Comfort is a priority in any meditation. If the body is uncomfortable, it becomes a distraction. If you are experiencing discomfort while trying to meditate, a simple yoga asana practice can help.
The following poses will create a sense of ease by opening your hips, lengthening your spine, and releasing your legs. When the body is at ease, the breath can deepen and the mind can remain uncluttered and focused.
1) Yogi Squat
The average person spends much of their day sitting in a chair, which can cause stiffness, knee pain, and a multitude of other aches.
The yogi squat, also known as the primal squat, is one of the best hip openers you will find. Often dubbed “the pose of youth”, this position tells you a lot about how young (or how old) your body is.
As we age, we often neglect movement that includes a larger range of motion. Trying out this pose at the end of the day allows for a deep stretch in the hips and a full-body reset before settling in for meditation.
The wide-legged forward fold stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, calves, hips, low back, and spine, while also providing a stretch in your shoulders, wrists, forearms, and upper back.
This pose has all the benefits of both forward folds and inversions, including:
- a calm mind
- relief from stress, anxiety, and mild depression
- relief from mild backaches
- opened hips
- relief from neck and shoulder tension
- improved digestion
Wide-legged forward fold is a great meditation prep pose because it quiets and soothes the nervous system while also preparing the body and mind for introspection.
While comfort is most important in your meditation practice, an elongated spine in a seated meditation is a close second.
This pose stretches the entire back, mainly the sides of the upper back. Stretching out the arms completely further expands the spine.
Inner thigh flexibility is oh so important in this pose, as well as the stimulation of the heart and the relief of symptoms of stress and mild depression.
This hip opener can also become a chest/heart opener by placing a bolster lengthwise beneath your spine.
Reclined butterfly is the best pose to transition your way into a supine meditation; even better if it leads you right into sleep!
5) Spinal Twist
A spinal twist increases the flexibility of the back, hips, ribs, and upper back/shoulders, while also offering us a moment to quiet the nervous system and detoxify the organs.
Taking a pause in this posture, especially when paired with paced breathing, calms the sympathetic nervous system. This is a prime pose to conclude your short sequence before entering your meditative state.
Try this Meditation Prep class on YogaToday to explore poses that will prepare you for meditation. Your first two weeks are always free.