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Meditate lying down – devotion and relaxation
Meditation doesn't always have to be sitting up straight. There are definitely exercises that can be performed in a lying position. And of course there are also days when we just want to relax and let ourselves sink into the soft surface. In this article we explain how you can meditate sensibly while lying down and present some forms of practice.
Beginners in particular often find it easier to let go while lying down and surrender to the waves of breathing or to focus on an object of meditation. Sometimes you just don't have the strength in your back and abdominal muscles to keep yourself upright for a while. Then back pain threatens quickly and we are distracted and tense.
If you are very tired, you should consider whether you can meditate while lying down – without falling asleep. If this is very difficult for you, then get enough sleep before beginning the practice.
Give yourself enough support
In an uncomfortable posture, it is difficult to cultivate relaxation and devotion. If you want to meditate while lying down, make sure you have a soft, comfortable surface and enough warmth (e.g. a blanket or a scarf). For the classic supine position in yoga (Shavasana), let your feet fall loosely hip-width apart and place your arms with your palms up onto the mat, making sure to leave some space under your shoulders so air can reach your armpits.
If you have neck problems, it is advisable to place a flat pillow under your head. If you get pain or tension in your lower back from lying down for a long time, you can put a yoga bolster or a roll under your knees.
Mediation practice lying down
This is an effective deep relaxation technique from yoga. "Nidra" means sleep, Yoga Nidra is considered "sleep of the yogi". The body is specifically guided into relaxation, while the mind remains present and conscious. In this way, stress can be effectively reduced. Physical as well as mental blockages are released. With the help of certain affirmations (Sankalpa), positive messages or new beliefs can be anchored in the subconscious (e.g. I am healthy, I live lightly and happily).
An increasingly popular form of mindfulness practice is the body scan. It is part of Jon Kabat-Zinn's MBSR program (MBSR = Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and is mainly practiced lying down. The attention is directed to different areas of the body one after the other and explores what sensations are there at that moment. An open, friendly attitude when practicing promotes a mindful, loving relationship with yourself and breathing can release tension.
Those who have great difficulty concentrating on a meditation object such as the breath often find it easier to go on fantasy or dream journeys. Instructions can be spoken by a teacher or heard in the form of a recording (e.g. via smartphone). There are no limits to the imagination: In our thoughts we can travel to beautiful, safe places, bring people and beings who support us or invite different qualities (e.g. by visualizing the elements) into our lives. Experience shows that imaginary journeys effectively help us to reduce stress and tension, to break thought spirals and to promote what is good for us.
Meditation while lying down – the most important facts
Here is a summary of the things you should consider when meditating while lying down:
• Find a soft, comfortable surface.
• Ensure sufficient warmth.
• If you have back problems, put something under your neck or knees.
• It's natural to fall asleep when you're overtired. Get enough sleep before your practice.
We wish you lots of fun with your practice!