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I understand after going through few posts here that even though shavasana is not a preferred posture for meditation as the person may fall off to sleep, hence padmasana/siddhasana is the best asana. But my question is:

  1. Provided the person does not fall asleep are the benefits of meditating in shavasana the same as padmasana/siddhasana, I mean he will achieve everything in the former asana that can be achieved using the latter ones?

  2. Are there any other known drawbacks of meditating in shavasana other than sleep?

  3. Mostly we find references/illustrations of sadhaks meditating in padmasana/siddhasana so just curious if there are any references anywhere that depicts the sadhak meditating in shavasana?

  • Padamasana siddhasana creates pressure on Mooladhara zone! – Parabrahman Jyoti Apr 23 at 15:34
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    No one meditates in shavasana .. I think its necessary that one keeps the spine erect .. shavasan is for relaxing after you are tired after a hatha yoga session.. – Rickross Apr 23 at 16:01
  • @Rickross well even in shavasana the spine remains erect .. no? – Just_Do_It Apr 23 at 19:20
  • I meant you have to keep the spine upright .. I think you have to be in a seated posture but in Shavasana you are lying down @Just_Do_It – Rickross Apr 24 at 5:50
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It is not recommended that you meditate while lying down. One has to sit at least in an upright position.

Quoting from the book "Meditation and its Practice" by Swami Rama.

Suggestions for Making Sitting Positions More Comfortable:

It is not recommended that you meditate while lying down. There are several reasons for this. One of the most important is that most people rapidly fall asleep in a reclining position, or have difficulty maintaining any alertness or awareness. Obviously, if you are dozing or asleep, you won't be able to meditate.

Actually, there is also a more subtle reason. At deeper levels of meditation it is important to be able to sit with the spine correctly alligned, since this allows a certain type of subtle energy to move upward through the body. This interesting topic is dealt with in great detail in several advanced level books on meditation, such as Path of Fire and Light.

Chapter 3 -- Meditative Postures, page 35

So, Shavasana, which is basically lying down and not a sitting posture, is not recommended for meditation.

The author suggests that the aspirant must decide on any particular posture of his/her choice and then try to master it. Once one is able to sit in a particular posture for a relatively long period of time without feeling any discomfort and without having a feel of the body, then that is called Asana Siddhi. With that Siddhi being achieved success in meditation becomes easier to attain.

Updating the answer with couple of VedAnta Sutras (Brahma Sutras).

Vedanta Sutra 4th adhyaya, 1st pada states:

Asinah sambhavAt || (7)

UpAsana is possible only while being in a seated posture, therefore do it while seating.

DhyAnAccha || (8)

For DhyAna (meditation) too [the rule is the same].

  • Got your point, one clarification needed should we proceed to shavasana after meditation for relaxation or before starting meditation ... just to relax mind n body??? Any idea?? @rickross – Just_Do_It Apr 24 at 14:38
  • If u can buy that book it will be the best, it has everything that u may want to know.. @Just_Do_It – Rickross Apr 24 at 14:46
  • Chapter 2 is wholly dedicated to preparing for meditation .. @Just_Do_It – Rickross Apr 24 at 14:47
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    Briefly the following steps are to be followed: 1. cleansing (either bath or washing face, feet, hands) 2. stretching (some asanas or some stretch to make the body fatigue free, agile) 3. relaxing Shavasana 4. calming the mind and nervous system (yogic breathing, deep breathing, pranayama), 5. sitting in meditation @Just_Do_It – Rickross Apr 24 at 14:52
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    Got it, am doing most of these just that I prefer relaxing shavasana at the end ... when am done with meditation. It helps a lot :) – Just_Do_It Apr 24 at 14:55

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