A meditation practice offers many benefits, such as a calmer, clearer mind, increased self-awareness, and a lengthened attention span. Yoga asana practice helps you engage with your body, breath, mind, and emotions, preparing you to practice seated meditation. Even so, sometimes finding the meditative seat that truly works for you can take a little tinkering and maybe even a yoga prop or two. We’ve all seen pictures of blissful meditators in Padmasana (Lotus Pose) whose knees reach the floor or get quite close, even as their feet tuck into their inner thighs. This idealized seated posture, while lovely, isn’t structurally available to many of us. The good news? A meditation seat that works for you is possible, especially if you’re open to trying different variations. Here are three options to explore.
Sukhasana (Easy Pose) With Blocks and a Blanket
Find a seated position where your sitting bones can ground down evenly on a folded yoga blanket. Cross your legs at the middle of your shins and position the outer edges of your feet beneath your knees. Place blocks underneath your knees so you can heavy your thighs and knees down without strain. Release your pubis down as your tailbone lengthens toward the floor. Lift the center of your chest while drawing your front ribs in. Parallel your chin to the floor, and align the crown of your head over your tailbone.
see also A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
Try this yoga blanket to support you in this pose and others.
Sukhasana (Easy Pose) On a Chair
Sit on a chair with your feet parallel and about hip width apart. Place blankets or blocks under your feet if they don’t ground down fully. You can also drape the chair’s seat with a yoga blanket if that is comfortable for you. Anchor into your feet and find length in your body from the root of your pelvic floor all the way up to the crown of your head. Release your pubis down as your tailbone lengthens toward the floor. Lift the center of your chest while drawing your front ribs in. Parallel your chin to the floor, and align the crown of your head over your tailbone.
see also Free Guided Meditations
Need a yoga chair? Check this one out.
Virasana (Hero Pose) With Blanket and Blocks
Kneel on your mat with a folded blanket under your knees and shins. Separate your feet slightly wider than hip width. Point your toes straight back and spread the balls of your feet from the big-toe side to the little-toe side. Lean forward, and place your hands on your calves. Pull your calf muscles back away from your knees and roll them out. Lower your buttocks and sit on the block or blocks. Place your hands on your knees, catch the skin on your knees, and draw it up toward your thighs—this will give your knees a more spacious feeling.
To find more torso length in the pose, extend your arms straight in front of you. Bring your palms together and interlock your fingers. Now, turn your palms forward (away from you), inhale, and raise your arms overhead. Use this extension along your arms to lengthen your sides upward. Press your shins and knees down and descend your inner groins. Hold for 30–60 seconds. Lower your arms, change the interlacing of your fingers, and repeat. Maintain a long spine, drawn your front ribs in, and align the back of your head with your tailbone.
To come out of the pose, lower your arms, place your hands on the floor, and lift your buttocks. Raise one knee at a time, sliding each foot forward to straighten your leg.
see also Keep Your Knees Healthy in Virasana
Try these yoga blocks to uplift you in this pose.
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Adaptation instruction: Ann Swanson has a Master of Science in yoga therapy and is the author of Science of Yoga. Find her at annswansonwellness.com.