Can you Meditate Lying Down?

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.

This means you can meditate at any time, any place, and in any position! Although all of this is true, meditating in different postures can result in different outcomes.

Sitting is the most favorable position for meditation. Whether you choose to sit on the floor using a meditation cushion, on a chair both of these methods provide the potential to achieve the desired results. The mind remains focused, relaxed, and conscientious when the body is upright.

This differs from performing meditation while lying flat on your back. In yoga terminology, ‘Savasana’ is the word used to perform meditation while lying down.

Lying down causes people to feel more relaxed which can lead to them falling asleep, which is good, but ideally 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 you may find difficult to meditate while sitting, due to your health reasons. In this case, meditating while lying down is still an excellent option.

Following these steps to meditate while 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Do not let your breathing affect while performing any of the above steps. Breathe as normal as you can!

Performing breathing exercises during meditation is perfectly okay. It is recommended to exercise while sitting but, if your health doesn’t allow you to do so, then, performing while lying down is absolutely fine.

Meditating while 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 to carry out your next set of tasks.
  • Sitting for a long time could bring pain to different parts of the body. Meditation on floor or bed keeps you away from experiencing the pain and other health-related problems.
  • It also helps in balancing your body weight.
  • It reduces sleep disorders and promotes the better quality of sleep when practiced constantly. Spend 10-15 minutes meditating daily on the bed, and experience the joy of falling asleep quickly and calmly.

To enhance your meditation practice, 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.

Yoga and Meditation

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 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.

Post-Meditation Movements

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

  • Stretch your legs while you are seated 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

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