So, is there a "right way" and a "wrong way" to approach posture with meditation? Well, there are a million forms of meditation in the world...new practices popping up daily. But even amongst these different forms you will see some major similarities...Why is this? Because there are some basic elements of "meditation posture' that are employed across the globe in order to calm the mind and align the body.
~The first look at posture brings us to "sitting down"...our world has us accustomed to sitting in a chair. The body naturally conforms into this position. But when it comes to sitting on the floor, some people find it difficult...at first.
There are variations of sitting cross-legged...it is always best to have a "meditation cushion" of sorts. It is worth the money to invest in a proper meditation cushion if you plan on meditating consistently. Of course, you can use some household cushions (bed pillows, throws etc) but they will take some adjusting and getting used to...they are not made to support this posture...so it is best to buy the right thing!
So let's look at some of the bare basics with proper "posture"...
~To start with, the Quarter Lotus is probably one of the loosest poses and a great place to start. Start on your meditation seat with your legs loosely crossed and both feet resting below the opposite thigh or knee. Keep it loose...find your sweet spot.
THE HALF LOTUS is a variation on the the Quarter Lotus. Your legs are crossed with one foot resting on the opposite thigh. The other foot can fold underneath the top leg and rest below the knee or thigh.
and now...THE FULL LOTUS...you've achieved! In short...Your legs are crossed with both feet resting on top of your opposite thighs...This is a pose that many people strive for...it may look simple but it surely has its challenges.
The BURMESE POSITION...If you have trouble sitting with your legs crossed then try this variation...simply lay both feet on the floor and stay RELAXED!
it's now time for SEIZA! Instead of sitting with your legs crossed you can simply kneel and put your yoga cushion between your legs. This traditional meditation posture is essentially a propped-up Virasana (Hero Pose) or Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose).
And Lastly...A Chair? Yes, there is no shame in it. Just be sure to sit away from the back of the chair and place your feet firmly on the floor, aligned with your hips and knees.
Maha yoga, also referred to as ‘great yoga’ is said to be the designation of the first of the three Tantras of the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism. Although it has a Buddhist touch to it, it is different from Zen meditation.
To begin a Maha yoga session at home, follow the step by step instructions mentioned below:
1. Find a comfortable and quiet place/a corner of your home where you can sit, relax and practice Maha yoga.
2. Choose a yoga mat or a cloth/blanket, typically known as ‘asana’ in yogic terms, for your session. Always keep one piece of cloth for your yoga session. Do not keep changing it every day.
3. Choose a time frame (15- 30 minutes, if you are a beginner). One should practice meditation for as much time as he or she can. But due to the fast-paced and busy lifestyles we lead, it is not always possible.
4. Close your eyes and try to concentrate on your breath. Inhale and exhale deeply, and throughout the session. Keep your eyes closed till the end of the session.
5. Place your hands on your knees in Dhyana mudra. This increases your concentration levels.
6. Feel the divine energy around you and let it engulf you. Concentrate and let the divine energy enter your body with full force. Feel the energy entering your body and rejuvenating it.
7. Do not let your mind get distracted from this energy. This energy also helps in activating the energy chakras in your body. Continue breathing completely and deeply.
8. If at all you think that your mind is getting distracted by thoughts, do not try to suppress them. As a substitute, you can try to shift your concentration on your body parts, the energy running through it, the effect of energy on your body, etc.
9. Remain steady in this state for 10-15 minutes in the beginning and then you can take it up to 30-45 minutes.
10. Release from the meditation state by slowly palming your hands and placing them on your eyes. In this way, the energy that you create by keeping your hands in Dhyana mudra is transferred to your body through your eyes.
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