The main purpose of the healing meditation asanas is to allow them practitioner to sit for extended periods of time without moving the body and without discomfort. Only when the body has been steady and still for some time will meditation be experienced. Deep meditation requires the spinal column to
be straight and very few asanas can satisfy this condition.
Furthermore, in high stages of meditation the practitioner loses control over the muscles of the body. The meditation asana, therefore, needs to hold the body in a steady position without conscious effort. Why not lie in shavasana, then, for meditation since it satisfies all the requirements? Because in shavasana there is a tendency to drift into sleep. It is essential to remain awake and alert while going through the various stages which lead to successful meditation.
When sitting in meditation postures, programme the mind with suggestions like, “I am as steady as a rock” or “I am becoming motionless like a statue”. This way the asana will quickly become steady and, after a while, will be comfortable for extended periods of time. This is the practice of kaya sthairyam, complete body stillness.
If there is severe discomfort or pain in the legs after sitting for some time in a meditation asana, slowly
unlock the legs and massage them. When the blood circulation has returned to normal and there is no pain, resume the asana. However, be aware that the knee is a very delicate and much abused joint of the body and be careful not to strain it, especially while moving into or out of these meditation asanas. Do not on any account use undue force or strain to sit in a meditation asana.
Right or left leg: In all the asanas discussed in this chapter,
In all the asanas discussed in this chapter, either the left or the right leg may be placed uppermost. It is
a matter of personal preference and depends on whichever is the more comfortable. Ideally, the leg position should be alternated so that the balance on both sides of the body is maintained.
Practice note: A useful suggestion to make the following
A useful suggestion to make the following postures more comfortable is to place a small cushion under
Note: Padmasana may seem out of place in the beginners’
Padmasana may seem out of place in the beginners’ group. It has been included, however, because a series of asanas in the intermediate group is performed using it as the base position.