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"What is the best position to meditate?" (part 2)

Updated: May 17, 2022

Here we are at the second of three parts of the "I can't meditate" series. In the first part we have answered the most well-known questions and preconceptions about meditation. The notions of emptiness, absence of thoughts, what is meant by this practice were discussed. As you follow this series, be attentive you will find sparkles of what you are looking for in every corner. Now we will look at the following questions: why the straight back? Why is it important to release tension? What is the usefulness of practicing dynamic asanas? Why don't I sit in meditation for a long time? The position in meditation There is no right and wrong position. The lotus, if it's comfortable for you, seems to be a very good option to test. Yes, worth a try. Indeed, to meditate there are some indications to follow as best as possible. But as always it is about your body, unique, and your unique perceptions (sensations). Thus, it is a question of testing the one that suits you best. In a simple sitting position, feet together close to the genitals, in half-lotus, or knees on the floor, with cushion, without cushion etc... The only aspects to check are: straight back, without tension, shoulders, face and legs relaxed. Then concerning the position of the hands, arms and head it varies according to practices and methods. Why the straight back?

Because meditation is also energetic. The main centres of energy are located from below the pelvis to above the top of the skull. It must flow freely and easily. Moreover it is a question of not hurting oneself. The upright sitting posture allows you to stay longer, healthier, in a seated position. You will also tell me "I can meditate lying down". Yes and no. Yes, technically, because your spine is upright, your body is relaxed... maybe too much... Attention is our tool, our power. For us to be at the top of our abilities we must be alert. So you understand why sitting is required, why prioritizing. Prioritize because, as always, according to your feelings, you may judge that it is better for you to meditate lying down according the context... Why is it important to release tension? Because we want to make things easier for ourselves. The more the body is relaxed, while remaining upright, the more it is possible for us to focus our attention on something else. The dynamic asanas (postures) are used here. There are many types of dynamic yoga. They are part of the Yogic toolbox. In the West we tend to restrict Yoga to them. Probably because it is easier to communicate about it and to be culturally accepted/adopted. But Yoga is not limited to that at all. Remember that the term Yoga means Union. A nuanced, subtle term, to be grasped in its entirety. It implies a whole, we speak of holism and non-duality. In this case, what is the usefulness of the practice dynamic asanas? These allow to prepare the body, energetically. They are not to be neglected, but here again, there are yogic paths / exploration of the Self (shamanic, hermetic etc) which do not prioritize them, or even do not use them. In my experience, dynamic asanas are very useful to me in every way. However, in no way do they replace meditation. The two practices are complementary. Its benefits: - to cultivate, gently, a space between body and mind (deepened then in meditation) - to become aware of the power of the breath, i.e. how it bridges the gap between the mind and what Is (also used later in meditation) - prepare and open the energetic body, that is, awaken the energy channels. Maybe that doesn't speak to you at all. If you practice, you may already have an intuition of their existence without necessarily conceptualizing them (shivering sensations in your back, temperature changes in waves along the spine, or simple intuition). - develop benevolence towards what Is (very useful for meditation, daily exploration, maintaining a new relationship with thoughts, the world and oneself). - discovering one's potential, realizing the impermanence, the uniqueness of each moment. - develop gratitude, a more lucid and calm approach to daily life, body awareness, a serene approach with sensations and so on. So we prepare ourselves for meditation by taming these moments with ourselves. We develop tools that will be useful for a deep exploration while sitting and in its application to daily life. During the dynamic asana sessions: listen to your body, your intuition. It knows. Adapt. No rule. You are the creator. Why can't I sit still for long in meditation? Depending on one's point of view, it's about concentration or letting go. There's a mental barrier. The more space is created between the mind and the observation of what is, the easier it is to meditate without frustration or pain. Again, dynamic asanas help. In addition, it may be a matter of cultural habit. We may not be familiar with sitting on the floor. It takes time for the back muscles to become active. Feelings of discomfort may result from this phenomenon. After a month of regular practice this should subside. On the other hand, the simple fact of not getting discouraged, of sitting still every day for a period of time gives your mind a message of familiarity. You say, "hey, look, it's safe here". Over the next few weeks, he lets go more and more. However, the meditation practice is not linear every day is different. It's how we look at it that can impact our experience. Even more, it can be a matter of choosing a period of mediation that suits you best. The morning after waking up and/or the evening before bedtime are the most recommended times. Indeed, the body is relaxed during the first and last hours of the day. In the morning because it is not yet fully awake. In the evening because it is getting ready to go numb. Personally, I prefer to meditate in the morning. In the evening I want to sleep too much and I am not concentrated, so I don't take pleasure in meditating. Moreover, I like to start my day this way. Then it can be a question of method. Some methods do not correspond to our affinities, openings of the moment. It is a question of testing, listening, retaining what speaks to us most, "what works"etc.. It's up to you to create your cocktail.

Don't forget that it is a process.

Patience, perseverance, play, intuition. In the next and final article of the series. We'll be looking at reminders. How do you approach meditation? The article will be written in French. A few sentences will be in English. It will look at perspectives, the relationship to thoughts, sensations... Thanks to the reader / Yogi who inspired the launch of this series by his comment on the Facebook Free art Blog page on the question of sitting and how to extend it. I hope you enjoy these readings, Addresses One with the breath, See you soon -Lifexploratrice-

- Marie Mazeau Yoga teacher in Paris and online internationally. Beyond time and space. Guiding with gentleness, mindfulness and Joy.


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