The benefits of meditation and the Alexander Technique are becoming more known and accepted by mainstream doctors. Some doctors are recommending meditation to patients with high blood pressure, stress related conditions, heart disease, headaches, digestive disorders and more. Doctors are primarily recommending the Alexander Technique for posture issues and for back pain relief.
Good posture while meditating can be a challenge for those new to meditation as well as those more experienced meditators. Improving one’s meditation posture is important for people who meditate for ten minutes, and those who meditate for hours. The Alexander Technique can help with improving meditation posture, as well as posture in general.
In researching various instructions for proper meditation posture, a suggestion that keeps arising is ‘keep your spine straight.’ Slouching is the very picture of bad meditation posture. However, sitting rigidly upright is not the best alternative.
The spine is not straight to begin with, so we can’t keep it straight. The spine has curves (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral) What we don’t want to do is to exaggerate those curves by letting our heads rest back and down our our neck, compressing the spine.
Good meditation posture should also not include the idea of sitting stiffly upright, with no oppositional down. This so called ‘good posture’ adds excess tension and muscular restriction.
It is helpful to be more at ease both on and away from the cushion, chair, bench, pew, or floor. Why add tension to meditation because of your meditation posture? Why add tension to anything? So what should you do to improve your meditation posture?
Free your neck of excess tension. Let your head rotate forward (slowly, slightly lower your nose). Allow the crown of your head to move up. Breathe. Expand. Let your sit bones release down into your sitting surface, as your body, neck, and head move up.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC
Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net-Asian Girl Doing Meditation” by artemisphoto