The Seven-Point Meditation Alignment
For the seated meditation.
The seven points of meditation posture have been used for millenia by Yogis and have proven to be effective for creating successful meditation practices. Whenever preparing to meditate, check in with your body and ensure that all of the 7 points are in position.
For someone who is not used to long meditations, the sitting postures can be quite hard to achieve at first, but become easier over time.
Here are 5 meditation posture options:
The Full Lotus (Padmasana) is a cross legged seat, each foot sole up, on the thigh of the opposite leg. This position is difficult to get into, but it becomes easier over time.
A more comfortable start is the Half Lotus (Ardha Padmasana) where one foot is on the floor under the opposite leg and the other foot is on top of the opposite thigh.
The Quarter Lotus is similar to the Half Lotus, except the one foot rests on the opposite calf. Keep the knees lower than your hips.
2) The Burmese
Both legs are bent and tops/sides of both feet rest on the floor. The knees should also be resting on the floor.
3) The Seiza Position
This is basically a kneeling position. You can use a pillow or cushion or a meditation bench under the sit-bones to support the spine and to take pressure off of the knees.
4) Sitting on a chair
If you have injuries, have sensitive knees or are a bit stiff, the use of a chair is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t lean into the chair, keep sitting up straight. Keep the feet flat on the floor.
5) Corpse Pose (Shavasana)
I call this the bliss pose. You lie flat on your back, face upwards, hands to the side on the ground, palms face up, feet to the corners of the mat, eyes closed. (I’m referring to a yoga mat just to clear up any confusion.. I don’t want your legs stretched into splits incase you are lying on a grand size carpet ヅ ).
Most people prefer to simply sit cross-legged with both feet resting on the floor under the opposite thighs.
There are meditation cushions that can be bought that raise the sit-bones higher than the knees and help to keep a straight spine. It helps especially with long meditations. But any prop will do, like a folded blanket.
The Seven-Points Meditation Posture
The Seven-Points posture is a guide for keeping your alignment when sitting in meditation.
The points are:
If possible, sit with your legs in full lotus, half lotus or a simple cross-legged position.
Loosely hold your left hand with your right, palms face up and thumbs lightly touching. There is a slight bend in the elbow allowing the hands to rest about 5 to 10 centimeters down from the bellybutton. Shoulders and arms are relaxed.
A straight back is key.
Keeping the eyes lightly closed is easiest and perhaps the best starting point. In time you should practice keeping your eyes slightly open with a downward gaze.
Unclench the teeth, relax the jaw and allow the lips to touch softly.
The tip of your tongue should be resting on your upper palate about a centimeter behind your teeth.
Keep your crown reaching up to the sky. Avoid dropping the head forward or the chin to lift up.