Why it is always advised to sit in meditative pose for meditation. To know this before we need to know “what meditation is”.
Being aware is meditation. Being aware that I am aware is meditation. It is the continuous flow of consciousness without break.
Monkey Mind & Meditation
As our sacred texts compares mind with monkey because it does not stays on one place. It is not in concentrated state, always wavering here and there, making us unaware of our surrounding, our own self and our goals. This chattering mind is the seed of many problems. In simple words if mind is not trained it masters us and if trained, we master it. If it is the master then it cause stress, anxiety, depression, anger, greed, many diseases etc etc. And on the other hand, if we are the master, we become calm, composed, focussed and powerful. For peaceful modern lifestyle and to reach to spiritual heights meditation is the answer. We have seen many hindu Gods and goddess in meditative postures in pictures. Buddha, Master in jainism, hindu sages and many saints are our spiritual heritage who has always been seen in meditative poses.
Meditative Poses Since Ages
In order to sit for long, meditative poses are recommended by our sacred texts. Like in many pictures of Lord Shiva we have seen him in padmasana (lotus pose) meditating similarly the Lord Buddha. From babaji, lahari mahashaya ji to yukteshwar ji, from yogeshwar krishna to little monks all sit in meditative poses like padmasana, ardha padmasana, sukhasana, siddhasana and more.
Meditative postures keep the body in steady position keeping the spine erect. For meditation it is the basic requirement to sit steadily and no slouching. A erect spine is the foundation of alertness. If the spine is not erect then one may fall asleep or becomes dull. Awareness will be lost too soon if the posture is not correct. Meditation is awareness and to be aware we need the posture which helps in this. Not like which hampers the meditation.
Importance of Breathing and Sitting Erect
Yes meditation is inner thing but as a practitioner to reach the the state one need to start from the outside. Body is the tool that one can use effectively in this process. When the spinal column is straight then breathing will be deep. Deep and slow breathing will calm the mind easily. Because we know mind and breath are interconnected. When we are anxious breath is shorter and when we are calm breath is deep and longer. Similarly in case of anger and sitting enjoying soft music in the rain. There are so many examples where we can easily observe the connection between mind and breath. So thus sitting straight in a pose is of great help and an essential thing which helps in deep breathing.
Why Not Shavasana?
Shavasana (lying on back) is also a posture in which spine is erect but why is not a meditative pose. Because there are many chances to fall asleep in this posture of shavasana. For meditation it is essential to remain alert. Once the stage is acquired and established which means once the meditation is happening not just a doing. And being in the meditation becomes the permanent stage of seeker then it doesn’t matter in which posture seeker is.
When we sit in postures like padmasana, siddhasana, sukhasana it makes pyramid shape, a stable base and triangle above. Pyramid stores the energy within. This meditative yoga asana maintain the energy generated within.
Why Meditation Asanas
- Help in deep breathing which further helps in calming the mind.
- Keep the practitioner alert.
- Spine has many secrets. Energy lies there and rises till the crown. Making it straight will be helpful to open up hidden treasures.
- Give a steady position to sit for long.
- We don’t lose the energy generated in meditation because of pyramid shape formed.
- Upright posture and abdominal breathing.
Asana needs to be steady. Without a steady asana one cannot have much progress in meditation. For sitting long without movement an asana needs to be mastered first. Once the body is stable only then this monkey mind will be calm. But if the body is unstable, we make movements then we won’t be able to concentrate. and hence flow of consciousness breaks. And on the other hand if one can sit steadily for one to two hours the state of one pointedness will come and fill the practitioner with joy and energy.