4 Easy-to-do Yoga Poses for Meditation

Yoga Poses for Meditation
While emergency anti-stress meditation can be done anywhere, anytime, a true extended session requires attention to body positioning. Try basing your posture on the mindful positioning of yoga to free your mind and attention for introspection and release.
WellnessKeen Staff
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The ideal posture for meditation is one that lets your breath move fluidly. You should be comfortable enough that your mind is free to focus on the meditation, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep (unless, of course, you're doing a pre-bedtime meditation for relaxation).

Leave it to the yogis to come up with poses designed specifically to meet all of these requirements. The ancient Hindu practice of mindful positioning is all about posture and breathwork, and most yoga sessions end with a brief meditation - it's only natural that yoga facilitates meditation by bringing your body's natural preferences into the picture.
Egyptian Pose
Egyptian yoga pose
Egyptian pose is perhaps the easiest meditation posture for the beginner. Simply sit in a chair and place your hands on your thighs. The chair should have a high enough back that your head is supported, and it may be necessary to place a rolled-up towel behind your neck for extra support. Your back should be upright - no slouching - your knees should be at a 90-degree angle, and your feet should be comfortably flat on the floor.
This posture puts your body in a position that allows your skeleton to support your muscles, avoiding muscle strain. It keeps your chest lifted so your diaphragm can work unimpeded, and your lungs are free to inflate without undue pressure. Because you're sitting straight up, you are unlikely to fall asleep.
Corpse Pose
Corpse yoga pose
Corpse pose is familiar to anyone who has taken a yoga class. It's generally used at the end of the session to relax the body and allow you to "come back to Earth" after being so intensely into the mental and physical zone that yoga requires - rushing the end of a yoga session and going immediately back into "real life" can be stress-inducing. By spending a few minutes in corpse pose, you allow your muscles to relax, your body to cool down, and your mind to slowly "wake up".
For a meditation session, corpse pose allows you all but forget about proper positioning and concentrate on the mental aspect. Simply lay on your back on a yoga mat, allowing your shoulders and feet to fall out to the sides. Relax completely - none of your muscles should be activated. This pose is extremely comfortable though, so there's always the risk of falling asleep if you're not experienced enough to keep your mind awake and focused. If you are doing a pre-bedtime relaxation session, corpse pose is perfect.
Burmese Pose
Burmese yoga pose
Burmese pose is a good way for beginners to work up to Lotus. Sit on the ground with your legs bent in front of you. Allow your knees to fall out to the side, then bring one foot in toward your groin. Bring the other leg in, placing the forward foot in front of the inward foot. It's basically a Lotus position without the stacking, and places much less pressure on the knees.
As sitting poses go, the Burmese pose is very stable and allows you to maintain a straight spine and neutral posture, which allows the breath to flow freely. To avoid uneven pressure on the legs, alternate which leg goes in front from session to session, or even switch halfway through a single session if your meditation allows.
Lotus/Half Lotus Pose
Lotus yoga Pose
The Lotus pose is the world's most commonly-used meditation position - it's similar to the Burmese pose, except the feet are brought in closer to rest on the opposite thighs. This is the most stable sitting position, and once you can comfortably sit in Lotus, you can meditate for hours without even having to reposition yourself.
The extreme angle of the knees, however, makes Lotus something to work towards rather than jumping right into. Try Half Lotus instead - begin the pose as you would for Full Lotus, but stack your legs so that one foot is under the opposite thigh instead of on top of it. This places much less strain on the knees and groin, and may allow you to meditate more comfortably. With continued stretching and practice, you will eventually achieve Full Lotus.