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Meditation asanas are aids in meditation and concentration. Their main purpose is to provide a steady position for the practitioner to remain comfortably seated in for extended periods of time.

Only when the body is still, stable and at ease can deep meditation be experienced. Introspection is impossible if one continually fidgets, scratches or encounters physical pain. Therefore the aim is to sit in a sufficiently effortless position that allows the physical body to be forgotten.

As Corpse Pose (Shavasana) fits all these requirements, then why not lie down to practice meditation? The answer is simple. Whilst lying there is a tendency to drift into sleep and it is essential to remain awake and alert during meditation. Therefore meditation poses are all seated.

Initially, most people find it difficult to sit cross-legged without discomfort. However, through regular practice of the pre-meditation poses listed below, flexibility of the legs and hips will increase and the body will be able to comfortably maintain a steady posture.

Pre-meditation asana sequence-
Ankle rotation (Goolf Chakra)
Knee crank (Janu Chakra)
Half butterfly (Ardha Titali Asana)
Hip rotation (Shroni Chakra)
Full butterfly (Poorna Titali Asana)
Wind releasing Pose (Vayu Nishkasana)
Abdominal Stretch Pose (Udarakarshanasana)
Animal relaxation pose (Saithalyasana)

If there is discomfort or pain in the legs after sitting for some time in a meditation asana, slowly unlock the legs and massage them. Be careful not to force or strain the joints and observe the contraindications given for each pose.

In this series of asanas, either the left or right leg can be placed uppermost. It is a matter of personal preference and depends on whichever is the more comfortable. Ideally, alternate the leg position so that the balance on both sides of the body is maintained.
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Auspicious Pose

Swastikasana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the left knee and place the sole of the left foot against the inside of the right thigh, so there is minimal contact between the heel and the perineum.
  • Bend the right knee and place the right foot in the space between the left thigh and calf muscle so that there is no contact between the heel and the pubis.
  • Gently pull the toes of the left foot up into the space between the right calf and thigh.
  • Rest the hands on the knees in chin or jnana mudra.
  • Ensure the head, neck and back upright and straight.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

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Auspicious Pose Variation

Swastikasana Variation

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the left knee and place the sole of the left foot against the inside of the right thigh.
  • Similarly, bend the right knee and place the heel of the right foot on the floor in front of the left shin.
  • Adjust the feet so that the heels are in front of each other.
  • Rest the hands on the knees in chin or jnana mudra.
  • Ensure the head, neck and back upright and straight.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

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Hero’s Meditation Pose

Dhyana veerasana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend the left leg underneath the right leg so that the left heel is touching the right buttock.
  • Bring the right leg over the top of the bent left leg so that the right heel is touching the buttock.
  • Adjust the right knee so that it is above the left knee.
  • Place both hands on top of one another resting on the right knee.
  • Ensure the head, neck and back upright and straight.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
  • After some time, release the legs and practice to the other side with the right leg underneath, left leg on top.

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Lotus

Padmasana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Slowly and carefully bend one leg and place the foot on top of the opposite thigh.
  • Have the sole of that foot facing upwards and the heel close to the pubic bone.
  • Once comfortable, bend the other leg and place the foot on top of the opposite thigh.
  • Rest the hands on the knees in chin or jnana mudra.
  • Ensure the head, neck and back are aligned.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

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Half Lotus

Ardha Padmasana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend one leg and place the sole of the foot on the inside of the opposite thigh.
  • Bend the other leg and place the foot on top of the opposite thigh.
  • Without strain, place the upper heel as close to the abdomen as comfortable.
  • Rest the hands on the knees in chin or jnana mudra.
  • Ensure the head, neck and back are upright and straight.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

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Easy Pose

Sukasana

  • Sit in the Seated Base Position (Prarambhik Sthiti).
  • Bend one leg and place the foot under the opposite thigh.
  • Bend the other leg and place the foot under the opposite thigh.
  • Rest the hands on the knees in chin or jnana mudra.
  • Ensure the head, neck and back are upright and straight.
  • Close the eyes and relax the whole body.

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