Meditation – How to Get Started in 3 Simple Steps

meditation in simple steps

Meditation is a simple and effective tool for combating the stresses of modern life and it is surprisingly easy to get started. 

Learning to meditate can be an extremely effective self-help tool, enabling us to confront stress in a positive way, bringing light to a troubled mind. When we begin to meditate regularly, we embark on an incredible journey of discovery. A journey into the biggest mystery of all; the mind.

How to Meditate in 3 Easy Steps

You can learn to meditate easily using the following 3 simple steps:

  1. Sit Comfortably

Sit however is comfortable for you. Either on a meditation cushion on the floor or on a straight-backed chair. Traditional meditation postures allow the spine to maintain its natural curve which makes it easier to stay focused and alert. However, if you are not comfortable on the floor, you can meditate perfectly well sitting on a chair!

Forcing yourself into an uncomfortable, unnatural position will cause great distraction and discomfort so it is far better to be easy on yourself when starting out and do what works best for you. If you feel that you want to work towards a more traditional posture then regular yoga practice can help you to gain flexibility while simultaneously bringing inner stillness and clarity.

If using a chair sit towards the front keeping the spine straight, chin tucked in at right angles to the body.

Your hands can be placed on your lap, one cradled in the other, or on your thighs. Do whatever you feel is most comfortable. You may wish to wrap yourself in a shawl or blanket as your body temperature may drop during prolonged periods of stillness.

However you choose to sit, let yourself be comfortable, close your eyes and begin to let go of any tensions and stresses that may have accumulated in your body. Just breathe them away as you exhale.

  1. Breathe

To begin with, your mind may be racing here, there, and everywhere. Using a concentration technique such as counting the breath will allow the mind to calm and slow down, bringing you back to your natural state of inner stillness.

Start by just noticing your breath. Allow the breathing to be just as it is, not trying to change it in any way. Follow the inhalation and exhalation noticing any natural pause in between.

Some people find it helpful to count the breath as this can help the mind to focus. Count the exhalations 1 to 10, then start from 1 again after completing 10 breaths.

When the mind wanders off, just gently notice what is happening and bring the mind back to the breath. The mind is used to being allowed to run with thoughts, and that is ok and perfectly natural. We can just acknowledge each thought as it arises and the return to the contemplation of breath without judgment or frustration. Just sitting and being.

  1. Observe

As you settle into the meditation, continually bringing your focus back to the breath, your mind may become increasingly calm and clear. When you reach this stage you may like to move on to practice awareness meditation, also known as vipassana or insight meditation.

In vipassana, you observe, acknowledge and label whatever arises. Rather than continually bringing your mind back to the breath, you now just watch the mind – witnessing each and every thought, sensation, memory or emotion as it occurs. Your aim is to experience everything with an open, unbiased attitude.

Whatever is present, you should accept it, rejecting nothing, grasping at nothing. Watch as each thought arises and passes away. By taking a step back and watching our mind from a distance we become aware of the transient nature of all things. Each item of experience lasts only a few moments before disappearing. Something else soon replaces it – a physical sensation perhaps, or a thought about something you have to do later, or a feeling or emotion.

With regular meditation practice, gradually the gap between thoughts will become wider as your mind settles into stillness and clarity. With regular practice, you can develop an impartial, all-embracing acceptance of your thoughts and feelings. With increased understanding of the true nature of things, you can obtain ever greater clarity and freedom to live the life you want and to help others to do the same.

For more on meditation, read these articles:

Meditation Tips for Stress Relief – How to Relax Your Mind and Body

How to Meditate for Beginners

Walking Meditation – How to Calm Your Mind and Be More Present

Meditation Tips for Stress Relief – How to Relax Your Mind and Body

meditation for stress relief

Meditation is a proven technique that can help you with emotional and physical stress. Many people are seeking a healthy and positive way to de-stress, relax, and unwind in these super fast-paced times. We are increasingly under a lot of stress with pressures from work, families, finances and many other issues causing worry and anxiety to escalate. Meditation is a practice that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Prolonged Benefits of Meditation for Stress Relief

Difficult situations can become more manageable if we learn to focus on the present moment rather than letting anxieties take over. With regular practice, the prolonged benefits of meditation speak for themselves. As the body is restored to its natural state of inner stillness, long-held tensions are released and physical damage can begin to heal. Regular meditation can prevent the negative physical and emotional effects of stress from taking hold. Here are a few of the benefits you can get from a daily meditation practice.

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves mood
  • Improves your focus and concentration
  • Improves your ability to regulate emotions
  • Improves your self-awareness
  • Increases happiness

Mindfulness Techniques for Stress, Depression, and Addictions

Meditation is a simple and effective tool to restore calm to a troubled mind, allowing us to maintain a peaceful inner perspective. Regular meditators find it easier to give up damaging habits and addictions such as alcohol, drugs, and smoking as they achieve inner clarity. Mindfulness techniques are increasingly being used in cognitive therapy, teaching patients how to better cope with stress and depression by practicing awareness of thoughts and bodily sensations.

Meditation Tips for Stress Relief

Anybody can learn to meditate. It can be done anywhere and costs nothing. There are many different techniques you can try, including breath awareness, focusing on sensations in the body, vipassana, mantra meditation, and visualization. Let’s look at a couple of quick tips you can try for relaxation and stress relief.

Focus on the breath

When starting out with meditation, many people find that a simple technique such as focusing on the breath is the best way to calm the mind. Just sitting quietly in a place where there are no distractions, allowing the body to relax and the mind to settle.

Focus on the breath, gently bringing your mind back to the present moment whenever it wanders. Breathe deeply and evenly, letting go of tensions as you exhale. Try the following silent mantra as you inhale and exhale. As you breathe in, think ‘peace’ and as you breathe out, ‘release’. As your mind darts here, there, and everywhere, you should remind yourself that this is entirely natural! Try not to judge yourself but instead recognize that each time you notice that the mind has wandered it is a moment of clarity and awareness. This is what meditation is all about. It is not about having a completely quiet mind but is about noticing when your mind has wandered and then returning your focus to the breath.

