While the meditation is primarily about the mind and the spirit, the body also plays a key part. Because emotions are coded in physical sensations, the body is an essential gateway for gaining insight into those emotions. That’s why being physically comfortable and having a conducive physical space is an important part of a good meditation practice.
If you manage your body and your space well, you’ll be able to let the physical aspects go so you can fully immerse yourself into the meditative experience. Otherwise, aches, legs falling asleep and other physical ailments can distract you from your meditation.
Your body is an important part of the meditation experience. Here’s how to create a physical space conducive to meditation:
Stretch Before Starting
If you plan on meditating for more than 10 minutes, spend a few seconds stretching out your muscles first. This helps get more blood flow to your extremities, which reduces the chances of your legs falling asleep.
Have a Regular Meditation Space
Pick a space in your home or office to use for meditation. It shouldn’t be your bed and it shouldn’t be your desk. It could be a specific chair, a mat in the corner, a dedicated meditation room or even your favorite place to stand next to the window. Using the same space regularly will create a mental anchor to that space. Your mind will naturally start to drop into a mindful state of mind whenever you move into that space, simply through repeated conditioning.
Try Different Meditation Positions
Try meditating sitting down. Try meditating standing up. Try meditation lying down. Try meditation while walking. Try it while cross legged, try it in a chair, try it in half-lotus position and try it with your legs stretched out in front of you.
Different positions work best for different people. Try out different ones to see which one(s) work best for you.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Once you’ve found a posture that works for you, try out some small adjustments. For instance, crossing your legs just a little bit looser can prevent your legs from falling asleep. Sitting so your backbone lines up from top to bottom can prevent backache. Seemingly small and minute adjustments can make a big difference, especially in longer meditation sits.
Get Comfortable Physically
By paying just a little bit of attention to how you manage your physical body, you’ll be able to free up a lot more attention for your meditation. Best of all, you don’t have to think about this all that often. Once you find something that works for you, it’ll pay off for weeks and months to come.