11 Blissfully Perfect Yoga Poses To Use Before And During Meditation

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You’ve heard that yoga is excellent for the mind, body, and spirit. 

You’ve heard the same about meditation. 

But what happens when you combine the two?

Put simply – meditation yoga poses produce excellent results. 

You can complete yoga poses before meditation to prepare your mind and body for this restorative practice or engage in yoga poses during meditation. 

Let’s discuss the benefits of yoga before meditation and some of the best poses to use.

The Benefits of Doing Yoga Poses Before Meditation 

The benefits of meditation are profound, but sometimes it can be hard to sit in the same position for long periods or any length of time. 

Yoga meditation poses can help you prepare your mind and body for meditation to enjoy a deeper connection.

It brings you into a state of peace and tranquility and allows you to release tension. 

Here are some common benefits of doing yoga poses before meditation: 

  • Greater internal reflection
  • Improved concentration
  • Deeper engagement with higher self
  • Improved joint and hip flexibility
  • Release energy, making it easier to rest your mind during meditation

Yoga Poses for Meditation: 11 Poses to Try Before and During Meditation 

Here are 11 of the most common yoga postures for meditation to try before and during meditation.

Do one or do them all, whatever makes your meditation as beneficial as possible. 

Yoga Poses to Use Before Meditation

1. Half-Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Half-Pigeon Pose yoga poses

Pigeon pose is a hip-opening asana you can do three ways: half-pigeon (which we’ll explore more below), mermaid, and one-legged king-pigeon.

The first two are for beginner and intermediate students, while the last is for advanced practitioners.

The half-pigeon pose strengthens the lower body and preps it for long-held sitting postures, i.e., meditating asanas. 

How’s it done?

  1. Start out sitting from both heels.
  2. Extend one leg straight behind you with your knee facing down.
  3. Square your hips, then bend the other leg, so the femur sits parallel to your torso.
  4. Keep your arms straight with each hand on either side. 

2. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Staff Pose yoga poses

The staff pose is another easy asana that strengthens the back and improves posture. It opens your shoulders and chest plus stretches your leg muscles.

It’s an effective pre-meditation pose because it gets you in the mindset to sit for an extended period. On a practical level, it’s a good asana from which to transition into your meditation pose.

How’s it done?

  1. Sit down and extend your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Keep your back straight and stretch your arms down with your hands at your side.

3. Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)

Head-to-Knee Forward Bend yoga poses

The head-to-knee forward bend can be daunting for some. The important thing to remember is that there’s honor in the effort.

So what if you can’t plant your nose on your knee? Bend as far as you can. No more, no less.

This is a good pose to do before meditating because it relieves spinal tension and prepares the body to sit for a prolonged period. It also calms the mind.

How’s it done?

  1. Start in staff pose.
  2. Bend one knee and place the sole of that foot on the inside of the opposite thigh.
  3. Extend your torso over the extended leg and try to clasp your foot with your hands.
  4. Stretch for at least a minute.
  5. Repeat with the opposite leg.

4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

 Low Lunge yoga poses

Low lunges target hips, glutes, and hamstrings. It also decreases sciatica pain, which can be helpful before a meditation session.

How’s it done?

  1. Start by sitting on your knees with both hands on the ground on either side of your body.
  2. Bend one leg, so its foot is flat on the floor in front of you.
  3. Then stretch the other leg back while placing weight on your toes.
  4. Raise your hands, so your upper arms are parallel with your ears.

Yoga Poses to Use During Meditation

5. Lotus Pose (Padmasana)

Lotus Pose yoga poses

Lotus pose is probably the most recognized yoga asana. It’s the position in which the Buddha is most frequently pictured.  

The quintessential meditation pose, the lotus pose stretches the knees and ankles, activates the chakras, quiets thoughts, increases awareness, and increases lumbar circulation.

How’s it done?

  1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Fold one leg in and place it diagonal to the opposite side of your pelvis. 
  3. Put the foot as close to the naval as possible.
  4. Then fold the other leg over the first one and rest its foot diagonal to the other side of the pelvis.
  5. Ultimately, it’s a fancy way of sitting “cross-legged.” When done correctly, both feet should be visible on your lap.

6. Sitting on the Heels (Vajrasana)

Sitting on the Heels yoga poses

Vajrasana is another effective meditation asana. It encourages proper digestion plus alleviates period cramps and stress.

