The Best Beginning Postures for Meditation

The Best Beginning Postures for Meditation

Meditation is, first and foremost, a practice of mindfulness and self-reflection. There is not an objectively “right” or “wrong” way to go about it. However, experienced practitioners and teachers usually encourage those without extensive yoga experience to try either a seated or lying position. Both have variations that we’ll look at more in-depth.

Lying Down

Lying down is an excellent meditative posture because it allows practitioners to almost relax their muscles completely. You don’t have to check in with your body— and check out of your mindful space— to make sure that you’ re keeping your back straight or your heart lifted to the sky or your tailbone in proper contact with the ground. Lying down lets you be almost completely with your thoughts and not your surroundings, which is the entire point of meditation. Traditionally, this posture involves lying flat on the ground (or yoga mat) with one’s arms and legs spread naturally. For the yoga practitioners following along, it looks quite a bit like Shavasana (corpse pose).

The traditional lying posture can also be altered with a pillow, cushion, or zafu under the head or tailbone. Placing the cushion under the head will offer extra support to the neck and shoulders, but it can misalign the spine if not placed correctly. It also mimics a typical sleeping position, so poses some risk of inducing slumber instead of mindfulness. Placing the cushion under the tailbone, meanwhile, can help give the spine and back muscles a slight-but-meaningful stretch that many enjoy— though it does pose some of the same misalignment issues as a cushion under the head and shoulders.

Seated Postures

The posture probably most associated with meditation is a seated one— usually lotus or seiza position, or something closely resembling one of them. These are certainly the most traditional sorts of meditation poses. After all, the zafu and zabuton combination is meant specifically to facilitate these sorts of postures. For those experienced with yoga or other full-body athletics, these floor-sitting positions are an excellent way to connect with mind, body, and the history of meditation in one fell swoop.

But those who cannot, for whatever reason, sit comfortably on the floor in either lotus or seiza position aren’t excluded from the practice of meditation. As discussed above, lying down is a perfectly valid posture for meditation. So is sitting in a chair. You can sit with your feet flat on the floor, back upright (not slouching forward or leaning too far into the backrest), and arms at your sides or in your lap. Or, for the best of both worlds, you can try meditating in a BackJack floor chair. Whatever is most comfortable will ultimately be the best meditation posture for you.

At, our customer service experts are available to answer your questions about meditation seating.