Can’t sit for long periods of time cross legged while meditating? If you can’t consider the following:
Meditation and Yoga go together like peanut butter and jelly (lame metaphor, but you get the point). They compliment each other, as one deals with the body, and the other the mind. Although you do not need to do yoga to meditate, or meditate to do yoga, there is one yoga posture that is very beneficial to meditators, especially those that sit cross-legged.
The Butterfly pose:
The butterfly pose is when you sit on the ground, bend your legs are your knees, and put the bottoms of your feet together. Below are the steps to do it:
- Bend both legs so that the bottoms of the feet are touching each other
- Enclose your feet with your hands
- Move the feet towards the groin as close as it is comfortable
- Breath using deep, long breaths or the breath of fire.
Above is the most basic way to do it.
An alternate way to do it is that after you move your feet close to your groin, slowly; while keeping your back as straight as possible; bend forward as much as is comfortable. Again, use deep breaths, or breath of fire.
Another alternate way to do it is to gently bounce the knees up and down, like a butterfly flapping its wings (a simile to!? I don’t even like poetry).
In stead of clasping your feet around the toes, you can also clasp them around the ankles as well.
If you want to see the pose in action, see the PowerPoint below:
So what does this do exactly?
There are several positions to meditate in. It doesn’t matter which one someone chooses, as long as they are comfortable. However, the most common way most people meditate is cross-legged in some way, shape or form. One day, you’ll be able to stay sitting in the full lotus, or half lotus, or burmese poses, and the next you realize you can not anymore. Or, you just started meditating, and can not get comfortable in any of the cross legged positions. The butterfly pose opens up the hips and keeps them flexible. If the hips are open, sitting cross-legged should not be a problem, and you’ll be able to sit cross-legged in meditation longer and more comfortably. Remember, in order for your mind to relax, your body must also relax, which is almost impossible to happen unless your body is comfortable.
So no matter which cross-legged position you meditate in, it can not hurt doing a few butterfly stretches prior to meditating. That way you can stay comfortable longer, and make meditation more enjoyable.