It’s also one of the easiest poses to master and can be held for a long time.

How’s it done?

  1. Bend both legs under you, keep your knees in line with your hips, and then sit on your heels.
  2. Ideally, make sure your big toes are touching each other.
  3. Place your hands on your thighs and keep your chin parallel to the floor.

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7. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Easy pose, in colloquial terms, is the same as sitting cross-legged. Hard-nose practitioners may argue that it’s not a proper asana for meditation, but we beg to differ.

Easy pose is a meditation gateway for many people. It allows them to sit comfortably and build a habit.  

Additionally, easy pose encourages posture awareness and helps with stress management. 

How’s it done? Simply sit down and cross your legs. Typically, each foot ends up underneath the knee or femur of the other leg.

Yoga Poses to Use After Meditation

8. Yoga Headstand (Sirsasana / Shirshasana)

Yoga Headstand yoga poses

Hailed as the “king of all asanas,” a yoga headstand is the pinnacle of practice for many. It’s also one of the most diverse asanas in that there are a dozen variations.  

Doing headstands flushes the adrenal glands and decreases fluid buildup that can accumulate when sitting for an extended period.

How’s it done? Since there are so many ways to perform a yoga headstand, we’ll let you find a version that works for you.

9. Downward-Facing-Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-facing-dog is another popular yoga pose, and it’s often one of the first and last you’ll do in a class. It elongates the spine — which feels great after you’ve been sitting for a while — improves circulation, and relieves tension. 

Another downward-facing-dog benefit: The blood flow to your face will give you a healthy glow.

How’s it done?

  1. Start on your knees.
  2. Extend your arms and place your hands on the ground, square with your shoulders. (In other words, get on “all fours.”)
  3. From there, push up your hips so your legs are straight. Your body should take the shape of a “teepee.”
  4. Hang your head in the middle of your arms, facing downward.

Don’t worry if you can’t get your feet flat at first. You’ll get there eventually.

10. Corpse Pose (Shavasana)

Arguably the most relaxing asana of them all, corpse pose is the yoga equivalent of lying on the floor. When doing corpse pose, imagine yourself grounded and secure in the earth.

Corpse pose relieves tension and allows your body and mind to process what just occurred — perfect for a post-meditation reflection.

  1. Lie down on the ground.
  2. Lay your arms alongside your body, but don’t have them touching.
  3. Separate your legs slightly.

11. Shoulder-Supported Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvāṅgāsana)

A shoulder-supported bridge stretches out the body and cements any chakra gains made during meditation, and variations exist for all skill levels and body types.

For example, you can use your arms to hold up your back or grab your feet, depending on your skill level.

Both a resting and strengthening pose, a shoulder-supported bridge can be whatever you need it to be.  

How’s it done?

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent at your knees. Your feet should be hip distance apart.
  2. Then push your pelvis toward the sky and your shoulders downward, effectively making the back bend.

FAQs about Meditation and Yoga 

Meditation and yoga go hand in hand, and each benefits the other. Here are some commonly asked questions about this powerful combination. 

What is the best yoga pose for meditation?

There’s no exact right answer to this question, as every person is different. What works for your best friend may not be ideal for you.

Try a few different yoga poses before meditation to find the best sequence for your mind and body. Notice what feels good and what doesn’t, and adapt your practice accordingly.

Can you meditate in yoga poses?

You can meditate anywhere, anytime, and for as long as you wish – even using various yoga poses.

However, some poses may be more difficult to hold than others during meditation. The key is to be comfortable, so find a yoga position you enjoy.

What is the best yoga for mindfulness?

Yoga is a great time to experience focus, calm, and awareness, key ingredients to mindfulness.

A popular mindful yoga sequence begins with Hero’s pose, moves into Child’s pose, then onto easy sit forward fold. However, you can practice mindfulness with any yoga pose. 

What is the meditation pose called?

You can meditate in any comfortable pose, but sitting in a cross-legged position is one of the most common meditation poses. Just make sure you are comfortable and relaxed when you begin.

Otherwise, your focus will be on your discomfort, making it difficult to pay full attention to your meditation. 

Try all of these poses or just a few to prepare your mind and body for your next meditation. They will help you feel relaxed and focused so you can fully immerse yourself in the meditative experience. 

What are the benefits of doing yoga poses before and after meditation? Learn that in this post and also some yoga poses for meditation.
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