When it comes to navigating the trickier situations that life often stirs up, meditation is truly a game- (and brain-) changer. And while there really isn't a right or wrong way to practice mindfulness, there are yoga poses that can make centering yourself and observing your thoughts for prolonged periods of time a bit easier. Within the many asanas that make up the physical practice of yoga, there is a single yoga pose for meditation that will enliven your muscles, encourage better posture, and settle your mind as you focus on deep, steady breathing.
Before I reveal to you the oh-so-sacred pose that will become your new BFF during your meditation sessions, let's talk about the powerful benefits of a consistent mindfulness practice for both your brain and your body. Meditation can help relieve stress, improve your sleep, and even boost your self-esteem. What's more, just a few short minutes of daily meditation can literally thicken major areas of your brain and improve the overall function of your mental pathways, thus providing you with invaluable tools to cope with life's more difficult situations.
Though meditation can be a bit intimidating at first, once you get into a rhythm, you'll likely be hooked on how good it makes you feel. And the yoga pose that will continuously support your mindfulness practice is wildly simple and straightforward, my friends.
If you're practicing meditation solo, the best yoga pose to support the flow and observation of thoughts drifting in and out of your headspace is easy pose — or sukhasana, in Sanskrit.
According to the Art Of Living Foundation, "sukha" means happiness, while "asana" means posture — so your go-to meditation position literally translates to "happy pose." Pretty fitting, no? I don't know about you, but being immersed in blissful meditation is definitely one of my happy places.
Your body is definitely into the way this pose feels, too. The cross-legged position minimizes the pressure on your abdomen, and keeps your back straight and your attention centered, without inviting any unnecessary bodily tension into your meditative state. Sitting erect, rather than lying down, is optimal for meditation, because it allows energy to flow freely down the spine and keeps your entire body relaxed, yet attentive.
Yoga International reveals that sitting poses are also meant to support the intricate work of your mind. Believe it or not, your brain and your spinal column have a close, intimate relationship, and sitting stably and confidently, yet easily and gently, empowers this potent relationship.
Easy pose brings your entire body into alignment, which allows your thoughts to mimic that same steadiness and simplicity.
While you're sitting in sukhasana and preparing for meditation, begin by taking a few deep, slow, and expansive breaths. After you've completed a few rounds of ujjayi breathing, let your inhales and exhales return to a normal pace, and simply bask in the stillness of the present moment, letting go of anything that doesn't serve you.
It's important to remember that, while easy pose may come, well, easily to many people, there are definitely still precautions to be taken (as with any physical yoga posture). According to Yoga Outlet, though sukhasana may be a super simple, familiar, everyday kind of pose, over time and with age, constantly sitting in chairs can make it more difficult to properly find your way into this asana.
If you find that your hips are a bit too tight, and they're not allowing you to cross your legs in easy pose, you can modify the asana by adding a block or a blanket beneath your sitting bones. And if you're suffering from a knee injury, be sure to consult with your doctor or an experienced yoga instructor before you meditate in this asana.
Once you've found comfort, security, and safety in easy pose, you'll be able to drift into a mindful and peaceful state in a matter of moments. Happy meditating, yogis!