I started a 5 week meditation course last night, it involves one hour, one night a week spent in a group practicing meditation. The course is for beginners (I was the only one there who had practiced at all before starting) so I’m hoping to learn some useful tips to help my meditation practice at home. I’m also hoping it will help me with my struggle to relax and focus.
The first session gave me mixed feelings about the course. On one hand I got some useful tips, on the other hand I struggled to stay awake and pain-free until the end of the hour.
The cushions they used were not like the ones I’ve seen before and begun making:
They were more like very hard, flat square cushions. I’m not sure why they were providing these cushions and promoting them as good for meditation when half the class (including me) needed to modify how we were sitting by folding up blankets on top of the cushion. I think next week I’ll take in one of the cushions I’ve made and see what the instructor thinks.
I want to share with you the useful tips I got from the course.
How to ensure you are sitting in the most appropriate position for meditating:
- Sit forward on your sit bones. When sitting upright lean slightly forward so you can feel that you’re sitting on the forward part of your sit bones.
- Have a natural curve in your lower back. Don’t attempt to straighten it completely.
- Have your hip bones tilted down and forwards. This will help with achieving #1, sit forward on your sit bones.
- Your chin should be parallel to the floor and pulled back. This helps to lengthen the top part of your neck and ensures you’re sitting up right
If you manage to do these four steps correctly, your paranervous system (I think I’ve spelt that right!) will not kick in and you shouldn’t fall asleep while you’re sitting still.
After the class I discussed with the instructor the fact that my back was getting very sore and I was struggling to focus by the end of the session. Her suggestion was that if that occurs, lie down. It’s not the ideal posture for meditation but it should alleviate some of the pain.
I hope these tips help you, and I will share any more that come out of the next four classes.
Do you meditate?
How do you maintain posture and focus?