Are you stressed out? Do you have a hard time focusing? Do you know something doesn’t quite feel right? “If only I could find that inner peace,” you think.
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it may be time for you to explore a consistent meditation practice. By learning how to meditate lying down, you can gain a renewed focus, stability and tranquility that is difficult to find without a regular practice. People who meditate regularly also benefit from being able to handle conflict better, sleeping more deeply and even living longer by fighting off mental health diseases such as depression and anxiety for longer periods of time.
In addition to all of the health benefits, meditating is absolutely free. Please be aware, however, that meditation is not meant to be a substitute for seeing a doctor or taking prescribed medication.
Ready to get started? Read on to learn about developing a meditation practice that is focused on lying down, which helps to calm the body and give you the ability to slow down and rest.
Five Ways to Meditate While Lying Down
The supine position, also called the Corpse Position in yoga practices, is an easy, comfortable position to try out meditation. Simply stretch out on whatever surface you find comfortable–a couch, a grassy field, a bed, even the pool–to get started.
#1: Meditate Before Going to Bed
In the traditional Son Buddhist monastery, meditation happens right before you go to sleep. This is known as the one of the most relaxed times of day, when your mind is about to enter sleep and you already are expecting to fall into a dream state. It also is a convenient practice because you are, at least at first, already lying down in the supine position in your bed.
#2: Try Meditating As Soon as You Wake Up
A spin on the traditional supine meditation is meditating as soon as you wake up. This is great way to focus your mind for your day and set off on the right foot. Problems become easier by starting your day with intention and at peace. Try it as soon as you wake up by practicing with different meditation exercises. Choose one a day to bring your mind inward.
#3: Meditate Outside in a Park or Field
When you are out and about in a park or exploring the countryside, consider finding a spot to lie down, take in the beauty around you, listen to the sounds and relax your mind through a meditation. This also helps you connect with the world around you and focus your mind.
#4: Meditate While Floating on the Water
If you’re swimming in a pool, consider stretching out in the water and meditating while you float. When your ears fill with water, you enter a serene environment in which sounds soften and dissipate. Use that time and opportunity to try meditation lying down on the water.
#5: Meditate While Doing Yoga
A specific kind of yoga, known as Yoga Nidra, is works especially well when lying down. Also called yogic sleep, this exercise helps you focus and come away with a positive intention for moving forward in whatever you are facing in your life. Through the Yoga Nidra meditation lying down, the person enters a state somewhere between sleeping and remaining awake and draws all senses and thoughts to focus inward.
How to Get Started with Meditating: A Step-By-Step Guide
Meditation practices take all kinds of forms. As you are experimenting with different meditative states and exercises, you may find some you like and some you feel are not your style. Keep trying. This section will explore the steps of three popular meditation exercises–The Body Scan, Breathing with Your Diaphragm and Yoga Nidra–to give you a sense of different ways of meditating while lying down.
#1: Lie down in a supine position with your face upward.
#2: Focus your mind at the top of your head.
#3: Now, move down through each body part that comes after–your forehead, your eyebrows, your eyelashes, your eyes–all the way down to your toes and toenails.
#4: If your mind wanders, refocus by starting at your head and trying again.
#5: Repeat one or two times until you feel focused and calm.
Breathing with Your Diaphragm
This breathing technique helps you breathe more evenly and openly—and as a result, relaxes you.
#1: Lie down on the floor and elevate your diaphragm to your head on a reclined pillow.
#2: Place one hand on your chest.
#3: Place your other hand on your stomach
#4: Turn on a pranayama technique audio recording and follow the guide’s voice as he or she directs your breathing.
#5: Over time, your breathing will become more even and your heart rate will slow down as you relax.
Relax with Yoga Nidra at Night
#1: Loosen up and relax. Get in your bed and lie down. You want to be comfortable so you can fully relax. If you feel you need more support, raise your knees so they look like mountain peaks, and keep your feet flat on your bed. Support your legs and neck with a pillow and put on a face mask. You want to feel warm and comfortable.
#2: Think of something positive. This is known as an intention. It could be a hope for your life or something that you want to let go. Hold it in your mind for a few seconds.
#3: Do a body scan, similar to the one you learned earlier in this guide. This helps you forget about your physical body and turn your mind inward.
