I'm writing a book to help people get ready for meditation. Please help me by letting me know:
- Your physical problems with sitting
- if you are a teacher, problems you've noticed students having
- questions you have about sitting
- solutions you've found for all of the above.

with best wishes
Swami Saradananda

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  • OM - Sorry Kumari, but it is not possible to meditate lying down - you will tend to fall asleep. Better to sit in a straight-backed chair with feet flat on floor, if you cannot sit cross-legged.

    • at the time, the issue was that I couldn't sit - had a rather traumatic back injury - now I meditate sitting

  • OM - for stiff shoulders, try Gomukasana - Cow's Head Pose. If you can come to Germany in 25-29 March, I will be teaching an asana intensive in Haus Yoga Vidya, Westerwald that will deal specifically with problems like this.

    • thank you for the tip with Gomukasana. Can you tell me why this exercise effectsthe shoulders? I do it quite frequently and feel it in the hip and lower back.

  • Namaste!

    Well, I´m not used to stay longer than 10 or 15 minutes in meditation, and when I was in Yoga Vidya in september, doing half an hour of meditation, in the morning and at night, I hurt my shoulder quite bad. I still haven't arranged it. And now sometimes the pain even gets to my neck. I think it is the "levator scapulae" (sorry, I don`t know the name in english). Trying to get my posture properly, and taking my shoulder down and backwards, it started to hurt and got worse repeatin g it every day.

    I've found that is much more difficult to do diafragmatic breathing being sitting than laying down.

    Until you have the strenght to keep a straight back posture (upper back) there is a lot of tension in the body to be able to meditate. The same happens with the knees when they don't touch the floor. And if you help yourself with the wall, or pillows, you never get the strenght and flexibility to keep the posture.

    I've found myself thinking about other things, even when i'm mentaly reciting my mantra (at the same time).

    I hope it helps a little bit.
    Love and best wishes.

    Om Shanti

    • OM
      Dear Leire
      If you want to develop a meditation practice, it is best to make a determination to sit for at least 20 minutes. this is because it takes your body about 10 minutes to completely settle down. If you are sitting for only 10 minutes, you are not actually doing any meditation,

      I'm sorry to hear that you heart your shoulder, but it is probably because you weren't sitting properly. There are many asanas you can do to prepare your body for meditation. Perhaps you can join my Asana Intensive in Hause Yoga Vidya in Westerwale - 25-29 March. I hope to be working with helping people to prepare their bodies for meditation.

      RE:I've found that is much more difficult to do diafragmatic breathing being sitting than laying down
      Again, this is probably because you are not sitting properly, so you are putting presure on the diaphragm

  • i found my foot would fall asleep when I first started, and now it doesn't because somehow I got used to sitting that long. If I were to teach someone new I would recommend they start with a shorter time period than I did and work up to 25 or 30 minutes. Starting with 5 minutes is fine.

    I have issues with a hip injury which made sitting the traditional style very uncomfortable for me. When I started out, I would meditate lying down. I figured meditating at all was better than not - right? I'm glad I started.

  • He should probably NOT be doing any Pranayama except for Anuloma Viloma. He should be practicing diaphragmic or abdominal breathing all the time.

    The sequence of Sivananda Yoga is excellent for moving Prana and balancing Chakras. Tight joints and muscles impede the flow of Prana. Opening those joints and getting the muscles more flexible encourages Prana to flow upward away from the disruptive Talas. In addition, Chakras from the Muladhara to the Sahasrara are being balanced internally and in relation to each other by this asana sequence.

    Your friend should also be paying strict attention daily to the other three of Swami Vishnu's Five Points - sattvic diet, positive thinking, proper rest (which includes inner peacefulness and not be focused just a Hatha Yoga practice.

  • Spontaneous movements during meditation are not rare. They due to Prana flow being blocked.

    Meditation is intended to raise and channel Prana and to release blockages to Prana in the Nadis and Chakras so that spiritual wisdom can be attained. If the blockages are not removed before the increased supply of Prana arrives then distracting problems can develop.

    Often it is sufficient to remind oneself of this with the result that the interruption will subside on its own, for example, upper body swaying is frequent and the result of obstacles at the Muladhara (which, of course, is due to the influence of the Vitala, Talatala and Maha Talas that lie below the Muladhara). Noticing that one is swaying and mentally reorienting oneself so that the swaying is not happening is an easy solution. Unfortunately, some people confuse swaying as evidence of spiritual advancement and emphasize it or seek to create it. If one engages such effects of meditation, then one has ceased to mediate and is just playing ego games with oneself.

    Remember, the ego does not want to be overcome. It will create tricks and illusions to divert the spiritual seeker from overcoming ego to attune Samadhi or non-dual consciousness.

    Your friend's symptoms of laughing suggest blockages in the Vishuddha Chakra. The vibration in the stomach suggests a blockage in the Manipura Chakra.

    We forget that the purpose of meditation is to bring us to Divine Consciousness BUT only after the ego has been conquered. Like all of us, your friend must focus on implementing the yamas and niyamas in the daily life so that ego, specialness, likes and dislikes, and negative attitudes are left behind. As that occurs, meditation becomes a voyage into the sublime instead of a descent into hell. Without purifying oneself, meditation only serves to bring Prana to the lower Talas below the Muladhara which intensifies immoral actions, thoughts and words. It is counterproductive.

    The initial aim of meditation is not spiritual illumination but rather to bring Prana higher and higher so that the lower Talas are starved of Prana and cease to impact our lives. When this happens the Brahmadvara below the Muladhara closes and the Talas cease to direct our lives. This can be helped by practicing detachment and positive thinking in every aspect of our lives. Tratak can help to improve concentration.
  • Hi Sakthy,
    I think my recuperation is a combination of my everyday Yoga practise, the Osteopat tratment and my psyschosomtic reactions.
    In my Yoga practise which is normaly based on Sivananda Yoga I put in a lot of exercises from Yoga Therapy based on a book from Remo Rittiner called Das große Yoga Therapiebuch. I believe that based on my Yoga practise my body was ready to open up. The tonicity of my muscles in my bottom, my hip area, my upper and lower thighs has changed incredibly. This allows me now to sit very comfortably and the meditation experience is very different - I'm much calmer and ready to let myself indulge in the process.
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