Body Scan

Another quick tip for relaxation is a body scan meditation. Like the breath meditation, this can be done anywhere. Start at your feet and focus on each part of your body in turn, working up towards your head. This can be a simple mindful exercise where you just notice any feelings and sensations as they come up. Or you can try to actively relax each body part and release any tension as you go. By the time you have covered your whole body you should be significantly relaxed.

Guided Meditation Apps

When first starting out with meditation some people can find it difficult to focus and relax. This is where some guidance may be beneficial. Pick one of the many meditation apps available and do a guided meditation to help you relax. For beginners, we find Headspace a great place to start. Another great app is Stop Breathe & Think.

For more on how to start a meditation practice, read these articles:

How to Meditate Daily

These Easy Mindfulness Exercises will Calm Your Mind

How to Meditate at Home

Walking Meditation – How to Calm Your Mind and Be More Present

walking meditation practice

When you next go for a walk, why not meditate as you go? One of the biggest obstacles to meditating for many people is time. Finding some dedicated time in your day for formal meditation practice can be challenging. If you are struggling with this you could try a walking meditation. Ditch the phone, music, podcasts or whatever you use to keep you company while you walk and try mindfulness instead.

What is Walking Meditation?

Walking meditation is a mindfulness practice that you do while walking. It is usually done at a slower pace than your regular walking for exercise. Unlike most meditation practices, it is done on the move with your eyes open, your body moving, and an awareness of your surrounding environment.

Walking meditation works best outside in a natural environment rather than inside on a treadmill. But don’t let that deter you from starting the practice. If inside is all you have then that will also work.

It is ideal for those that find it difficult to sit still and focus for too long. If you are struggling with your sitting meditation practice then walking meditation may be an easier practice for you to begin with.

How to Meditate While Walking

When you start out, be mindful of your body and your surroundings.

Walk slowly, without rushing, and allow yourself to become aware of your breathing.

Focus on your “in” breath and on your “out” breath. Do not alter or attempt to control your breathing, simply observe it.

As you walk say to yourself “in” for each step that you take on your in breath, and “out” for each step that you take on your out breath. A typical pattern is “in”, “in”, “in”, “out”, “out”, “out”, but this varies from person to person and will depend on your pace and level of exertion. You may find that you take four steps to each breath instead. So long as you are comfortable and relaxed, it’s all good.

The point is to simply be aware of your breathing, and the counting will help you to keep your focus on your breath. Or you may like to say “peace”, “peace”, “peace”, “joy”, “joy”, “joy”, or other words that you find uplifting.

While focusing on your breath you can also be aware of your surroundings. Notice what is going on around you and within you.

Benefits of Walking Meditation

As with all meditation, the principal benefit is to bring one’s awareness back to the present moment, rather than being absorbed in the events of the past or speculating about the future. This full awareness of the present moment, free from the distractions of the ego, is said to be the key to a truly peaceful state of mind. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you will be able to be mindfully present in your everyday life.

Walking meditation may help to relieve a disturbed sleeping pattern, and will help to encourage a calmer and more relaxed state of mind throughout the day. If practiced regularly you will begin to notice benefits like less stress and anxiety.

You will also get the benefits that come from regular exercise. You are moving your body and that is always a good thing for your health and mental well-being.

Walking and Sitting Meditation

Walking meditation provides a rhythm and structure which can help people who struggle to stay focused during sitting meditation. Practicing walking meditation in no way precludes the practice of sitting meditation; indeed the two methods are complementary. If walking meditation helps you to calm your mind, then you may subsequently find sitting meditation easier.

While a beautiful, peaceful, natural environment is the ideal place to practice walking meditation, it is quite possible to use it to achieve inner calm in noisy environments, such as an airport. It is often in such stressful settings that people have the greatest need for the peace that walking meditation may bring.

If you would like to explore the practice of walking meditation further you should read the excellent pocket-sized book by Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation. It is a great primer for getting started in this practice.

How to Choose the Best Mala Beads for Your Meditation Practice

mala beads

Meditation may seem like an easy concept at first. It is really just breathing after all. But you will find that it is not always easy to get in the right state of mind every time you want to meditate. You have to really pay close attention to your breathing, and keep your mind from wandering.

If you have a lot of trouble focusing you may want to try using Mala beads. These are a strand of 108 beads that you use to keep count during your meditation. Similar to praying with a rosary, you can use them while reciting a mantra, and it can help with concentration and focus during your meditation session.

Here are our top picks for the best mala beads to help with your meditation practice.

The Best Mala Beads for Meditation

Buddhist Prayer Beads/Tibetan Mala Necklace for Meditation by Tamlyn Concepts


  • These mala beads are made with premium quality genuine semi-precious gemstones
  • The lava rocks are porous making them perfect for absorbing and diffusing essential oils during meditation.
  • When wearing green aventurine, you can become receptive to impression and insights provided by the universe. It is known as “The Prosperity Stone”. This gem balances your heart chakra and promotes tranquillity.
  • Black onyx and hematite are powerful grounding stones that help you stay centered during your practice. They help to balance energies that exist between your body and your mind while creating harmony within.

This is a beautiful piece of jewelry that can be worn every day in addition to using during meditation. The gemstones all have beneficial qualities to aid you in your life.

  • The black onyx beads can help prevent energy drain, and the hematite can help with increasing your courage and achieve mental clarity.
  • You can put essential oils in the four lava stones and use it for aromatherapy and to help enhance your meditation sessions.
  • You can wear it comfortably as a bracelet or as a necklace.
  • Mala beads are helpful when reciting a mantra during meditation, and can help with reminding you to be mindful throughout your day.
  • The durable elastic cord allows you to stretch the beads to fit you, but keep in mind that you should check the measurements before you purchase to ensure it is not too large or too small for you.

Who is it for?

These mala beads are a great meditation aid and can be worn every day to aid you in your practice.

