For many adults, the most difficult part of meditation is finding a comfortable position. Maybe your legs start to ache or perhaps you shift around frequently.
It’s difficult to still your mind when it feels like your body is refusing to cooperate.
Luckily, you can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of meditation even if you’re fidgety and stiff. Start with these proven strategies that will help you feel more at ease on the cushion.
Studies show that being fidgety has its advantages, including burning more calories and living longer. On the other hand, excessive movements while you’re meditating can be distracting, so you may want to stop wagging your toes temporarily.
- Prepare yourself. Switching gears quickly from rushing around to sitting still can be a struggle. Smooth out the transition. Depending on your reason for meditating, spend some time before your session saying preparatory prayers or doing any quiet activity that you find soothing and uplifting.
- Remember your purpose. Fidgeting can be an indication of boredom or lack of engagement. Remind yourself why meditation is important to you.
- Fold your hands. Just pressing your hands together can encourage you to be still. Experiment with different hand positions.
- Hold something. Similarly, holding something with your hands makes it less likely you’ll engage in other gestures. You can use traditional prayer beads or any small object like a book or piece of cloth.
- Touch a border. Fidgeting can also be associated with nervousness, which is especially troublesome if meditation sometimes brings up disturbing emotions for you. Sitting with your back resting lightly against a wall or your feet touching a pillow may provide a sense of security and reassurance.
- Keep practicing. Fidgeting is like any habit. Each time you manage to overcome your jitters, you’re training yourself to make positive changes.
- Respect your limits. You’re bound to squirm if you’re meditating too much too soon. Stick to brief sessions or gradually increase your time.
Very few adults can sit in a full lotus position during their first attempt at meditation. Learn how to work with the needs of your body.
- Stretch regularly. Flexibility training will open up your hips and shoulders. Perform static stretches while watching TV, and dynamic stretches when you’re warming up before a workout.
- Do yoga. While any kind of exercise can limber up your body, yoga is one of the most effective methods. Take a class or watch videos online. Practice at a studio or at home. Target the areas where you feel discomfort.
- Warm up. Heat can make your body instantly feel nimbler. Take a warm shower before you meditate or rub your hands over your legs and arms to stimulate your circulation. Drape a light blanket over your lap or shoulders.
- Sit up straight. Proper alignment relieves aches and pains too. Check that you’re sitting with your weight on the center of your sit bones. Relax your shoulders and lift your chest.
- Use props. Buy special accessories or use objects you have at home to pamper your trouble spots. Put cushions or blocks under your knees, behind your back, or anywhere you feel stress.
- Listen to your body. Any modification can be beneficial if it helps you to focus. Sit on a chair or on a cushion. Stand up or move around when you need to.
With a few simple adjustments, you can meditate comfortably even if you tend to be restless or have trouble touching your toes. Bring greater happiness and peace into your life by developing a regular practice.