#4: Move through the opposites exercise, thinking about contrasts such as high and low, hot and cold, happy and mad, etc. This is where it helps to have a teacher guiding you via a class or podcast. This allows your mind to respond to the words and their connotations and lived experience. You get true, raw response in the inward mind.
#5: Lean into the unconscious mind. This meditation practice allows your mind to reveal itself. What are you feeling as you relax?
#6: Begin to bring your mind and body back to your environment. Turn on your side and continue relaxing.
#7: Take a few breathes, focus on a positive thought or suggestion that you want to take with you, and rise up in a seated position. It’s time to open your eyes.
What to Use Meditation For in Your Life, Work and Relationships
#1: Find Peace in a Difficult Situation
Whether you are facing a family issue or grief over the death of a loved one, lying down and meditating will allow you to channel your emotions into a meditative rhythm. You may still feel sad or disappointed. Those feelings won’t always go away. But by refocusing your mind, you may feel an inner peace and reprieve from the heaviness you are currently feeling.
#2: Focus in an Overwhelming Work Situation
It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed in the workplace. Project after project can create a workload you can’t handle. Stress is one of the most silent causes of heart attacks and other health issues. Taking a moment to rest and meditate allows you to divert your mind from the task at hand for a moment. Often you’ll find that you come back to your project with new energy, creativity and clarity.
#3: Connect During or After an Argument
It may feel silly or awkward to meditate with the person you are having a conflict with, but it may just save your relationship. Meditating disrupts the argument and allows both people to reset both individually and together. The next time you find yourself arguing with your partner, suggest you both take a few moments to pause and recenter yourselves through meditation.
#4: Find Closeness with a Higher Power
Meditating can also help you set your sights higher. Wether it’s God or Allah or another being or spirit you put your hope and trust in–meditation can help you feel connected to that higher power. The effects of that connection often are joy, hope and peace.
#5: Rest Your Mind and Body
At the end of the day, meditation helps you rest and sleep better. Whether you are are experiencing an extremely busy day or your day is ordinary, stress seeps in. Meditation can help you feel calmer and more relaxed, as well as help you get more restful sleep throughout the night. Remember it’s Okay if you find yourself falling asleep as you meditate. The point is to allow you transition into a sleep state.
10 Celebrities Who Have Tried Meditation and Benefited
Meditation lying down is for everyone–including celebrities. These 10 famous men and women have tried meditation, yoga and other mindfulness exercises and have learned that they can focus more clearly, have more confidence, feel more at ease and are better prepared to face the issues of the day that come before them. Read on to hear more about those benefits directly from them:
- Paul McCartney said that a meditation practice was a “lifelong gift” that he could “call on at anytime.”
- Eva Mendes said that meditation gave her balance and serenity, as well as a “calm state of mind.”
- Ellen DeGeneres described medication as something that “when you turn it on, it’s okay again.”
- Sting equivocated meditation with both songwriting and yoga.
- Susan Sarandon said meditation helps her “chill out and focus.”
- Ringo Starr said meditation helps him keep the mountains of his life more like actual molehills even when they feel mountains.
- Russell Brand said that when he meditates, he finds “selfless connection.”
- Adam Levine said that yoga helps to settle him, as he has a difficult time staying still. He has said that yoga has taught him “to be more focused and make better decisions that come from a clear place.”
- Jessica Biel claims that yoga meditation allowd her to be “a better mom” and that she emerges from yoga classes “feeling prepared to deal with any situation” and to “step back into the practice of real life.”
- Christina Aguilera encourages that “It takes time” to build one’s confidence in yoga meditation and “to grow into feeling comfortable in your own skin.” But those who are experimenting should know that sometimes you may not feel that it is working but with practice you can learn to find a “place of awareness” with your breath, mind and body.
Try Your Own Meditation Practice Today
With the right tools and investing a little time each day, you’ll be able to find that inner peace and de-stress. Meditation takes practice, so don’t be alarmed if you want to quit at first because you’re not seeing a difference. Learning to let go and focus could be one of the most difficult things you try to do in a world constantly competing for your attention.
However, if you stick with your practice, over time you’ll get better at it, look forward to it and return to it when you are feeling overwhelmed with life and work. Keep this guide handy so that you can create a meditation practice that fits your life and needs.