Tibetan Rosewood Mala Buddhist Bracelet


  • Made of rosewood beads with a diameter of 8mm
  • Can be used as prayer beads, as a necklace, or as a bracelet
  • Made with elastic and including a dangling pendant
  • This mala bracelet is of good quality and the beads are an ideal size as a meditation aid. They are small and have a good weight for wearing as a bracelet or a necklace.
  • The band is made from an elastic that doesn’t stretch out or sag, it retains its shape and size even after stretching.
  • The rosewood beads can provide you with physical and spiritual benefits including being good for your skin, soothing to the nervous system, and helping to clear negative energies.

Who is it for?

This mala bead bracelet makes for a great meditation aid and is good quality. The only downside may be the plastic charm, but if you don’t like it you can have it removed or replaced. It is ideal for anyone who is looking for a great gift for a friend or a family member, or someone who wants to use mala beads in their meditation practice.

AmorWing Multilayer Tiger Eye and Obsidian Mala Bracelet


  • Packaged in a luxurious champagne color gift box, which makes it ideal if you’re planning to gift it to someone special.
  • Made with 6mm natural brown tiger eye stone and obsidian.
  • Measuring roughly 28-inch, it could be wrapped 3 or 4 times wear on your wrist.
  • Gemstones, crystals, and minerals are natural energy conductors and can help you amplify, transform, absorb and diffuse the energy within your body.
  • The bracelet looks beautiful and can be worn as a piece of jewelry for everyday use, or used in your meditation practice. The tiger eye is good for protection and personal empowerment.
  • The packaging included is well enticing and means you can gift this to your loved ones for any occasion.
  • This mala necklace can help you banish those negative feelings and promote positive energy around you.
  • The beads are great for keeping count and for reciting your mantras during a prayer or a meditation session and can help remind you to reinforce it.
  • It is well made and is of good quality. You can stretch it out and it will not break off or go out of shape and sag.

Who is it for?

These mala beads are of great quality and will last you for a long time. They are good beads for meditation and controlling positive and negative energy. They are ideal for anyone who is looking for a great piece of jewelry for themselves or as a gift for a loved one.

Our top pick for the best mala beads for meditation would be the AmorWing Tiger Eye and Obsidian mala beads. They make for a great gift due to the beautiful packaging included in your purchase.

Choosing your mala beads is a personal decision and you should choose ones that resonate with you. Look at as many as you can and make your choice based on what stones and colors you feel connected to. They may be something you use every day in your meditation practice and you may only ever have to buy them once in your lifetime.

What is the Best Meditation Mat for Comfort?

meditation mat

To meditate effectively, you must focus on your breathing while holding your position for long periods of time. However, some people have physical problems like back and joint pains that prevent them from holding sitting and kneeling positions for an extended amount of time. Meditation chairs and cushions are the ideal way to support your back and stay comfortable throughout your meditations. You can also use meditation mats if you have a problem with your knees.

We are going to show to you three of our top recommendations for the best meditation mats to help you decide which one of them is right for you.

The Best Meditation Mat for Comfort

DharmaObjects Traditional Cotton Mat Cushion


  • Made from 100% cotton
  • Foldable meditation cushion mat with a carry bag
  • Handmade in India
  • Good for meditation, rituals, altars, ceremonies, yoga, pilates, and exercise
  • Features Tibetan Endless Knot Symbol (Pata)
  • Square shape measuring approximately 13” x 13” x 1.5”


This mat is small enough and can be folded in half so you could take it anywhere, or easily packed away when not in use. It also comes with a protective carry bag which makes it great for traveling and storing.

Easy to clean

Any dirt can be removed with just a warm, wet cloth.

Provides enough support and comfort

If you are someone who has leg and knee problems, this is a great mat for you. You can meditate and kneel for hours without feeling any discomfort and pain.

Doubles as a seat cushion

These mats double as a seat cushion when not in use as a yoga mat. It’s firm and soft enough to provide a little cushioning on wooden chairs.

May be too small

For some people of larger build, this may be too small, and may not provide comfort for longer hours of meditation/yoga.

Who is it for?

This meditation mat is for anyone who needs some extra cushioning for kneeling meditation positions. It is a great meditation mat and ideal for traveling because of its small size. However, it may not suit those who are taller and heavier.
Buy it here:

The Best Lightweight and Compact Meditation Mat

Mobile Meditator Meditation Mat


  • Lightweight and compact meditation mat. Great for travel. Easy to pack, carry, roll, or fold
  • Weighs just 13 oz., 26” x 36” x 3.5 mm thick
  • Shorter than a normal yoga mat
  • Double-sided build features a microfiber top and high-performance non-slip grip bottom
  • Helps to ease pressure on your knees and ankles when sitting
  • Eco-friendly: 100% PVC, latex, and toxin free
  • Comfortable, non-slip seat cushion

Perfect for travel

This is great for people who like to meditate when they are traveling as it is compact and easy to fold or roll up. Because of its small size, it is perfect for those who live in small spaces like apartments.

Soft and comfortable

The mat is made with soft and comfortable material that keeps you convenient when working out or meditating.

Excellent quality

This meditation mat is made with materials that are of excellent quality and will last a long time.

Who is it for?

It is the ideal meditation mat for people who live in small spaces and like to travel. It is a small, portable mat that is perfect for meditation while traveling and for apartment living.
Buy it here:

Best Larger Meditation Mat

Jumbo Zabuton Meditation Mat


  • It has a sturdy and comfortable cover
  • Fill with natural kapok stuffing that makes it softer and more resilient
  • The removable and washable cover makes for easy cleaning
  • Kapok filling is more environmentally friendly than cotton
  • Approximately 36” long and 30” wide and can fit people 6’1” tall and over

Fits taller people

The mat is big enough to fit taller and bigger users.


This meditation mat provides enough comfort to prevent numbness and pain in your legs or knees during meditation, no matter how long you are sitting for. It is thick enough to provide enough comfort and support.

Removable cover

The cover can be removed for washing. However, it doesn’t have a second cover for the stuffing, so if you need to wash the cover you will need something to put the stuffing into in the meantime.

