Find Your Perfect Meditation Seat

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Course Overview

This short course will help you eliminate physical obstacles and distractions in your meditation.

Steve Harris offers essential tips for making your sitting posture steady and comfortable, and he demonstrates several postures to choose from. You will find that when your body is steady, relaxed, and comfortable, your mind naturally becomes quiet.

In this 45 minute digital course, you will learn:

  • Four essential alignment instructions for making your sitting posture steady and comfortable

  • The stages of sleep, and the brainwaves associated with each stage

  • Helpful tips on how to stay awake while moving through relaxation toward deep sleep

  • How to do a short meditation, allowing your body and breath to relax and your mind to enjoy the stillness Begin Course

Certificate of completion

3 CEU’s Upon Completion

Self Paced Learning

Course Outline

45min to complete

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Section 1
  • Why is it so important to have a comfortable sitting posture when you meditate? Because when the body is comfortable and relaxed, the mind can be steady and quiet. The Yoga Sutra defines a meditation sitting posture as that which is steady and comfortable. By following a few basic principles, you can learn how to find that steadiness and comfort in your own sitting posture.
  • It’s difficult to find comfort in your sitting posture unless you find steadiness first. Steve describes and demonstrates four essential principles or alignment instructions for gaining steadiness: 1) Sit on your sitting bones, not your tailbone; 2) Sit with your hips slightly higher than your knees; 3) Let the curves of the spine be stacked so that your spine is neutral (neither collapsed nor extended and stiff); 4) Let your arms also be neutral, resting comfortably with elbows under the shoulders.
Section 2
  • Maitriasana, or friendship pose, is done sitting in a chair. Steve demonstrates this pose and offers helpful tips for adjusting your seat to follow the four alignment instructions. He advises sitting away from the back of the chair and making sure your feet are firmly on the floor, and he suggests props for making your seat most comfortable. He also explains how to find the right head position for you. The posture should hold you, rather than you having to hold the posture.
  • In sukhasana, or easy pose, you sit cross-legged on the floor. If you’re not used to sitting on the floor, you may tend to slouch, so it’s important to get enough height under your pelvis, bringing your hips higher than your knees. Steve explains how to fold blankets to create a steady sitting surface and how to cushion your ankles to eliminate discomfort from pressure points.
  • Svastikasana, or auspicious pose, differs from sukhasana in that you draw the feet in closer to the body, with the legs more bound. This provides a lift to the lower back, your knees are lower, and you need less support under the hips. Steve demonstrates how to get into this posture. He advises you not to attempt this posture until you are quite comfortable in sukhasana, which for most people, he says, can take a year or more of practice.
  • Make sure you are quite comfortable in svastikasana before trying siddhasana, accomplished pose. The angle of the legs is different in siddhasana, and it can put extreme pressure on the knees. Steve demonstrates how to get into this posture, with one heel resting underneath your perineum. He suggests an alternative way to get the benefits of siddhasana without any risk to your knees—use amulabandha (root lock) cushion under your perineum while sitting in sukhasana or svastikasana.
  • Padmasana, or lotus pose, is not recommended for meditation or for pranayama because there is no stability in the pose. It is helpful as a hatha yoga posture for opening the hips.
  • Vajrasana, a posture in which you sit on your lower legs and feet, works well for some people but not for others, due to the pressure it creates on the knees, lower legs, and ankles. However, it is possible to relieve that pressure by sitting on a bench with your legs underneath. This posture allows you to follow the four essential alignment instructions, but you need to avoid the tendency to slouch forward.
Section 3
  • Now that you’ve been through all the postures, find the one that works for you. This will not be the posture that challenges you, but rather the one that doesn’t. It’s the one you can relax into and release any tension or gripping, allowing yourself to breathe and the mind to become still while the body supports you. Steve invites you to sit in your meditation posture and experience this for 3-5 minutes every day for the next 30 days.
  • Steve leads you through four postures or movements that release tightness and tension in the spine and strengthen the spine so that you can find comfort and steadiness in your meditation seat. He combines repetitive movements with holding of the postures. The four postures are overhead stretch, chair pose, back-bend lying face down, and staff pose. When you finish this sequence, come into whatever meditation posture you're using, and see how it feels after doing these poses.
  • As you settle into your meditation seat, Steve reminds you of the four essential alignment instructions. Take time to make yourself comfortable and steady. If your posture is comfortable, you will be able to relax and release any effort to hold the pose. Steve guides you as you bring attention to your breathing and then mentally scan your body to release any remaining tension. Finally, you will focus your awareness on the feeling of your breath in the nostrils, as though you are watching your breathing happen rather than making it happen. Enjoy the stillness.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Steve Harris
A long-time practitioner of yoga and meditation, Steve Harris has been studying with the Himalayan Institute... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, you can include this course in your Yoga Alliance training hours, with each hour equivalent to one continuing education credit.
This course is entirely self- paced, allowing you to learn at your convenience.There are no imposed deadlines or time constraints for Course completion.
No prerequisites are required; this course is open to anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and practice.
No, the course is accessible to all individuals interested in enriching their understanding and practice of yoga.Yoga teaching certification is not a prerequisite.

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