Can you meditate while lying down? Absolutely! Meditation is a mentally-based practice you can enjoy almost anywhere. Although many people sit while enjoying this time, any comfortable position that lets you focus on a single point will create a foundation for success.
What do you think about when you hear the word “meditation?”
It is not unusual to think of someone sitting in the lotus position, humming or chanting a positive affirmation.
You might hear some water flowing in the background. The world feels at peace, and nothing can disturb that situation.
That mental image is why we’re unsuccessful with meditating! Our expectations don’t reflect reality.
When you start meditating, the kids might begin arguing in another part of the house. If things are quiet, a police siren starts wailing down the street.
As you hit your clarity point, the phone rings because another telemarketer wants to sell you something.
Meditation is not as formal as most people think it is. It is possible to practice it while lying down, under your covers, or in whatever position you can use to create a deeper connection to your true self.
Why Choose to Meditate While Lying Down?
Anyone with physical limitations can benefit from meditation that happens while lying down. When you sit, the pressure on your hips and tailbone can be painful for people with past injuries or mobility issues.
Specific disabilities may limit positional availability for some.
If you haven’t tried meditating before, sitting can place stress on your back, knees, and shoulders.
Some people prefer to meditate while lying down because it lets them stay in bed before starting their day.
Any reason that promotes a better meditation session is enough justification for trying this meditation method. If the bed causes you to lose focus, consider using the floor, a couch, or your backyard for this experience.
Best Positions for Lying Down to Meditate
You have several options from which to choose if you want to experiment with lying down while meditating. These selections tend to be the most popular because they help to enhance your focus.
1. Meditating While Lying on the Floor
If you’re lying on the floor, you can lie down in Savasana (Sanskrit for Corpse pose), the final resting pose at the end of yoga classes.
To experience Savasana, lie on your back and stretch your arms over your head while pointing your toes away from your body, giving yourself a nice full-body stretch. Now, bring your arms down along your sides with your palms turned upward to allow you to broaden across your chest. Tuck your pelvis slightly under to remove any excessive curvature in the lower back.
If you feel discomfort in your lower back while lying down, you may place a cushion or pillow under your knees to alleviate any lower back discomfort. Or you may bend your knees, placing the soles of your feet on the floor and keeping the legs at a 90-degree angle to relieve any pain in your back.
If your legs are straight, allow the feet to fall open if that’s their natural tendency, relaxing your leg muscles completely. Roll your head gently from side to side a couple of times, finally centering it above your neck and spine. Relax the muscles of your face, including your jaw, and breathe naturally.
2. Meditating While Lying in Bed
Stack one or more pillows lengthwise behind you to elevate your head and chest. Place one or more buffers or a rolled-up blanket under your knees. You may wish to wrap your feet in a blanket if they’re cold. This effort also provides a sensation of comfort.
You might also wish to cover yourself with a blanket. Optionally, you could place an eye pillow over your eyes or wear a sleep mask to increase the sensation of internalization and relaxation.
Lie with your arms by your sides or gently place one hand on your lower abdomen with the other hand in the middle of your chest to increase the sensation of connection to your body and promote self-care.
3. Meditating While on Your Side
If lying on your back is uncomfortable, whether on the floor or in bed, you can also lie on your side by placing a pillow under your head to protect your neck. Bend your knees at 90 degrees and place a pillow between your knees. Optionally, place another pillow under your upper arm to keep the chest and torso more open and promote an elongated spine.
Meditation Suggestions to Follow When Lying Down
If you already have a regular meditation practice, you can use it while lying down. If you would like some meditation ideas, here’s a list for you to try.
- Listen to a recorded meditation.
- Breathe naturally and observe the rise and fall of your chest and belly as you inhale and exhale.
- Repeat the mantra “So” on each inhalation and “Ham” on each exhalation. “So Ham” is Sanskrit for “I am this,” reminding us that we are nothing more than our body breathing in this present moment.
- Observe all your senses, taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. Allow yourself to feel any sensations related to touch, such as the air temperature on your skin or the feel of your clothes on your body. Sense any smells such as the scent of a candle or the scent of your freshly washed sheets. If your eyes are open, take in any sights, observing colors, textures, and light. Observe any tastes in your mouth, bringing your attention to the various parts of your tongue, the tip, the sides, the center, and the back. Pay attention to any sounds in your environment. Try to hear first the sounds closest to you and then the most distant sounds.
- Do a body scan, starting from the top of your head and ending at your feet, paying attention to each part of your body individually. Repeat the scan for the duration of your meditation practice.
- Observe your thoughts as though you were watching them drift through your mind like clouds, letting them come and go without trying to control or judge them.
- Smile and let the smile become an internal smile that spreads joy and light throughout your whole body.
- Focus your attention on your heart center and with each inhalation, feel your heart filling with vibrant energy, and with each exhalation, allow that energy to expand to your entire body, supplying you with a power of healing light and love.
Are You Ready to Try Lying Down to Meditate?
Meditation can restore energy, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. You’ll feel the benefits of this practice start developing in under a week when adding it to your daily routine.
Could your lifestyle benefit from a few moments of rest and rejuvenation? When your mind no longer has the strain of making decisions, your entire body becomes more at ease.
If you can achieve that state by lying down, then do it! Meditation is a personalized experience that focuses on your needs. It may not work for others, but that is not your worry.
Enjoy experimenting with the various methods for meditating with lying down. The benefits will start coming soon!