Good for traveling

It’s small enough to be a great companion for traveling. You can take with you so you can meditate anywhere. It does not come with handles though so may be awkward to carry.

Great quality

This meditation mat is made with high-quality materials and will last a long time.

Who is it for?

This is a great meditation mat for people who are taller and bigger than average. It can be great for traveling and for apartment living. It prevents discomfort and numbness from occurring during meditation and long hours of yoga and exercise.
Buy it here:

We think the best meditation mat is the Jumbo Zabuton Meditation Mat. It fits any size and will be perfect for anyone who likes meditating and exercising. It’s also perfect for travel because it’s foldable.

Whichever meditation mat you choose, you can always find ways to make your meditation sessions more comfortable. Try adding some meditation cushions or a meditation chair if you think you may need more support in your practice.

Further Reading:

How to Meditate for Beginners

How to Meditate at Home

How to Meditate Daily

Best Meditation Cushion for Beginners

The Best Meditation Bench for Support and Comfort

meditation benchBeing able to practice meditation properly is a huge advantage, especially if you have a lot of stress in your life. Do you have physical issues, like back pain and joint pain, that prevent you from maintaining a traditional posture for meditation? Or maybe you just can’t get comfortable while sitting cross-legged on the floor.

This is where support tools like cushions and benches come in. The best meditation bench will support your body and keep you comfortable and free from pain while you are meditating. Here are some of our recommendations for good meditation benches.

Best Meditation Bench

Joy is Within You Meditation Bench


  • Designed and handmade by Turiya Moore.
  • You rotate the bench 180 degrees to change height and seat geometry.
  • It is ergonomic and comfortable.
  • It has fixed legs for stability.
  • 8 x 17.5-inch seat with a unique 1.5-inch multi-density pad.
  • The large seat and broad legs provide comfort and stability.
  • It is made from high quality woven fabric.
  • The legs are made of pine timber that is sustainably harvested from managed forest in British Columbia
  • The seat is made of Baltic Birch Plywood harvested and manufactured in Russia by Wolstenholme International, which is FSC certified by the Rainforest Alliance
  • There is a lifetime guarantee on the woodwork.

Comes in different sizes

This meditation bench caters to different users of different sizes. It comes in small, medium, and large so you can choose the appropriate one for your height and size.


It is very comfortable to sit on and will give you enough support to allow you to maintain your position during meditation. The padding is firm enough to prevent the backs of your legs from becoming numb during meditation, and there is little to no pressure on your knees.

Lightweight and easy to transport

Whichever size you get, this bench is lightweight and easy to carry around. You can take it anywhere for your meditation. This is great for people who travel away from home or like to go to group meditation sessions.

Who is it for?

This is the best meditation bench for those with back or joint problems that may prevent them from meditating in the usual cross-legged sitting position. This is a great meditation bench for beginners who may prefer a kneeling position for comfort and support. Some people have complained about the standard size not being big enough for them, however, you can contact the manufacturer if you would like bigger bench custom made for you.

Buy it here:

Best Meditation Bench for Beginners

Ikuko Wooden Meditation Bench by Bluecony

Ikuko meditation benchFeatures:

  • Allows for a natural spine curve while sitting on the ergonomic bench
  • Made of a curved and arched seat to provide you with the best comfort
  • The open sitting angle between thigh and torso in the kneeling position allows the back to automatically straighten up allowing the spine to balance properly over the pelvis.
  • The Ikuko is the ideal kneeling bench allowing you to sit in a natural, balanced, and relaxed posture.
  • Can be dismantled and comes with a 100% Organic Cotton bag
  • Made in wild cherrywood

Beautiful design

This bench is beautifully made and designed while still being minimalistic. It is made with solid cherrywood that makes it durable and long lasting.

Easy to assemble and disassemble

It is very easy to assemble and disassemble for storage. This makes is a great choice for everyday use. It is also great if you travel a lot and like to keep up your meditation while away from home.


Comfortable and provides adequate support

While very comfortable, the meditation bench doesn’t sacrifice good support. This bench provides adequate support for a kneeling position for your meditation.

Who is it for?

Although this bench is undoubtedly comfortable, it is really only designed for people of average size. For smaller or larger people, it may not be suitable or as comfortable as it needs to be. This is a great bench for those who are just starting to meditate and need support and comfort. It is also great for those who have physical issues and need joint and back support. It has a beautiful design and is easy to assemble and disassemble for travel.

Buy it here:

Best Meditation Bench for Comfort

Folding Meditation Bench with Angled Legs

meditation benchFeatures:

  • Alder hardwood angled legs provide steady, firm support.
  • The folding legs use heavy-duty hinges and make it convenient to bring to a group meditation or pack in a suitcase
  • Durable 10oz cotton upholstery
  • Greater comfort and less stress on your joints
  • Handmade with excellent quality materials


This meditation bench provides comfort while supporting your body during meditation. This allows you to be focused on your meditation rather than your discomfort. It will provide excellent support for those who have painful joints and back. It is sturdy and long lasting.

Perfect size for the average person

It is the ideal size for people of average height and build. It lets you fold your legs underneath the seat perfectly.

Secure legs

The legs are foldable yet very secure, and it does not slide on the floor when you are on it. Some people have complained about loose hinges on the legs of the bench. But for most people this doesn’t seem to be a major problem.

Who is it for?

This meditation bench is great for beginners or people who need extra support to relieve pressure on their legs and knees because of joint pain.

Buy it here:

Further Reading:

How to Meditate for Beginners

How to Meditate at Home

How to Meditate Daily

Best Meditation Cushion for Beginners

What is the Best Meditation Position?

meditation positions

Sitting meditation is all about stillness. But it can be difficult to find stillness when you are uncomfortable. The best meditation position will keep your back upright while maintaining its natural arch. It will allow you to relax and be comfortable while remaining awake and alert during your practice.

