After a long day, it can be tempting to lie down and meditate. And in the morning, it can be inviting to stay in bed to meditate. But can you meditate while lying down?
Absolutely! While it’s not always recommended to meditate lying down, sometimes it’s best. It just depends on the situation.
Keep reading to find out when it’s okay to meditate while lying down. Plus, learn lying down meditation positions and tips on how to avoid falling asleep!
Is it Okay to Meditate Lying Down?
Whether you should meditate lying down depends on your situation. In most cases, it’s better to sit than lie down while meditating. A sitting position provides you with the best combination of alertness and tranquility. However, sometimes sitting is not an option. For example, if you have a physical condition that makes it painful or uncomfortable to sit up during a meditation session. In this case, it’s perfectly alright to meditate lying down.
Another instance when it’s A-okay to meditate lying down? If you’re struggling emotionally.
Sometimes, when you’re feeling depressed, emotionally drained, or mentally exhausted, you simply don’t have the energy to sit upright. That’s perfectly fine. In these situations, meditating lying down is much better than not meditating at all.
Another great time to meditate while lying down is when you’re meditating to fall asleep. Letting go with a mindfulness meditation for sleep reaps the best results when you’re lying down. This is also the only instance where we suggest meditating in bed.
The Pros and Cons of Lying Down to Meditate
Like anything else, lying down to meditate has both benefits and downsides. Here are a few of them:
Pros of Lying Meditation
- Provides Temporary Pain Relief: If you’re in too much physical or emotional pain to meditate sitting up, lying down meditation can provide temporary pain relief.
- Improves Back Pain: Supine positions (positions where you lie on your back) are well-documented to improve back pain. If you’re experiencing upper, mid, or lower back pain, try meditating while lying on your back.
- Creates Deep Relaxation: A lying down meditation session can create a sense of deep relaxation before, during, or after a busy day. Moreover, if you’re meditating with the intent to fall asleep, lying down is likely to speed up the process.
Cons of Lying Meditation
- Might Not Be Alert: Alertness and mindfulness are two of the most critical components of meditation. Both of these can be harder to achieve when you’re lying down.
- Might Fall Asleep: Chances are this position will put you into a deep relaxation. However, you may experience a too-restful state, or it might even put you right to sleep. Remember that sleep and meditation are not the same things. Unless you’re doing meditation for sleep, you should not fall asleep while meditating.
How to Meditate Lying Down
If you do decide to meditate while lying down, there are certain things you can do to make the practice more beneficial. Here are a few steps to take:
- Wear comfortable clothing. It’s difficult to focus on your practice when you have a waistband digging into your side or a strap slipping off your shoulder. That’s why we advise wearing comfortable clothing when meditating lying down.
- Eliminate distractions. Silence tech devices before your session, and ask those around you to limit their noise.
- Maintain a regular meditation practice. If you consistently meditate while lying down, you’ll learn how best to do it for your body. Plus, meditating regularly is one of the best ways to make sure your practice doesn’t fall by the wayside.
- Determine the type and duration of your meditation before you begin. Before you begin your meditation practice, figure out which meditation technique you will use and decide on the length of your session. That way, during the practice, you can devote all of your energy to being present.
- Keep your spine elongated, and your body relaxed. Good posture is important, even when you’re lying down!
Lying Down Meditation Positions
You may be surprised to learn that you have options for different meditation postures, even when you’re lying down. Choose the most comfortable pose for your body, and don’t be afraid to adapt to accommodate an injury or discomfort. Unless you are doing meditation for sleep, we do not recommend lying down in bed. Instead, we suggest lying on the floor using a yoga mat to provide some cushion. We recommend keeping your eyes open to avoid falling asleep.
Savasana (Also Known as Corpse Pose)
To do corpse pose, lie on your back with your eyes facing the ceiling or sky. Keep your chin ever so slightly tucked. Elongate your arms at your sides and allow your palms to lie open, facing upwards.
Relax your entire body and allow your hands and feet to rotate outward naturally. If you’d like, you can add a pillow under your knees for support.
Inclined savasana is like a regular savasana, except this version entails reclining at an inclined position. You can position a pillow, blanket, or bolster under your shoulders, neck, and head. This helps relieve any uncomfortable pressure that may occur when lying your spine on the ground. Inclined savasana may also keep you more alert than regular savasana.
It may be more enjoyable for you to lie in a semi-supine position. To do a semi-supine, lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet on the ground. To find comfort in this pose, try placing your feet slightly wider than hip width apart, and allowing your knees to fall inward toward each other.
Lying Down Meditation Techniques
You always have the option to use different types of meditation when you lie down and meditate Here are a few meditation techniques that work especially well when lying down:
Meditation for Sleep
If your specific goal for your meditation is to fall asleep, then lying down is the natural pose to choose. Instead of lying down on a yoga mat, find a supine position in your bed and get comfy. Then, follow a guided meditation app or simply relax and just be.
Body Scan Meditation
To do a body scan meditation, direct all of your awareness to each part of your body in turn. Some people prefer to lie down for a body scan meditation because lying down engages fewer muscles. This makes it easier to focus on each individual body part without the engaged muscles vying for your attention.
Many breathing meditations focus on breathing into the stomach, and some people find it easier to expand and contract their stomach when they’re lying down.
A Guided Meditation to Use Lying Down
How to Avoid Falling Asleep While Meditating Lying Down
The fact that lying down to meditate can lead to unintentionally falling asleep is the primary reason some meditators won’t meditate lying down. However, if you still want to give it a shot, there are a few things you can do to discourage sleep:
- Don’t meditate in bed
- Keep your eyes open while meditating
- Stay hydrated prior to your meditation session
- Try an inclined savasana pose
- Don’t meditate immediately after waking up or right before bed
- Keep the room you’re meditating in cool
Lying Down Meditation With Primed Mind
Deciding whether to lie down to meditate is a personal choice, and you can rest assured that you’re not meditating the wrong way if stretching out feels best for you. Remember that we don’t recommend meditating in bed unless your goal is to fall asleep. Lying on the floor is preferable for alertness, and it also has other potential benefits, like reduced back pain and improved posture. But as long as you’re making meditation a regular part of your mindfulness practice, you’re doing great!
If you’re using lying down meditation to help you fall asleep at night, try using Primed Mind — a mindset coaching application that unlocks your full potential by showing you how to tap into powerful areas of your mind. Primed Mind’s Primers for better sleep and relaxation will help you let go and drift off in as little as 5 minutes.