“In sitting on the meditation cushion and assuming the meditation posture, we connect ourselves with the present moment in this body and on this earth.”  

Jack Kornfield

Many people come to meditation to help their minds and are surprised when they learn that it is also about the body.  Getting the posture right is key to maintaining a comfortable and alert state.  Without a good alignment, it can be difficult to focus on the present moment.

At the start, the act of simply sitting might leave you feeling uncomfortable or awkward.  That’s ok, it happens to everyone who comes to practice.  And testing out what works best for you will help.  Here is a basic guideline to help you get started with finding a comfortable seated posture.

Seated Position

1:  Feet

Sit either cross-legged on a cushion or upright in a chair with both feet on the ground.  If sitting on a chair, a soft cushion behind your lower back might help keep your spine straight.

Begin with this connection to the ground.  When we observe the feet on the ground, there can be a sense of stability to this simple connection to the earth.  We can soften into our seat because we know that the earth is supporting us.

2: Seat

Check with your pelvic area.  Are you leaning forward or spread back?  To the right or the left?  Find your natural alignment here.

3:  Knees

If you are sitting on a cushion, your knees are below your hips.  If they aren’t, sit on a higher cushion or yoga block.

4:  Spine

Your spine is strong and long coming and follows the natural curvature of the spine.  It is upright and at ease.

5:  Neck

Your neck is strong, holding your head up

6:  Chin

Slightly tucked to keep your spine aligned

7:  Jaw

Loosen your jaw, keeping your lips closed.

8:  Eyes

Soften your gaze and lower it to watch a point one metre in font of you.  Or close your eyes.  You might want to imagine a smile behind your eyes.

9:  Arms & Hands

Arms rest at the side of the body and your hands rest on your knees or in your lap.

Anything else?

Shoes off and warm socks on. 

Optional – A blanket to cover your legs might help and a glass of water for when you finish.


Sometimes, simply by sitting, the soul collects wisdom

~ Zen Proverb

Now your body is in a posture that is grounded, wakeful and open to experience this meditation. With this posture, you are inviting yourself to be here in this moment.

From here, the attention begins to come to the breath, as it enters as cool air through the nostrils.

Whichever seated posture you choose, it needs alertness and comfort.  If you’re not alert, you might fall asleep, if you’re not comfortable, the act of meditating will be difficult.

Find a posture that suits you and start your meditation practice.  It can help you find increased compassion, greater focus, less stress, and improved feelings of well-being.


Read Next:  What is Mindfulness?

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