A good meditation posture will aid your practice, especially if you are a beginner. And I don’t mean one that looks good. I mean one that is comfortable and helps you relax and focus. A good way to support your body is to use a meditation cushion help elevate your hips. This inclines the pelvis a little putting your hips slightly higher than your knees. It’s not necessary to sit cross-legged if you are still a beginner. Though you should try to work towards sitting in the traditional meditation posture of Buddha Vairocana.

The Best Meditation Position

Here are the most important features, or the Seven-Point Posture of Buddha Vairocana posture:

  1. Create a stable base by sitting in a cross-legged position, with each foot resting on top of the opposite thigh. Sitting will keep you alert and awake while allowing your body to relax and be still.
  2. Place your hands in your lap with palms facing up. Your right hand should rest lightly on your left hand, with the tips of your thumbs slightly touching. Holding your hands just below your navel can help develop good concentration.
  3. Your back should be upright but still relaxed. It should feel natural without any tension. When in the right position you should feel a slight uplifting through your spine.
  4. Your shoulders should be relaxed back and down, which also opens your chest area. Your elbows should be slightly away from your body to create space between your upper arms and body.
  5. Your head should be tipped forward a little, and your chin slightly tucked in.
  6. Your mouth should be closed, with your tongue touching the back of your upper teeth. This will help to prevent excess production of saliva.
  7. Keep your eyes half open, gazing down if you can. If your eyes are wide open, you are more likely to increase your mental stimulation making it harder to focus. If your eyes are closed completely, there is a possibility of falling asleep.

full lotus position

While this may be the traditional posture for meditation and it may look impressive, if you are experiencing pain or discomfort you will be distracted and it will not help your practice. If you are not completely comfortable in the Vairocana posture you can try some of these variations. Think of this as a progression of steps to work your way up to Vairocana, or full lotus position.

  1. Burmese style. This is a cross-legged pose where you place both feet and calves on the floor one in front of the other. This is the best meditation position for beginners.
  2. Quarter lotus. This is the next step up from Burmese style. One foot and calf stays on the floor and the other foot sits on the opposite calf.
  3. Half lotus. The next step further is where you place one foot on the thigh of the opposite leg.
  4. Full lotus. This is the traditional Vairocana meditation pose, where both feet are resting on the opposite thigh.

With these variations, it is important to make sure your knees are in contact with the floor or your cushion and your hips are slightly elevated. If you find yourself using the same pose, make sure you remember to alternate the placement of your legs regularly.

Alternative Meditation Poses

A sitting position such as the Vairocana posture, or its variations, isn’t the only way to meditate. If you have achy knees, pain in your back, or problem ankles, don’t be turned off just yet. There are a few other meditation postures you can try that can help you avoid pain and stay comfortable.

  1. The Astronaut. This position is an inverted sitting position. Instead of sitting on a chair and laying your back against it, you lie on the floor with your legs bent and resting on the chair. This is best with a small pillow or a cushion placed underneath your head for support. Your arms should be resting on your sides. This is a great position if you have hip problems or lower back pain.
  2. Corpse pose. This position is ideal for those with back pain and is good if you experience any pain at all while sitting. Simply lie on your back against a flat, horizontal surface, like thcorpse meditation posee floor or a bed. Lay your arms by your sides slightly away from your body with palms facing up. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and allow them to fall away naturally. You can place a small pillow or cushion to support your neck. If needed, you can also place one under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your back. You can also use a small rolled towel underneath the small of your back for support. Use whatever helps to keep you comfortable, but alert.
  3. Seiza pose. This is a kneeling position, but one that is more gentle to your legs and feet. You will need a kneeling bench with a padded sloping top or a high cushion placed underneath you between your feet. This will make kneeling a lot more comfortable. It will also make sure that your hips are tilting slightly forward to help maintain your back’s natural curve. This will help take the pressure off your lower back. This pose can be hard on the knees so you can support them by placing a cushion or towel between them and the floor.
  4. Chair sitting. Pick a chair that is high enough so that both your feet are resting flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle. If needed, use a footstool. Place a pillow or cushion behind the small of your back or underneath you. This helps to ensure you are sitting with your hips slightly higher than your knees. Your head should be slightly lifted. Your upper back and neck should be comfortable and naturally straight. Do not lean back against the chair.
  5. The Sleeping Buddha. This position is best suited to those who have severe back or joint problems. This is often used to improve your quality of sleep. Lie on your side, either on the floor or on a bed, so long as it is a flat surface. Use your left hand to hold your cheek if you choose to lie on your left side, and use your right hand if you choose to lie on your right side. Rest the other hand along the side of your body that is facing up. Slightly bend both legs, and put one on top of the other. Place a pillow or a cushion between your thighs or between your knees to prevent the upper leg from falling forward. Place a cushion under your head and neck as well, so that your spine remains horizontal.
  6. Standing pose. Stand with your feet beneath your shoulders. Place your heels slightly closer to each other than your big toes. Keep a slight bend in your knees and try to maintain an upright but relaxed spine. Roll your shoulders back and down and place your hands at your navel, right over left.

Once you have chosen the position that best suits you and is most gentle to your back or your joints, you can focus on your meditation practice. Remember to half close your eyes, keep your gaze downwards, and focus on your breathing.

Common Problems With your Meditation Posture

Falling Asleep

This is most common in the corpse or astronaut pose when you are lying down, but can happen at any time. If you are lying down, try raising your knees hip-width apart, with your feet flat. If you start to fall asleep, they will fall and wake you up. If you find yourself falling asleep too often, you may have to try a more upright sitting posture. Or change to a time of day when you are not so tired.

Legs or Feet Falling Asleep

This is most common when sitting in cross-legged poses where there is too much pressure on your legs or feet. You can try taking some of the pressure off with a high meditation cushion or crescent-shaped cushion. Or you can change to one of the other meditation postures that are on a chair or lying down. Keep in mind that with practice and time, your circulation will improve and this will become less of a problem.

Where to Place Your Hands

During seated meditation, it can be difficult to know where your hands should be. The traditional meditation pose has them in your lap, just below your navel, with palms facing up, right over left, and thumbs touching. Depending on your choice of posture, this may not be ideal or comfortable for you. You may find it more comfortable to simply rest them on your thighs or knees. Placing your palms up tends to relax the flow of energy through your body, but if you are more comfortable you can have them face down. If you are laying down, it is better to lay your arms our slightly to your sides with your palms up.

