The 5 Best Meditation Poses for Your Practice

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Meditation can seem intimidating. Sitting for hours with an empty mind seems impossible, doesn’t it? How do you know where to start? Or even if you do it right?

But like any exercise (really, meditation is exercising your brain!) it takes practice, time, and commitment.

So let’s talk about what meditation actually is. Spoiler alert: it’s not as scary as it looks! There are 7 types of meditation (each explained), what it does to different parts of the brain, and the great benefits it brings.

We’ll cover what to consider when choosing a pose, 5 poses to choose from, and a 7-point checklist after you choose.

Let’s go to work!

What is meditation?

What is meditation?

Meditation is not sitting on the floor chanting Om. It’s about learning a series of techniques to increase your state of awareness and focus. It has many benefits for your mental health.

Headspace is a popular mobile app designed to make meditation accessible to everyone. They define meditation as “it’s about raising awareness and gaining a healthy perspective. You don’t try to shut down your thoughts or feelings. You learn to observe them without judgment. Eventually you may also start to understand them better.”

Note that Headspace focuses on mindfulness meditation as defined below.

type of meditation

type of meditation

You’ll find that most types of meditation fit into one (or more!) of these 7 categories.

Loving-kindness or Meta Meditation

The goal of loving-kindness or loving-kindness meditation is basically what it sounds like. You develop an attitude of love and kindness towards everything and everyone. Even your enemies! You can also identify your stressors and send those good vibes.

Body Scan/Progressive Relaxation

A body scan, or progressive relaxation, encourages you to scan your body to identify areas of tension. Once found, the goal is to focus and get it off your body. In the end, you will be stress-free and relaxed.


Mindfulness meditation teaches you to be present and to be aware of what is going on in your body at all times. Don’t dwell on the past, but don’t be afraid of the future either. Live in the moment, be in the moment. This meditation also increases your awareness of your surroundings. You’ll be doing all this with a lack of judgment.

breathing awareness

Basically, breath awareness meditation is exactly what it sounds like! You will focus on your breathing, slowly inhaling and exhaling. You can choose to count your breaths, which is usually done as you exhale. The goal is to just focus on your breath. Any other thoughts that come to mind are ignored.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a movement-based meditation that emphasizes deep breathing and mantras. The purpose of this species is to improve your physical strength and relieve pain, anxiety and depression.

zen or zazen

Zen or zazen is similar to mindfulness meditation in that you find a comfortable seat, focus on your breath, and observe your thoughts. Again no judgement. The difference is that this type involves specific steps and postures and can be part of Buddhist practice.


Transcendental meditation is very spiritual. You remain seated while breathing slowly. The purpose or goal is to transcend, if you will, beyond your present state of being.

the science of meditation

the science of meditation

Meditation has been proven to really change your brain!

Scientists used fMRI scans to see exactly how meditation affects different parts of the brain. They learned that meditation causes beta waves to decrease, meaning your brain isn’t as actively processing information as it normally is.

In layman’s terms: off and on again. something dramatic. But kidding aside, your brain is on the move all day long. It seemed natural to give him a break.

In your frontal lobe, the part of your brain responsible for reasoning, planning, expressing emotions, and self-awareness, goes offline. In the parietal lobe, the part of the brain that processes sensory information about the surrounding environment slows down. The thalamus, the part of the brain responsible for directing attention, slows incoming information down to a trickle. Finally, the reticulum, which receives incoming stimuli, recalls the arousal signal during meditation.

As you can see, meditation actually slows down everything in your brain.

So what are the benefits of giving your brain a break?

benefits of meditation

benefits of meditation

The benefits of meditation are countless.

In stressful situations, you gain a new perspective. You can develop skills to manage stress. You become more confident and focused in the present moment. You reduce negative emotions. You can increase your imagination, creativity, patience and tolerance.

The Mayo Clinic goes a step further, claiming that meditation can help you manage symptoms like anxiety, asthma, cancer, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, trouble sleeping, and tension headaches.

But it doesn’t stop there! Meditation can boost emotional health, increase attention span, and may reduce the effects on age-related memory. It can evoke kindness not only to others, but also to oneself. It can help fight addiction, and it’s available almost everywhere!

How do you decide on your best posture?

Factors in Posture Selection

Factors in Posture Selection

Keep these 4 factors in mind when choosing the pose that works best for you.

    comfortable. you want to feel comfortable in it

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