Meditation has increasingly become a socially accepted form of relaxation for wellbeing, gaining popularity in part to the rise in awareness of Mindfulness over the last 10 years.
Whilst Meditation is certainly not a new practice, with descriptions of Meditations dating back to 5000BC according to TIME, the increase in awareness, partly due better understandings and a focus on positive mental health, has brought renewed interest to Meditation as a stress release practice.
In particular, Meditation is being increasingly promoted within schools and workplaces, designed for those with lots of mental, emotional or physical demands on them, because the simplicity of Meditation means it can be enjoyed anywhere, and for any length of time. Likewise, the use of Apps for Meditation and Mindfulness has allowed more access to learning than ever before (Revive Prescribed).
As I’ve mentioned in our blog Meditation For Beginners – you don’t need candles, music or equipment, you simply need to allow yourself a few minutes to be present.
What do you need then? Personally, I recommend for getting started finding a quiet(ish) place to sit for a few minutes to simply breathe mindfully.
Seated Meditations have many benefits, not only are they generally more comfortable, they can help make a few Minutes of Meditation achievable and accessible. And I don’t mean a specific Meditation chair designed for kneeling, I’m talking about a regular, every day seat!
Meditating whilst seated on a chair, sofa or desk chair reduces pressure on joints.
Seated means you are less likely to fall asleep than when lying down, thus increasing focus and concentration.
Seated Meditation provides a physical stance that blends alertness and relaxation, something we should be practicing. Meditation isn’t about being so relaxed we drift off, but not too alert we are physically and mentally unable to relax at all).
Practicing seated Meditation regularly can help you relax more frequently, and in different environments, because it requires very little physical space or set up.
Whether you are sitting on your sofa, dining table chair or a desk chair, there are simple positions that can help you enjoy Meditating whilst seated on a chair.
To get in the right position to meditate, sit in your chair with a straight back and with your feet comfortably flat on the floor. They should form a 90-degree angle with your knees and try to avoid crossing your legs. You will find this easier if you slightly move to the edge of the seat.
Sit up straight, so that your head and neck are in line with your spine, and begin to gently tilt your chin down towards your chest just a little, as this helps lengthen your spine more.
Some people like to place a pillow behind their lower back or under their hips for added support, but always trust what suits your body. Many of my clients with slightly shorter legs add a pillow under their feet so their feet and legs are not dangling (again, listen to the support your body needs for comfort).
If you aren’t sure what to do with your hands, you can rest them on your knees or place them in your lap, and allow them to remain soft and loose.
Top Tip: If practicing at a desk or at work, (and you can’t find somewhere else to breathe fully or Meditate), move your chair a few inches back from the desk is possible, and turn to face natural sunlight, or natural plants whenever you can. Even slight shifts away from your work or cluttered spaces whilst you deep breath can help improve your mood, mindset and energy levels. You can read more about the healing power of nature in quick read blog.
Top Tip: If practicing at home, try to use the same seat/space every time, as this will create a positive relaxation anchor which can aid Meditation. Anchoring is a process of associating an internal response (a relaxed Meditative state) with some external trigger (sitting forward on dining chair, with head tilted).
- Headspace, Articles - Can I Meditate Lying Down (2023) Available from https://bit.ly/3XfHRim (Accessed 7 February 2023)
- Healthline, Meditation Poses (2017) Available from https://bit.ly/3I6zKAe (Accessed 8 February 2023
- Mind is the Master, 5 Reasons Why Meditating Laying Down In Bed Is A Bad Idea (2022) Available from https://bit.ly/3HL13yS (Accessed 7 February 2023)