The best meditation position will be the one that allows you to be relaxed and aware at the same time. Do not try to force yourself into a position that causes you discomfort and pain just because it looks good. You will not be able to focus on your meditation and your practice will most likely become a chore that you want to avoid. Make it easy on yourself. Try out a few of these postures and find one that helps you find stillness. One that aligns your body and calms your mind.

What is the Best Meditation Cushion for Back Pain?

meditation cushions for back pain

Have you thought about trying meditation but the idea of sitting with your back upright for so long has stopped you? Meditation is something that everyone should practice. It helps you relax, reduce stress, and make you calmer. In some instances, it can also help you to relieve and even eliminate back pain. But what do you do when your back pain is so intense that it prevents you from focusing on your meditation?

Many people have trouble maintaining proper posture during meditation because of debilitating back pain. To meditate effectively, you should try to keep your back upright and your spine in a natural and relaxed arch. If you have checked your posture is correct and are still experiencing some pain, you should try a meditation cushion or chair for further support.

To help, we have a couple of recommendations for you. The best meditation cushion for back pain is one that will provide you with enough comfort and support to keep up your sitting meditation practice for as long as you like.

Friends of Meditation Buddha Meditation and Yoga Chair


  • Designed by Swami Dhyan Unmesh, Registered Yoga Teacher and Osho Meditation Facilitator.
  • Helpful for people with back pain.
  • Eliminates numbness in legs in cross leg posture.
  • Fits anyone with height up to 6 ft. 2 in.
  • Seat size: 24 x 22 inches, 4-inch foam.
  • Complimentary water-resistant bag and fully foldable.
  • 7-year warranty.

Why is this the best meditation cushion for back pain?

Very comfortable yet provides excellent support

This meditation chair is made with super comfortable cushions that will support your back while meditating. The chair will keep your back in a straight but relaxed posture. You can maintain any position you want to for a lot longer because of the firm yet soft padding.

Sturdy and well-constructed

This chair is made of quality materials and will last you a long time. It is nice to know that you are investing your money in a great product that will aid your meditation practice for years to come. The cushions are firm and will hold their shape even after long term use.

Travel Friendly

This meditation chair folds away easily into the supplied bag which is ideal for portability. You can meditate or even use it as a regular chair anywhere you want to. It’s also lightweight, making it the perfect portable meditation chair. Keep in mind that while it is portable and can be packed for travel, it may be too large to fit a regular suitcase, so you may have to carry it separately when traveling.


The pillows that the chair comes with can be adjusted per your needs.

Doubles as a regular chair

You can use this not just for your meditation sessions but also as a regular chair. You will have a well-supported back and body when sitting for long periods of time.

Easy to clean

This chair has a removable seat cover which makes cleaning easy for you.


This is the best meditation chair for anyone who experiences back pain and would like to reduce or eliminate it during meditation practice. It is a great support for anyone who meditates, back problems or not.

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Alexia Meditation Seat Zen Yoga Chair


  • Great body support for the lower back, hips, knees and feet.
  • Firm seat support with an internal metallic skeleton structure.
  • Ergonomically correct your meditation posture for ultimate comfort.
  • Foam cushion with seat dimensions: L 26” x W 32” ½ x H 11” ½.
  • Handcrafted fabric, genuine leather or vegan leather available.

Why is this the best meditation cushion for back pain?

Very comfortable and provides excellent support

This meditation cushion provides amazing comfort for your back, legs, and joints. While comfortable, it also gives fantastic support to prevent numbness and tension on any part of your body, so you don’t have to worry about any discomfort distracting you while you are meditating. The seat is designed simply to keep your legs from resting on each other which will reduce or eliminate any pressure or pain from building up.

Solid and durable

This meditation chair is well constructed and well designed. It is durable and will last you a long time, so you know you are getting value for your money.

Aesthetically pleasing design

This meditation chair is simple and minimalistic in design, while still being pleasing to the eye. It makes for a perfect piece of furniture to add to your home, and will not look out of place in any room.

Doubles as a regular chair

You can use this not just as a meditation chair but also as a regular chair when you like to sit lower on the floor. You can sit on it while reading, watching TV, or working on your computer.


It is small enough to be portable. You can take it with you anywhere, if you like to travel, and can continue your meditation practice wherever you find yourself.

May not be suitable for all

Keep in mind if you have severe knee issues it may be difficult for you to get up from the chair as it is low to the ground. Also, this seat has less back support than the previous chair we mentioned. Some people may prefer support that goes further up at the back.


This meditation seat is for good anyone who practices meditation and yoga, whether you have back pain or not. It is a great option for anyone who needs support on their hips and legs, and would like to get rid of any kind of numbness when meditating.

Buy Here:

If your body and mind are aligned, you can be still and focus on your meditation. You don’t need to be uncomfortable when meditating. In fact, it will most likely turn you off practicing if you cannot find stillness because you are in pain. Make it easier for yourself by getting the right meditation cushion for your back pain so you can sit comfortably when you need to.

Further Reading:

How to Meditate for Beginners

How to Meditate at Home

How to Meditate Daily

Best Meditation Cushion for Beginners

What is The Best Meditation Cushion for Beginners?

best meditation cushions

For beginners in meditation, it can be quite difficult to maintain an upright and relaxed posture and balance when you do not have the proper support. The best meditation cushion for beginners is one that will provide you with enough support to hold your correct sitting posture for long periods of time, and still allow you to be comfortable. For some, a small pillow or cushion from home may suffice, but for others, a cushion made specifically for meditation can be a big help, especially for those who are new to the practice. Good support goes a long way to keeping you comfortable and able to maintain your seated position for long periods of time.

The right meditation cushion will help you to reduce the stress on your knees and ankles while you are in your sitting position.

To give you an idea of what you should look for here are three of the best meditation cushions for beginners that we can recommend. Hopefully, you can find one to help you in your meditation practice.

