When you’re listening to a guided practice, it’s pretty typical to worry about whether you’re getting the posture right. So many recordings place quite a lot of emphasis on getting into a particular position at the start.
But what if, after an exhausting day, you’re actually slumped on the sofa or curled up in bed whilst listening? Just how important is posture whilst meditating?
Why are some instructions so specific?
Have you noticed how a person in a low mood often sits in a hunched-up position, almost like they want to become invisible? There’s no doubt that, as well as reflecting mood, the way we hold the body can have a significant impact on how we feel. Lifting the shoulders and straightening the back really can help us to feel more ready to face the day ahead.
So yes, sitting tall really can help break up feelings of negativity and tension. Good posture just might increase our chances of fully engaging the heart and mind with the practice.
But everyone is an individual and only you can judge what’s best for your body right now. However specific your instructions are it’s important to just see them as suggestions.
Yoga and Mindfulness
It’s been said that yoga was introduced, thousands of years ago, to prepare the body for the discomfort of sitting still for long periods of meditation. Whether this is true or not, there is a clear link between the two practices. Done mindfully, yoga really is just another form of meditation. Some people find it helpful to think of any instructions at the start of a guided meditation as a quick yoga practice.
What’s right for you, right now?
Remember, there’s no such thing as a “bad” practice. One of the many wonderful features of mindfulness is that it encourages us to let go a little of the tendency to judge or to compare ourselves with others.
So if listening to a practice without worrying about whether you’re sitting correctly is all you’re up to right now, then that’s just fine. It’s better to engage mindfully curled up in bed than not to practice at all.