Chelsea Jackson Roberts meditating

I’m a Peloton Meditation Instructor and Here’s How to Find the Best Meditation Posture For You

Just like proper form with strength training, how you meditate can impact your practice.

By Dr. Chelsea Jackson RobertsMay 8, 2023


Peloton yoga and meditation instructor Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts explains how your meditation posture can make a difference in your practice and four meditation positions to try.

So much of meditation is about trust and being present. Being present, as you likely know, takes some practice. Trust also takes practice and it comes in different forms. It’s the trust that you can step away from the hustle of your day to take time for yourself and it will be OK. Or, it’s the trust that your partner can handle the baby while you meditate for 20 minutes. (I know I struggled with this coming off my maternity leave!) 

What can help you be present and put that trust forward is how you meditate. This doesn’t necessarily mean what type of meditation you’re doing, but physically how you’re doing it. The way you position your body can set you up for success with your meditation practice. It’s a simple step that can pay off in a big way.

What is Meditation Posture?

By definition, the word posture simply means how you hold your body. So, a meditation posture is the way you choose to position your body while meditating. A meditation posture can (and should be) unique to your individual body depending on the level of support you need and what makes you feel most comfortable. 

Why does it matter how (or if) you sit during meditation? Your posture will set the intention for the practice. It’s a type of meditation muscle memory—by getting into your preferred position, your mind and body will take the cue that it’s time to meditate, helping you get into that meditative state faster over time. 

Can You Meditate in Any Position?

What makes meditation different from running, rowing, or strength training is that there are many acceptable positions you can meditate in. If you don’t have the correct form for running or doing a dead lift, you risk getting injured. With meditation posture, you can try out many different positions to see which one you prefer and what helps you have a present practice. 

Traditionally, meditation is done in a seated position either on the floor supported by pillows and/or folded and stacked blankets. Meditation can also be done lying on the floor on your spine for practices like deep relaxation, where it is also encouraged to use props like pillows and blankets. 

The good news is you don’t have to pick one position. Perhaps there are a few positions you like to meditate in, and depending on what the goal of your meditation is (such as gratitude versus a practice geared toward anxiety) you can vary your posture.

The 3 Types of Meditation Postures

Since every body is a unique one, it is important to not compare the way we look and feel when meditating. (And psst! Your eyes should be closed or looking down, anyway.) This also includes the position our bodies are able to hold or not hold. Instead, I encourage you to find a comfortable seat or position that feels good for your body. Here are some postures to help you get started.


Believe it or not, there is a right way to sit when you meditate. You want to sit in a way that is comfortable, but not too comfortable. You don’t want to slouch or hunch over, as this may distract you from your practice and make it more difficult to be mindful and present.

I love to practice meditation seated on the floor with at least two stacked blankets. If this position is uncomfortable (especially in the hips) you can place a pillow underneath the outer edges of your hips and thighs. Make sure you are sitting straight up, keeping your spine straight and stacked, hands resting lightly on the legs. If you are looking to gently ease into a floor meditation, you can try leaning your back against the wall first. 

There is also nothing wrong with sitting in a chair to meditate. Perhaps you’re able to meditate in the middle of your work day and this is the only option you have. To do this, sit in the chair with a straight back, just like you would on the floor. Plant your feet flat on the floor with your legs at 90-degree angles. Use the back of the chair only if you need it, and as you practice your posture over time make it a goal to not rely on the back of the chair, scooting yourself forward toward the edge of your seat.

Lying Down

Not every meditation is best for lying down, but if your intention is to meditate for sleep or relaxation this posture may work best for you. To do this, you can lay down in your bed or using props, such as a yoga mat on the floor with stacked blankets or a pillow supporting your head. Lay on your back or your side, whatever is most comfortable for you and the position you’ll be able to inhale and exhale the easiest. 

You may find, however, meditation lying on your back keeps you more alert. Make sure to keep your spine long and feet shoulder-width apart with your hands palms up and spaced away from your hips. (Feel free to mimic savasana in yoga here.) If you’re on a yoga mat, bending your knees and planting your feet flat on the floor may help you be more present and resist dozing off if sleep isn’t your intended goal. If you need support under your hips, place a blanket under them. 

Walking Meditation

So much of meditating is about being still, so it may seem odd that you’d consider doing a walking meditation. For those who crave movement during the day and need that stillness, walking meditation offers just that. Practice good walking posture with a straight spine and simply be aware of your surroundings while you walk. You can do this with or without a guided meditation, just make sure if you’re listening to audio your phone is away and you’re not constantly sneaking glances at it. 

Walking meditation is a great way to practice another mindfulness technique that’s referred to as forest bathing, or nature therapy. This is simply the act of being out in nature and has been found to decrease cortisol levels and lower stress. Further research found that this type of therapy can specifically target technostress (i.e., stress caused by devices and/or technology).

How to Find the Right Meditation Position for You

There’s no one-position-fits-all approach to meditation. You may start out sitting in a chair, then move down to the floor. Or, depending on when you are meditating you may stick to lying down or walking meditations. There’s one rule of thumb you should remember when it comes to finding your meditation position: Anything that is so uncomfortable that it distracts you from your practice means it’s not right for you. If this is the case, give yourself permission to change positions, even if you’re in the middle of meditating. 

If you’re brand new to meditating and not sure which position is best for you, start off with a short amount of time you’ll meditate for. This is where the 5-Minute Meditations on the Peloton app are really helpful. These short sessions will allow you to try out a position for a brief amount of time, as opposed to a longer meditation that may make you feel like you need to commit to the position once you’re in it.


Level up your inbox.

Subscribe for a weekly dose of fitness, plus the latest promos, launches, and events.

By providing your email address, you agree to receive marketing communications from Peloton.

For more about how we use your information, see our Privacy Policy.