Zen Naturals Zafu Meditation Cushion Pillow


  • The Zen Naturals Zafu X-Large is 18” x 6”.
  • This thick sturdy yoga meditation pillow provides great support, so you can focus on your practice.
  • The buckwheat hull-filled removable inside liner keeps the filling together so you can remove the cover for easy cleaning.
  • It has an upgraded zipper and reinforced for durability so will last for years to come.
  • The travel handle makes it easy to take your meditation cushion anywhere. The perfect accessory for your meditation practice.
  • 5-year warranty.

High-quality cushion

You don’t have to worry about the Zen Naturals Meditation Cushion falling apart because it is well made and done so with quality materials. He buckwheat stuffing stays contained inside no matter what you do.

Thick and sturdy

Unlike a regular pillow or cushion, the Zen Naturals cushion is thick and sturdy, so that it provides enough support to ensure that you can maintain any kind of sitting posture while meditating.

Removable cover

Because of its removable cover, you can clean the cushion so much easier without worrying about damaging the buckwheat hull stuffing.

Easy to carry around

This meditation cushion comes with sewn in handles, which make it easy to carry anywhere you go, so you can meditate anytime, anywhere.

Very comfortable

This meditation cushion is sturdy yet comfortable enough that it doubles as a headrest or a footrest when you can’t find a regular pillow. It’s great if you need an extra seat around the house.

Adjusts to your movement

The buckwheat hull stuffing adjusts and settles around you as you sit. It conforms to your body so that it adequately supports your posture when meditating.

Who is it best for?

This is one of the best meditation cushions for beginners as it provides a reliable, stable posture support, which can be crucial when starting out. The less discomfort and pain you experience, the more you can focus on your meditation practice.


The Zen Naturals Zafu Meditation Cushion Pillow is a great cushion that will help you maintain any meditation or yoga position that you need help in. Its shape conforms to your posture so that pressure doesn’t build up anywhere in your body. You can use it underneath your head, neck, your back, between your thighs, or under your knees. As a bonus, it can also double as a pillow or extra seat around the house.

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Buckwheat Hull or Organic Cotton Filled Yoga Meditation Cushion by Seat of Your Soul

best meditation cushion for beginnersFeatures:

  • Different sizes, colors and shapes available you can choose the best for you.
  • Long-lasting support. Stuffed with 100% natural Buckwheat Hulls or Organic Cotton stuffing for sturdiness and durability.
  • Conforms to your seat for supreme, personalized comfort.
  • Handmade, 100% organic cotton cover unzips for quick washing.
  • Carrying handle so you can take it anywhere.
  • The ergonomic design of the crescent cushion helps to align your spine and eases the strain on the sit bones and back. This allows you to hold your sitting position for longer without pain interfering.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Comfortable yet sturdy

These meditation cushions are sturdy enough to provide the support that you need while meditating, yet still provide comfort so you don’t feel any pain or pressure. They conform to your shape for maximum comfort while sitting.

Choose the right cushion for you

You can choose from a variety of sizes and shapes to suit your needs. Small or large crescent cushions or the traditional zafu style. You can also choose the type of filling you want, buckwheat or organic cotton. The buckwheat will give more and conform to your body, whereas the cotton will provide a firmer support.

Removable cover

The organic cotton cover is removable for easy cleaning and the filling stays intact.


The cushion is made with durable material to ensure that it will last you a long time without losing its shape.

Doubles as a headrest

Because of its shape, this cushion can also double as a headrest for reading while lying down.

Who is it for?

This cushion is also ideal for those who are new to the practice of meditation. Choose the rondo or zafu if you are looking for extra height in your sitting, like if you feel a lot of pressure on your feet and ankles. If you are more comfortable already with cross-legged sitting you may prefer the crescent-shaped cushions which will help angle your pelvis into the correct posture.


These meditation cushions are versatile and suited for anybody who wants some extra support when doing seated meditations. You can choose the right size and style to suit your needs.

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Zafu Yoga Meditation Cushion Cotton or Hemp, Organic Buckwheat Fill


  • Perfect for all yoga and meditation levels and styles
  • Traditional yet modern round design or X-large oval shape
  • Eco-friendly cotton or hemp, filled with organic buckwheat from the USA
  • Fill removable and refillable for cleaning with carry handle
  • 13” diameter x 6” tall round, or 18” XL oval

Very comfortable

This cushion is very comfortable and will help to prevent any pain or pressure build up when in use, allowing you to focus more on your meditation.

Provides the right amount of elevation

Like most meditation cushions of this style, it’s height provides just the right amount of elevation to help you maintain your seated meditation posture.


The stuffing inside is tight enough to keep the cushion firm for adequate support.

Who is it for?

It is great for beginners who want a temporary cushion support.


This cushion is firm and comfortable enough to do what it’s supposed to do, and to provide support to a beginner in meditation. There have been some issues with the zipper not closing well, and the buckwheat hull stuffing can spill out because of this. It is also not as easy to clean because the stuffing is not inside its own lining, although this means you can take out some of the stuffing to suit your comfort level. It may not be as durable as the previous two cushions we have mentioned, but could be ideal as a first meditation cushion to see what style makes you most comfortable.

Buy Here:

The best meditation cushion for beginners is one that you will feel comfortable with. Out of the three meditation cushions featured in this article, the first two, Zen Naturals and Seat of Your Soul are both worth your money. Both can be used for a long time because of their durability and ease of use, and of course, the support they provide.

zabuton meditation cushionSomething like this Zabuton Meditation Cushion by Zen Naturals will provide an extra layer of support and comfort for those who are just starting out with cross-legged sitting and need a soft layer underneath you.

Further Reading:

How to Meditate for Beginners

How to Meditate at Home

How to Meditate Daily

What is Mindfulness? A Beginner’s Guide

How to Let Go: A Review of The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul—now a #1 New York Times bestseller—offers simple yet profound answers to these questions. This book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.


