Is It Okay To Meditate Lying Down? How to Meditate Lying Down?
Is It Okay To Meditate Lying Down? Do you have the same question in mind?
Many people believe that meditation should be practiced sitting in a lotus position on a mat, But meditation is not about the position, it is about staying in tune with your mind and body.
What comes to mind when you think of meditation? A person sitting in a cross-legged lotus position in a quiet room on the ground or a mat, humming “Om” or chanting a positive mantra, I assume.
Here, we can see the expectations clash with the reality of meditation. This mental image we have of meditation prevents us from fully committing to the practice.
Meditation is not exactly as most people think. There are different forms of meditation; quiet and active meditation.
In this article, Read can you meditate lying down and how to meditate lying down, and its benefits.
Can You Meditate Lying Down?
The answer is yes, It’s completely ok to meditate lying down. Not many people are comfortable with sitting upright for long periods and many with physical limitations, sitting upright while meditating can be difficult. When we sit, we put pressure on our hips and tailbone, and with people with physical limitations, putting pressure on the lower back and hips can be painful.
Even people who are new to meditation can benefit from lying down meditation. If you’re not accustomed to sitting upright for long periods, it can add stress and pressure to your back, shoulders, and knees.
Many people prefer to meditate lying down as it helps them easily drift off to sleep and it can also help them get their thoughts in order before they wake up and start their day.
One of the best reasons to practice this meditation is that you are not limited to a bed or a mat on the ground. You can recline on your couch, or lay on the grass in your backyard if you want.
There are two styles of meditation; active and quiet:
- Active meditation: Any meditation that requires movement. For example: walking meditation, chanting meditation, etc.
- Quiet meditation: Any meditation that requires staying still. For example: lying down meditation, mindfulness, meditation, etc.
How To Meditate Lying Down?
Lying down meditation is about comfort and alignment. If your body is uncomfortable, it can act as a distraction and disrupt your meditation practice. When it comes to alignment, a straight spine helps in the flow of energy or life force. As it is recommended during the lotus pose to keep the back straight, so is during lying down meditation.
No matter what your posture, keep two things in mind; comfort and spine alignment. If you do decide to meditate lying down, then there are several ways you can meditate. Again, the thing to keep in mind while meditating lying down is to find a comfortable position where you can keep your spine straight.
Meditative postures to try:
Savasana is one of the last poses practiced during a yoga class. Why? During this pose, the body is in a supine pose i.e., spine straight with arms and legs stretched. You can use savasana to practice lying down meditation.
To practice savasana you need to:
- Lie straight, stretch your arms and legs
- Keep your arms by your waist and face your palms skyward
- Place your feet at a comfortable angle and stretch them. Make sure your pinky toe relaxes toward the ground.
- Your back must align properly with the ground keeping your spine straight
If it gets uncomfortable, you can try to use a pillow under your head. The aim is to keep your back straight during this pose and lying down meditation.
2. Inclined Savasana
You can practice meditation in an inclined savasana pose where you use a support such as cushions or blankets to incline your torso. During this pose make sure your head is elevated to avoid drowsiness. As you settle in this pose, be aware of the curve of your spine. The support should span the back of your head and shoulders. Avoid over-arching your spine.
This pose may also cause uncomfortable pressure on your lumbar spine and if it’s uncomfortable, try lifting your shoulders a little higher or bend your knees slightly. This pose is best for pregnant women who’d like to meditate lying down.
3. Semi-Supine Position/Alexander Technique
Another way to practice lying down meditation is in a semi-supine position or using the Alexander Technique which means lying on your back with your knees bent and feet firmly planted on the ground. Try to connect your head, shoulders, chest, and back to the ground. You can also keep a cushion or a pillow under your head for support. In this pose, keep your hands on your abdomen.
Meditations You Can Practice Lying Down
1. Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a meditation technique that requires a supine posture. This is more often than not a guided meditation. During this meditation, you enter a state of consciousness between sleep and wakefulness. Awareness is turned inward during yoga Nidra. If you’re struggling with trauma, yoga Nidra can be beneficial for you.
2. Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditations are often practiced lying down. Lying while meditating helps the body relax. As muscles in the body are less active while lying down, it is easier to apply mindfulness to each part of the body. Body scan meditations help reduce stress, improve sleep, and promote self-awareness. If you’re struggling with chronic pain, this type of meditation is recommended.
3. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing requires you to lie in a relaxing position such as savasana. In this practice, you keep one hand on your chest while the other is kept on the stomach. When you breathe through the nose, the movement of your chest is minimal while the movement of the stomach with exhaling and inhaling is emphasized. This breathing technique helps in strengthening the diaphragm and helps slow the heart rate.
4. Sound Therapy
Sound therapy or healing is an experience where you are encouraged to rest in a comfortable position while you listen to the vibrations of either singing bowls, gongs, or wind chimes. During this type of meditation or therapy, you lay in a supine pose such as savasana. Sound therapy can help reduce stress, inflammation, and improve the immune system.
Benefits of Lying Down Meditation:
The big question here is; can meditation while lying down help? While many people believe that meditating while sitting upright can help the mind stay alert, not all people are comfortable or find it helpful. There are many benefits of meditating while lying down.
Benefits of lying down meditation can be:
- It refreshes your senses and helps you relax better
- It relieves pain, physical stress, and discomfort
- It helps promote better sleep
- It helps reduce blood pressure
- It helps improve breathing
Whether you’re sitting down or reclining on your couch during meditation, the benefits, more or less, remain the same.
Meditation can help restore your energy and promote calmness and relaxation. You can start noticing the benefits of meditation if you keep practicing regularly. Meditation, whether lying down or sitting upright, can benefit all. The aim is to relax your mind and body, doesn’t matter what type of meditation you choose.
Tips For Beginners of Lying Down Meditation
If you’re new to lying down meditation, you can try:
1. Listening to guided meditation.
2. Breathe naturally at first and move to deep or diaphragmatic breathing gradually
3. Repeat “So” with every inhale and “Ham” with exhale. So Ham is Sanskrit for “I am this”. Chanting this will help you stay in the meditative state
4. Observe your senses closely. Pay attention to your surroundings and sensations coursing through your body
5. Observe your thoughts but don’t let them stay in your mind. Let them go without judging them
6. Keep your focus on your center, the heart of your soul. With every inhale and exhale let the energy flow through your body
7. Most of all, smile. Let your smile light up your mind and soul from the inside. Experience the joy
Meditation is an experience that centers around what you need. You can try experimenting with different styles and types of meditation before choosing the one that best suits you.
I hope this article helped you understand how you can practice meditation while lying down, what poses are best, and is it okay to meditate lying down.
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