meditating. Give yourself some time to unwind and stretch before your session; I hope that helps :).

Submitted on 10 Dec 2010 10:21 from Ariya App

Claire Macdonald

That is good advice. I could do some yoga before I start meditating! Thanks

Submitted on 10 Dec 2010 18:44 from Ariya App

Claire Macdonald

In the middle of my meditation I get stiff or numb in the back and legs. I want to get comfortable but I also don't want to move! What should I do?

How do other people sit most comfortably?

Is it bad to lay down while meditating?

Submitted on 12 Dec 2010 01:05 from Ariya App

Emma Brewin

Sometimes I lay down but it often means I fall asleep! I would suggest supporting your back with a pillow. Also do the correct hand posture described in at least one of the videos, as it helps square your shoulders to support you.



Submitted on 14 Dec 2010 10:27 from Ariya App

Anita Nuss

Dear Claire, This is a very impotant question because many meditators experience the same thing.

Sitting is recommended over lying down because of the position of the spine. It is best to sit in a straight backed position so that the vertebrae join together nicely, sitting straight-backed allowes for optimal blood flow, which is important for meditation in the long run. As Emma mentioned it is easy for the mind to loose mindfulness when lying down.
However, sitting on the ground or floor is not the only option. If you experience pain in your legs, you can sit on a straight backed chair. This should eliminate the pain in your legs.
Physical comfort is essential during meditation, so however you choose to sit, should be to maximise physical comfort.

During meditation when you start feeling pain in any part of your body, or you feel numb in your legs, you can move to optimise your comfort. But before making adjustments, one should feel that the mind is at the center of the body. Try to keep the mind still and centered while making bodily adjutments.

Adjusting your sitting posture is the very first step in meditation, and is absolutely essential. You should take your time with this step and not rush. Sit with a straight back in a position of poise, as for eg, a mountain rests upon th earth. Sit with a feeling of relaxation throughout the body that extends the duration of your meditaiton. Remember that you are sitting for physical and menal relaxation, not to achieve a beautiful mediative posture.
When you start out, go through each part of your body, adjust the position of the upper body, examine this part and make sure it is at ease and comfortable. Then examine your eyes, clos them ever so softly, barely let the eye lashes touch. You should close your eyes as if you are going to sleep. Then examine the rest of your body, if any part is tense or taut adjust that part until it is relaxed and blood circulates easily there. Relax the muscles of the whole body, take your time, eye, head, nape, shoulders, arms, torso, legs and toes. Adjust your body like this taking your time with each step. It will pay off in your meditation. When your body is at ease and properly relaxed you may even feel that you loose sensation in your body. This is a beginning sign that your mind is starting to still.

Hope you have easy and wonderful meditation. Wish everyone to be comfortable and able to relax easily and gently.

Submitted on 25 Dec 2010 16:02 from Ariya App

Claire Macdonald


Thank you very much for your abundance of advice! I am sure it is going to help me with my meditation. I am going to try these tips with my next meditation practice. Greatly appreciated.


Submitted on 26 Dec 2010 07:50 from Ariya App

Emma Brewin

I found your advice helpful too Anita, thanks :-)

Submitted on 27 Dec 2010 23:07 from Ariya App

Claire Macdonald

Anita, I have been sitting in a chair for the past 2 days and it has really helped. I am able to still the mind at my center quickly.

When the winter begins to fade away I would like to start meditating outdoors. Hopefully I can find a comfortable position in the grass :)

Submitted on 28 Dec 2010 03:05 from Ariya App

Anita Nuss

Ah, that is wonderful Claire! I'm very happy to read this u know!!
I also love outdoors meditation, open space, fresh air! If you manage to find a good spot, why not take a pic and send it to Peace Rev.
Happy meditation always and forever. Happy new year.

Submitted on 31 Dec 2010 11:09 from Ariya App

Bikram Bajracharya

I do sometime meditate... and I am learning about meditation... What is the real meaning of Meditation... and how to do meditation... anita...?

Submitted on 30 Mar 2011 15:15 from Ariya App

Bikram Bajracharya

Meditation is really good... it gives peace of mind and relax... but it happens for some times... some weeks... and some months... I really want peace of mind forever... I know I have to practice a lot and learn about meditation... There are two kind of meditations...

They are:-

  1. Samathā Bhāvanā {Meditation on Concentration}
  2. Vipassanā Bhāvanā {Meditation on Insight Wisdom}

I really want to know real meaning of these two kind of meditations... these both kind of meditations helps one to achieve Nibbāna {Enlightenment}...

yours in the dhamma Anita Nuss


Submitted on 30 Mar 2011 17:04 from Ariya App

Lauren Rayner

my husband struggled alot with intense pain while meditating, so he created a better cushion that helps alleviate the back pain, hip, leg and feet numbness and pain. They are called Moonleap cushions

Submitted on 17 Jan 2014 00:55 from Ariya App