This book has opened me up to so many new ways of thinking and so many new techniques to add to my meditation and mindfulness practices. I took so many notes while reading this book because I didn’t want to forget any of it. I won’t put them all in here, but instead, I urge you to buy this book and read it now. Don’t wait. The information is it is too valuable. It has already helped me much more than any other book I have read in a long while.

Here’s what I learned from The Untethered Soul:

(This is just a small selection of my notes. There is so much more. Seriously – read it yourself ASAP):

  • There is a voice in your head that chatters incessantly. The only way to stop it is to step back and view it objectively.
  • This voice is just a vocalizing mechanism makes it seem like someone is in there talking to you.
  • It is not you. If you’re hearing it talk, it’s obviously not you. You are the one who hears the voice. You are the one who notices that it’s talking.
  • Much of what the voice says is meaningless, a waste of time and energy.
  • Eventually, you will see that the real cause of problems is not life itself. It’s the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes problems.
  • This narration from the voice helps to make you feel more comfortable with the world around you.
  • True personal growth is about transcending the part of you that is not okay and needs protection. This is done by constantly remembering that you are the one inside that notices the voice talking. That is the way out.
  • You live in the seat of consciousness. You are behind everything, just watching. That is your true home. Take everything else away and you’re still there, aware that everything is gone. But take the center of awareness away and there is nothing. That center is the seat of self. The great mystery begins once you take that seat deep within.
  • Contemplating the source of consciousness, this is true meditation. For the deepest meditation, you must not only have the ability to focus your consciousness completely on one object, you must also have the ability to make awareness itself be that object. In the highest state, the focus of consciousness is turned back to the Self.
  • Opening your heart allows energy in and closing blocks it out. If you want to stay open, pay attention when you feel love and enthusiasm. Then ask yourself why you can’t feel this all the time. The more you stay open, the more energy flow can build. At some point, so much energy comes into you that it starts flowing out of you. You feel it as waves pouring off of you.
  • You can affect other people and your own body with the flow of your energy.
  • Through meditation, through awareness, and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your centers open.
  • Everything that did not make it through you (a cycle of stored past energy patterns), from the time you were a baby all the way to this moment, is still inside you. That encrustation builds up and restricts the energy flow.
  • You are either trying to push energies away because they bother you, or you are trying to keep energies close because you like them. In both cases, you are not letting them pass, and you are wasting precious energy by blocking the flow through resisting and clinging.
  • The alternative is to enjoy life instead of clinging to it or pushing it away. If you can live like that, each moment will change you.
  • Unending inspiration, unending love, and unending openness, is the natural state of a healthy heart.
  • To achieve this state, simply allow the experiences of life to come in and pass through your being. If old energies come back up because you were unable to process them before, let go of them now.
  • Just open, relax your heart, forgive, laugh or do anything you want. Just don’t push it back down. It was stored with pain, it’s going to release with pain. It only hurts for a minute and then it’s over.
  • Learn to be centered enough to just watch this stuff come up. Once you sit deeply enough inside to stop fighting the stored energy patterns they’ll come up constantly and pass right through you. Your heart will become accustomed to the process of releasing and cleansing.
  • Your reward is a permanently open heart.
  • You will get there.
  • Just keep letting go.
  • If you aren’t centered, your consciousness is just following whatever catches its attention. Your energy (and life) is very scattered.
  • If you want to be free, then every time you feel any change in the energy flow, relax behind it.
  • If you can learn to remain centered with the smaller things, you will see that you can also remain centered with bigger things.
  • There’s a place deep inside of you where the consciousness touches the energy, and the energy touches the consciousness. That’s where your work is. From that place, you let go.
  • You can do one of two things with fear: you can recognize that you have it and work to release it, or you can keep it and try to hide from it.
  • Decide not to fight with life.
  • Fear is the cause of all problems.
  • Unfortunately … we’re not really trying to be free of our stuff, we’re trying to justify keeping it.
  • You free yourself by finding yourself. You are the one who notices things. The one who notices is already free.
  • You are either trying to stop suffering, controlling your environment to avoid suffering or worrying about suffering in the future. This state of affairs is so prevalent that you don’t see it.
  • That constant, anxious inner talk is a form of suffering.
  • The advice your mind is trying to give you is psychologically damaged advice.
  • That is what all the noise is inside your mind, an attempt to avoid the stored pain.
  • To go beyond, you must keep going past the limits that you put on things. This requires changes at the core of your being.
  • You are constantly trying to stay inside your comfort zone. The moment somebody starts behaving in a way that is outside your expectations, your mind starts talking. Telling you to fix it.
  • You are consciousness, and you can free yourself from all of this by relaxing behind it.
  • You just decide, once and for all, to take the journey by constantly letting go.
  • The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences.
  • You were born and you are going to die. During the time in between, you get to choose whether or not you want to enjoy the experience.
  • No matter what happens, just don’t close your heart.
  • Meditation strengthens your center of consciousness so that you are always aware enough to not allow your heart to close.

“It’s safe to say that the only thing most people know for sure about enlightenment is that they are not there.”


The key action that I have taken from all this is how to let go. Most of what I have read before tells you that you should let go, of the past, of your stress and worries, of your pains. But they either didn’t explain how to do it, or I just didn’t get it at the time. This book has shown me how to deal with pain, emotions, and thoughts as they come up. The bonus for me is that I am now putting it into action. Once I recognize the issue I can take a step back and feel it, usually, it is a physical sensation in the heart or gut. Once I can feel it, I can observe it, acknowledge it, and let it go. I can also now physically feel the release, and the calm once it is gone. I can feel my heart opening.

This knowledge is great, but without being able to step back and recognize these moments you can’t put it into practice. This is where meditation and mindfulness have helped me become more aware of my thoughts and feelings as they are happening. It is not always perfect, and it doesn’t always work, but I keep practicing because I see and feel the results.

Read this book. You won’t regret it.

Buy it now:

Watch Michael talk on “Living Life Mindfully” here:


More Book Reviews:

Tame the Voice in Your Head: A Review of 10% Happier by Dan Harris

Change Your Life with The Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hansen