7 Point Posture Meditation
By Mardi Rogers
If you’ve ever joined me for a meditation class or group you’ll probably know that I like to begin most meditations with a 7 point posture check, to ensure your body is in good alignment before beginning the meditation proper. And you may also know that the 7 point posture is also a great meditation (from the Buddhist tradition) to practice on its own, to bring more awareness to your body, and more calm to your mind.
I’m sure you’ll agree that so many of us are very practised at sitting (or standing) with poor posture, and this can have a direct effect on not only your body, but also your state of mind. So becoming aware of your posture in a meditative process can be good not only for your meditation practice, but also for your body and mind. Sound good?
And when we practise the 7 point posture meditation we’re benefiting ourselves in more ways than one.
This practice helps:
- Bring awareness to your body and shines a light on where we might be holding tension and stress
- Helps build concentration by remembering and counting through the 7 points
- Cultivates mindfulness by bringing your attention to your body, and often the breath too, which connects you with the present moment
The 7 points:
#3 Shoulders and arms
This mediation is featured as the first meditation in my book Pyjama Meditation where I recommend you become really familiar with it before going on to the next chapter. Practising bringing awareness to these 7 points of the body repeatedly, as a meditation practice, is great for training your body and mind to meditate more readily. And the fact that it helps your posture is definitely an added bonus!
Following are instructions of how I like to share the meditation. I recommend reading through a couple of times, then trying it out. Even 3-5mins of this body meditation in the middle of a busy day can help alleviate stress and tension.
Excerpt from Pyjama Meditation- for more detailed information buy my book here
Quick 7 Point Meditation Rundown
Detailed instructions follow but here’s the gist. After getting in position and taking a couple of deep breaths, begin checking your posture for alignment and comfort, using the 7 points briefly. This is the way I like to begin all meditations, to make sure your body is in alignment.
After you’ve settled your posture and alignment, you invite your awareness back through the 7 points (starting at your legs and working your way up) on a repeated basis. This can be done nice and slow, it can be done in time with your breath, or it can be done quite quickly, so that you’re skipping through your 7 points. However you choose to do it, see if you can stick with it for the entirety of your scheduled meditation session.
Meditate on your Body – 7 Point Posture with the Breath
- Sit in a comfortable, supported position; take a couple of deep breaths to relax
- Check your alignment:
- #1 Legs – making any adjustments for comfort, feet planted, knees in line with or lower than the hips if on a chair, or sitting comfortably on the floor.
- #2 Back – spine tall, comfortably erect. Not too rigid, not too loose. Just nice and supported, your spine like a support pillar.
- #3 Shoulders/arms relax your shoulders down from your earlobes, arms comfortably by your sides.
- #4 Hands resting comfortably, maybe right in left with thumbs gently touching at the navel, or simply in the lap with the palms up or down or clasped gently.
- #5 Neck nice and tall, like you’re being pulled from the crown by a string.
- #6 Jaw relaxed; you might like to move the bottom teeth around, bringing the top and bottom front teeth into alignment, placing the tongue on the back of the two top from teeth for comfort.
- #7 Eyes gently closed, or a tiny bit open, about 9/10ths closed, softening your gaze and looking through the floor.
- Keep your awareness/attention on the body and start to go through your seven points over and over – directing your attention to match your breath as you bring your awareness to the seven points, e.g. inhale naturally – exhale think legs, inhale naturally – exhale think back, inhale – exhale think shoulders/arms, inhale – exhale think hands, inhale – exhale neck, inhale – exhale jaw, inhale – exhale eyes, inhale – back to legs. Continue up the body for seven points.
- If you get distracted, that’s okay, when you notice the distraction just gently invite the mind to come back and begin again at the legs.
- You may find your body has tension in places – so you may like to spend a couple of breaths on a point – and imagine breathing out the tension.
Continue in this way for your chosen time (using a timer can help) and when complete, slowly bring your awareness back to the environment around you, and slowly come back to yourself noticing how you feel. When you’re ready, open your eyes. Rest for a few moments, then resume your day – with a smile 🙂