I’m finding it difficult to get into a comfortable position and focus without some sort of back support or lying down to straighten my back. I understand letting go of my muscles will make me more comfortable but it’s almost physically impossible to stay upright without using my muscles and then feeling the strain on them. It’s very frustrating because I really want to meditate sitting up on my own. Am I doing something wrong?
Can you use a high backed chair? Or a recliner? I’ve got to admit, I myself have this problem. I just let my head roll around as long as it doesn’t put a crick in my neck.
I don’t think that you are doing anything wrong. It all depends on the person and I went through a similar situation when I started meditating a few months ago. It definitely takes practice. I found that doing what was comfortable for me worked best. I sit on my bed or on the couch with support. I can’t physically do it free right now. I also used headspace to practice meditation and get used to it. It really helped. I can do guided meditations, I am not good at free meditations. There are some good guided ones here on Spells8 under the homework tab.
No, you are most definitely not doing anything wrong. I have the same problem because I have muscular issues and some spinal issues. I almost always have to lay down to meditate or, if I’m sitting, I have to have good back support. It isn’t necessarily about letting all of your muscles relax because, as you said, you still have to support yourself if you’re sitting upright. If you have to lay down to meditate, then go for it! Sometimes I find this easier, too, because I don’t have to worry about the strain on my muscles and spine trying to hold myself up.
It’s understandable that you want to meditate sitting up on your own. The circulation of energy is completely different than when laying down.
I think it’s best that you start by sitting on the front edge of a chair and don’t use the back for support.
If you don’t have one, I recommend you get a Yoga block to sit on. If you can endure reasonable discomfort, your body will begin to relax and release the tension. Until then, your meditation practice will be a negotiation between the body and the mind.
Find the balance between laxity and forcing. Once you find a “good enough” posture, put your focus on the method of meditation.
My own advice to you: Use a stance that’s literally natural for you.
Hope that helps.
I know the feeling, @saoirse- meditating can already be a challenging activity without physical discomfort. Is it important to be comfy and feel good while meditating!
When I first began meditating at a Zen Buddhist temple, we all sat on the floor and it killed my poor knees I found that having a squishy mat to sit on and sitting on a support cushion between your legs can greatly improve posture and ease discomfort for your whole body. I found a similar cushion to the ones at the temple on Gaiam:
You might also consider trying an ergonomically designed meditation cushion, like this one I found on Pintrest:
I hope you find a comfortable way to meditate! If sitting isn’t the way forward for you- no worries, as walking or laying down are also perfectly good methods to meditate as well
@TheTravelWitch I also got my start at a Buddhist temple! I started going to a recovery meeting they held, and then I found out about their group meditation & it started my love of meditation!
I was going to comment & suggest the cushions that the temple had, but wasn’t sure what they were called to find a good picture! But that photo you shared is exactly what helped me get used to sitting in position!
I still sometimes have a problem with my hands or feet going to sleep while meditating due to circulation issues. I try to just power through it, but if it’s too much, I use whatever appendage is asleep to draw the ABCs in the air! And it works. Old trick my physical therapist taught me years ago!
Anyway, I ramble a lot, sorry! BUT! Stick with it, try new positions, cushions, chairs, etc & you’ll find what works for you!
Ohhh such a small world, @Haley! I found the temple to be a great and supportive way to get into meditation- although I didn’t agree with some of the approaches they used and I struggled a bit with the length of the meditations- hours and hours of sitting completely still is tough for anyone, especially a beginner! But I enjoyed my time and the community there
I didn’t know about the ABC trick! Have to try that sometime