women meditating lying down

Can you Meditate Lying Down? Of Course, Here’s How

Before we start – I am no ‘guru’ nor a spiritual expert. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and wanted to start a blog from my perspective of trying to create a daily routine that allows me a glimpse of the stillness they can bring. I try to link out to as many reputable sources within these posts as I can, some of these external links enable me to earn a commission which helps towards the running of the blog.


शव

The uniqueness of meditation is that it can be performed in any of the following postures  – sitting, standing, kneeling, walking, and even lying down.

There is no right or wrong position to meditate in when it comes to your meditation practice.

Although all of this is true, meditating in different postures can result in different outcomes for some.

Can You Meditate in Any Position?

Meditation can be practiced at any time, any place, and in any position.

Sitting is the most popular position for meditation. Whether you choose to sit on the floor using a meditation cushion, or on a chair, both of these methods provide the potential to achieve the desired results from meditation, which is to enhance your mindfulness while remaining present in the moment. This could mean focusing on youth breath or noticing and letting your thoughts drift as they arrive.

For many people, the mind remains focused, relaxed, and conscientious when the body is upright but this doesn’t mean you can’t meditate lying down.

In yoga terminology, ‘Savasana’ is the word used to perform meditation while lying down. Anyone familiar with yoga will be familiar with this meditation posture whereby you lie flat on the floor with a straight back. The relaxation achieved in this state can often lead to savasana becoming many peoples favorite part of a yoga class!

Can You Meditate While Sleeping?

It’s only natural that lying down causes people to feel more relaxed which can lead to them falling asleep, which is although has its benefits is not always ideal not during meditation.

Even if you don’t slide into a deep sleep you may still experience a dip of drowsiness and as a result, the mind loses its capability of being attentive.

Meditation requires us to be fully conscious, however, some of people may find it difficult to meditate while sitting, due to health reasons or other issues. In this case, meditating while lying down is an excellent option and if you do slip into sleep while listening to a guided meditation I’m sure there are benefits to listening to such a peaceful soundtrack while you drift off.

How to Meditate in Bed or Lying Down

  • Choose a surface that is much wider than your body. It can be a mattress, bed, blanket or yoga towel. You must be able to stretch your body as much as you can without any interference allowing you lie as comfortably as possible.
  • Keep your legs about hip distance apart
  • Place your hands about a foot away from your hips, with the palms facing upward.
  • Keep your eyes either closed or open based on your comfort. If you are meditating to fall asleep then, it is better to close your eyes.
  • Allow the tip of your tongue to rest against the top of your mouth behind the upper row of your teeth. Concentrate on your breathing.
  • As you lie down feel the presence of each part of the body. Start with your legs. Move your legs slowly up and free them to rest in the air for a minute. Then, bring them slowly down in the same position as before. Allow your legs to relax.
  • Raise your lower back and hips a few inches above the floor or mattress. Let them be in the air for a minute. Bring them slowly down while concentrating on your breathing.
  • Raise your upper back such that your spine is in the air while your rest of the body remains on the floor or mattress. Be in the same position as much as you can, and then, slowly come down.
  • Tighten your fists, straighten your arms and lift them up in the air. After a minute or so, bring your arms down. Feel the power of arm muscles.
  • Gently, shake your head from left to right. Continue doing this as long as you are comfortable.
  • Breathe as normally as you can during lying down meditation unless you’re focusing on deeper breaths that contract deep into your belly in which case remain mindful as you do so.

Meditation lying down has its own set of benefits, these include:

  • Your body needs rest after performing tedious activities throughout the day. Lying down helps you achieve this with no difficulty. It rejuvenates your mood and energy allowing you to carry out your next set of tasks.
  • Sitting for a long time could bring pain to different parts of the body. Meditating on the floor or lying on your bed prevents you from experiencing the pain and other health-related problems that can arise from other positions.
  • When you lie down it can help in balancing your body weight particularly in the back, belly and stomach areas.
  • It reduces sleep disorders and promotes the better quality of sleep when practiced constantly. Spend 10-15 minutes meditating daily on your bed and experience the joy of falling asleep quickly and calmly.

To enhance how you meditate lying down read our guide on the best incense scents for meditation and also consider adding some spiritual symbols to your ‘quiet place’ where you meditate most often.

Transitioning from meditating lying down to the lotus position

If you don struggle to meditate is any other position than lying down, yoga can help you ease your meditation practice while sitting.

Performing yoga on a regular basis develops better physique, which in turn can prepare you to sit comfortably for long spells of time. It is more of a physical exercise than mind control.

Yoga involves movements of body parts that are simple as well complicated and can be performed according to your capability. These can make the body more flexible when practiced over a period of time. There are a lot of yoga poses that would make you comfortable to sit and meditate. Below are the three poses that are easiest to perform in order to ease you in:

Standing Hip Circles

Benefits

Improves the blood circulation in the lower limb and relaxes the muscles of the lower back. The legs remain supple.

Method

  • Keep your hands on your waist and feet wider than your hips
  • Slightly bend your knees and rotate your hips in one direction for about 5-10 times. Repeat the process in reverse direction

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Benefits

Strengthens Thighs, Knees, and Ankles.

Method

  • Keep your legs parallel with a hip distance between them
  • Lift your toes, straighten your spine, relax your shoulders and let your arms hang freely by your sides

Tree Pose (Vrkasana)

Benefits

Strengthens Thighs, Ankles, Spine, and Groins.

Method

  • Lift your one leg and place it firmly on the thigh of your standing leg
  • Try applying gentle pressure to your thigh (Standing leg thigh)
  • Join your hands together and bring them to the chest such that your thumbs are touching your heart
  • Carry the same process for another leg

Practice any or all of the above poses daily for long-term benefits.

To begin with, you can sit on a chair and meditate. This would avoid stress on your legs and back. Once you are comfortable with it, you can meditate by sitting cross-legged or on your knees. Irrespective of any sitting position, you can begin your practice as your body is already prepared for it.

Try different positions, from choosing to lie with a flat back to sitting on the floor. Whatever feels good should be the position you carry on with. People are different meaning there is no one size fits all when it comes to meditation practice.

Post-Meditation Movements

These movements can help you transition more smoothly from your meditation practice to your normal life and everyday routine.

  • Stretch your legs while you are still lying down or sitting and show your love towards them by applying light pressure all over your legs
  • Stretch your hands slowly to relax your muscles
  • Slowly perform side neck movements
  • Rise gently paying close attention to your breath and your surroundings. Take your time, there is no rush. There are 24 hours in a day, one more minute of stillness isn’t going to prevent you form achieving your goals.

Key differences between meditating whilst lying and sitting down

Conditions Meditating While Sitting Meditating While Lying Down
State of Mind Keep us attentive and focused throughout the process Develops a state of drowsiness
Reasons Meditate to feel positive and energetic  throughout the day Meditate when you are tired, experiencing pain while sitting or to fall asleep soon
Place for practice Anywhere – office, home, studio, garden, traveling etc. Limited to home, studio or any of the calm recreational places
Preference Preferred Not really unless you are experiencing pain or require quick sound sleep

My top tip when it comes to practicing meditation? Search to find a position that works for you. People are different and I’m not going to recommend one posture over all overs as what you might think should work for you actually might be as far from what you want from meditation as you could imagine. Keep practicing, see what works and what you like and please do let me know if this post has helped you find stillness while meditating, whether lying down or in any other position.

Charlie Morley

I'm Charlie. I’m not a ‘guru’ or yogi with ten vipassana retreats under my belt. Far from it. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and want to create a daily routine that allows me to be present, mindful and in touch with consciousness and thought I would blog about the process.

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