How to Find the Right Meditation Posture for Your Body

There's no one-size-fits all approach. Explore these guidelines for basic seated meditation.

Photograph by Michael Piazza, Illustrations by Annick Gaudreault

Meditation isn’t only about the mind—it’s also about the body. And believe it or not, meditation isn’t meant to be physically uncomfortable. Getting your posture right is key to staying relaxed and alert instead of tense or spaced out. Without that, it’s nearly impossible to focus on the present moment.

Chances are that when you start, meditation will feel a little awkward or uncomfortable. That’s okay. Finding the ideal meditation posture and seating arrangement can take a while. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach—it takes time to familiarize yourself with the subtleties of your unique body. We offer the basic guidelines to help you get started or make some tweaks.

6 Posture Pointers EYES gaze slightly downward, 4 to 6 feet in front of you. Or eyes closed.CHIN slightly tucked to keep your cervical spine aligned.SPINE follows natural curvature—upright, yet natural.SITTING BONES are centered and stable—not perched too far forward or spread too far back.ARMS parallel to the torso, palms fall naturally on the thighs.KNEES below hips, with legs loosely crossed. Cover Your Bases

If you’re planning a longer session (30+ minutes), it pays to come prepared. Here’s our list of essentials: a glass of water, shawl or blanket, warm socks,…

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Mindful Staff

Mindful Staff editors work on behalf of Mindful magazine and to write, edit and curate the best insights, information, and inspiration to help us all live more mindfully.