Posts Tagged ‘lotus’

Posture – Part 2

If you’re keen to explore this issue of posture in prayer further (by the way, in this blog I will be using the terms ‘prayer’ and ‘meditation’ interchangeably unless I say otherwise), then here are some very practical points.

I have not yet managed the full lotus but I am using the half lotus as shown in the picture on the left. It’s brilliant for keeping the back straight and opening up deeper breathing. Here’s a few things to note:

  • it will be quite uncomfortable at first – but don’t give up, it gets easier
  • your bottom needs to be raised – pile up some cushions or even better get yourself a meditation cushion (see below)
  • both of your knees need to touch the floor – this is worth saying as when you first start using this position one of your knees will want to be off the ground. You have to lean forward to get your knees on the deck
  • it’s worth taking your time to get into the position but once you get settled resist the urge to change position – it’s a form of distraction
  • it can be quite helpful to wear shorts or similar as clothing around the legs can get in the way (but it’s winter at the moment!!)

Getting into the Position

  • get into the position by sitting on your cushion and extending both legs straight out in front of you. Then bring one of your thighs up to your chest, twist the leg and put the foot on the thigh of the other leg. Then bring the still-straight leg up and under and adjust until both knees are on the ground. The higher foot will move down from the thigh until it is resting on the calf of the other leg
  • the most important thing is that your spine is absolutely straight

If you’re serious about this form of prayer practice – and I’d really encourage you to explore it – then it’s probably worth you investing a small amount of money in a meditation cushion and mat (like the guy is sitting on in this drawing). Believe me your ankles and knees will thank you for it. They are normally known by their Zen names – Zafu (cushion) and Zabuton (mat). I got mine from eBay here. Go for Buckwheat fill as it adapts better to your shape.

I am only a novice when it comes to things like this but I hope I can share the little I have learned on this blog as I go along. Of course, there are much more qualified writers and guides around but I thought it might be helpful for the beginners out there to have some thoughts from another beginner like me.


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