Wellness, Home & Lifestyle

Meditation Postures

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Lesson time 12:18 min

Jon provides insight and advice for some of the different forms that meditation can take.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Seated Meditations • Lying Down Meditations


[MUSIC PLAYING] - So at this point I'd like to say a few things about sitting in this way on the floor. You don't have to sit on the floor. That's point number one is this is optional, and anywhere you sit is fine and not sitting at all. Lying down would be fine or standing on your head. But there are certain virtues to grounding yourself sitting on the floor, but of course you'll notice I'm not sitting on the floor. I'm sitting on something that's actually providing a good deal of padding for my knees and my legs wherever they would be contacting the bare wood, and this thing is called in Japanese . It's basically just a large cushion. And then I'm sitting on a cushion which is called the Zafu, so that my pelvis is rooted on the Zafu. And because I'm not sitting on the top of this thing like that, but I'm sitting on the forward part of it my pelvis naturally tilts forward. Okay, it's a forward tilting rotation which allows my spine to actually have that natural lordotic curve come out of the pelvis and right through the lumbar vertebrae and the thoracic vertebrae and the cervical vertebrae right through the top of the head. So the entire spine is positioned so that it can do its natural curves that optimally carry the head and the body on the pelvic girdle and the entirety of the legs and feet, of course. You can pull pillows off the couch. If they're a little too squishy, you can fold them over. I mean there are a lot of different ways to get your pelvis up above your knees. And then you may find like the knees like are like this, and it's like how do you get them down here. By practicing. By sitting like this a lot and by doing the yoga that we'll also be engaging in. Gradually the musculature in here that's keeping your knees up here will get the message and extend itself and lengthen and relax to the point where you can comfortably sit like this. Now, this may be a kind of acquired art that sitting on the floor like this may be uncomfortable for you, and you can play with it to whatever degree you like, but if the discomfort gets to be too much, please sit on a chair, okay? The real meditation practice doesn't have anything to do with how the body is configured. The most important thing is that when you take your seat, whether it's on the chair or whether it's on the floor, that you establish yourself, however you care to do it and whatever these words mean to you, in a posture that embodies wakefulness and dignity. Like if I'm sitting like this, how alert does that seem to you? Do I seem like at my most balanced sitting like this? Obviously not. I'm falling forward. I mean, if I wasn't catching myself, gravity would take me down. I'd fall on my face. If I was leaning back like this, I'd be falling backwards. If I was leaning this way-- so to take one side is to actually find a way to actually be really balanced so that one's not falling forward, one's not falling backward. And the muscles of the body ar...

About the Instructor

A pioneer of the Western mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn has spent more than 40 years studying, teaching, and advocating the benefits of mindfulness. In his MasterClass, he teaches you how to cultivate a mindfulness practice, reduce your stress, and soothe your thoughts with meditation and movement. Jon shares expert tips and guidance that meets you where you are. Let this class help you make the most of being alive.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches you how to incorporate meditation into your everyday life to improve your health and happiness.

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