How to Meditate When You Struggle to Sit Still

Your meditation will be difficult if you cannot sit motionless. You will lose the thread every time you move, and your mental condition will never deepen. Unfortunately, having difficulty staying still is common among beginners. The good thing is that if you are driven enough, there is a quick technique to overcome that restlessness and begin enjoying quiet and fruitful meditations right now.

Woman is sitting and meditating
Photo by Shashi Chaturvedula on Unsplash

Is Motionlessness Required for Meditation?

Meditation requires two things, according to pioneering meditation researcher Herbert Benson: a mental device and a passive attitude. A mental device can be your natural breath, a mantra, or anything else that helps you focus your attention. A passive attitude entails remaining impartial to anything you encounter and simply observing it without responding.

You will lose your passive attitude if you follow an instinct to modify your position or itch your leg. Such an interruption takes you out of your meditative state, and you'll have to work your way back into it. If this happens on a regular basis, you will not be meditating at all.

Some types of meditation include movement. That is correct, however, the movements are part of the mental device. They are planned ahead of time and carried out accurately and consciously.

You must overcome the difficulty of not being able to sit still. That can be difficult for some beginners. For highly restless persons, psychologist Steve Taylor recommends taking conscious walks as a lighter alternative to meditation. But what if you need the advantages of genuine meditation right now?

However, if you think you can't sit still, there is a tried-and-true method for meditating. Of course, it takes a lot of work because you will need to extend your sessions. However, by giving yourself the necessary time, you can calm down and discover the benefits of meditation the first time you attempt it.

Why Is It So Difficult to Sit Motionless During Meditation?

The need to move while meditating stems from restlessness, anxiety, or physical discomfort. But, most of the time, it combines all these.

Physical discomfort is frequent before the body becomes accustomed to sitting in a meditation stance. Therefore, it is acceptable to sit on a chair for most types of meditation. But be warned: even sitting on a chair can be painful if you remain still.

Even skilled meditators can experience discomfort while practicing. And it is completely possible to be both worried and uncomfortable when meditating. However, if your motivation to keep that passive attitude needs to be improved, you will shift. That is often the case for novices who have yet to discover how meditation works.

The After Is the Before for the Next During.

In their outstanding book Altered Traits, scientific writer Daniel Goleman and professor of psychology Richard J. Davidson express the idea that "the after is the before for the following during." They imply that the long-term effects of a meditation session contribute to a more favorable starting point for the following one. Meditation becomes more accessible and effortless when you gradually modify your neurological system via consistent meditation practice.

Making Motionlessness Natural

What if you meditated straight after a session of other, more easily accessible mind-body practices? Naturally, the benefits of those activities would rub off on your meditation. Yoga positions and breathing techniques are the most excellent approach to achieve that effect.

Yoga Pose Advantages (asana)

Yoga poses allow you to relax muscles, release relaxing endorphins, and activate your parasympathetic nervous system. A complete sequence of poses will also offer you a full-body stretch, making it easier to sit in a meditation stance afterward.

Advantages of Breathing Exercises (pranayama)

Breathing exercises, particularly alternate breaths (Nadi shodhana pranayama), help calm down and increase attention. Pranayama works directly on your nerve system and aids in the release of deeper mental tensions.

Yoga positions and breathing exercises will allow you to sit still for much more extended periods of time, even if you have never been able to sit still before.

Asana And Pranayama Are Doorways to Meditation

Using yoga poses and breathing techniques to facilitate meditation is not a novel concept. However, many yogic traditions specify progressions that begin with harsh physical procedures and graduate to more delicate mental practices.

Long enough preparation is required to have a tangible impact on your meditation. Some argue that more than five to ten minutes is needed to lay a solid foundation. However, you can meditate at the end of a full-length yoga session for the best results.

Time Is on Your Side

Most people need around 10 minutes to begin quiet their minds during meditation. So if you can't sit still for a few minutes, you won't have as much advantage as possible.

However, consciously doing your poses and breathing exercises is also a form of meditation. Your mental device is carrying out the instructions for the practices you are performing. As a result, you begin deepening your condition before the meditation starts. Sitting still will be considerably easier when you have less restlessness in your body and thoughts. As a result, a 15-minute meditation at the end of a two-hour session is far more valuable. Regarding advantages, it can only be compared to meditation with preparation.