While thinking about meditation, most of us imagine a person sitting in padmasana or lotos posture. Is it the ideal posture for meditation? Well, for most people it is “ideal” but not the best posture, because it remains in the realm of ideas only.
In his yoga sutras Patanjali speaks very little about asana except for the fact it should have qualities of sthira (steadiness) and sukha (ease). In times of Patanjali the term asana referred to a seat and to the sitting posture for meditation purpose. It didn’t discribe the whole range of physical exercises we call asanas nowadays.
Posture for meditation should be steady and comfortable so that it won’t cause any discomfort during meditation or preparation to the practice of meditation and the body won’t be causing distraction of any kind.
Lotos posture is often referred to as the best posture for meditation. If, however, it’s not practiced properly (and most people find it difficult to perform this posture) it is neither steady nor comfortable.
While choosing a posture for meditation it’s good to focus not on legs alignment in the asana but to check whether the posture is comfortable enough to stay in it during the practice.
Swami Rama stressed that the most important thing in posture for meditation is to keep head, neck and trunk erect. Based on this principle we can state that every posture you can perform in a steady and comfortable way with the spine straight is good.
Of course, it would be great if it was lotos posture, however it may be siddhasana, sukhasana or vajrasana as well.
I recommend siddhasana performed on a proper seat. First experiment a little with the height of the seat in order to choose the right height for keeping pelvis and legs in good alignment without causing any tension in the groins.
Hands shouldn’t disturb the practice. You can lay your hands on your thighs or perform a mudra of your choice. Find the position of hands that won’t cause any unnecessary tension in the shoulders.
If you’re not able to remain steadily and comfortably in any of these postures you can sit in chair keeping in mind the principle of “head, neck, torso kept erect”.
From now on you don’t have to worry that you can’t sit in lotos posture. Find a seat that will be stable and comfortable for you and practice keeping the spine erect.