Have you been having difficulty with meditation because you cannot maintaining the best sitting posture without proper back support? If you a joint problem or a back problem of any sort, maintaining the cross-legged or lotus meditation position can be a real challenge, especially if you have to maintain it for good 15 to 20 minutes. Let me highlight other equally effective meditation positions that are back-friendly and equally effective.
The Sitting Position
As its simple name suggests, this position requires you to sit as you are supported by a chair. To make the sitting position less strenuous for the back, you can do certain adjustments, such as using a footstool so your feet can rest flatly on the floor, or placing a cushion at the circle or curve of your back that is not adequately supported by the chair, or tucking your chin in slightly and lifting your head a bit. Now, an upright spine might be painful for you—what you can do is lift your buttocks slightly higher than your knees by using a small cushion. All throughout, your shoulders should be kept relaxed, not raised or rounded.
Based on the Mindfulness Cognitive Therapy retreat, this position requires to lay down in an inverted sitting position, allowing a chair to support your legs. To support your head and neck, you can lay a pillow underneath your head.
The Prayer position solves the problem of having to kneel without support for your buttocks. In this position, you can instead rest your buttocks on kneeling bench that has a padded slopping top. This will not only make kneeling more comfortable, it will also help your back tilt slightly forward, therefore taking the pressure off your lower spine.
For obvious reasons, the Corpse position is more sleep-inducing than other position. With this position, you are supposed to lie extremely gently on your back on a horizontal surface, whether on the bed or the floor. Rest your palms facing upwards, with your feet aligned to the width of your shoulders. Put a pillow under your neck for support, and another one under your knees. You can also get a small towel rolled into a circle to support the circle of your back. This position is best for guided meditation and for pure light visualization.
The Sleeping Buddha
Like the Corpse, the Sleeping Buddha is ideal for those who have serious back and joint problems. To start with, lie on one side of your body, with one you under your cheek; if you are lying on your right side, use your right palm to cradle your cheek (and vice-versa), while your other hand resting on the side of your body. Your legs should be slightly bent and resting on top of each other. Support you neck and head with a pillow, careful to align it to such a height that will help your spine remain horizontal. After all these, start your breathing exercises and focus your attention on your breathing for around 15 minutes. It is best done right before you sleep, as health practitioners have noted that it can increase both mindfulness and sleep quality; in fact, it’s perfectly fine for you gently fall asleep.