How to Meditate Lying Down

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Ok. I have a confession to make before you read more. I will not cut right to the chase of this topic. I’m going to ask you a bunch of questions first.

What?!

Yep, I said it. I know many of you are here for answers. I will give you what you want later, but I have to give you what you need first.

You need good questions. Most people live their lives, day in and day out, not knowing why they do what they do. It’s always easier to live on autopilot, isn’t it?

But how can you expect different results when you keep living your life the same way?

Let me tell you my first reaction when I saw this subject line. “What? Why? Why do you need to meditate lying down?”

“Why do you want to meditate lying down?”

Or even, “Why do you want to meditate?”

Can you give me an honest answer?

See, the “How to” is never the actual solution—the actual solution lies in the why, in your purpose. I need to understand why you want to meditate lying down so I can guide you in the right direction. 

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3 Reasons to Meditate Laying Down

1. Do You Want to Include Meditation as Your Bedtime Routine?

If the answer is yes, that makes sense why you’d like to meditate lying down—to help you get to sleep faster.

While this is a great way to prepare you for better sleep, it’s not the only way. And you gotta make sure you’re doing other things correctly to help you achieve this goal as well.

For example, if you had a cup of coffee after dinner and want to use meditation to help you fall asleep faster, you may not be successful if you are sensitive to caffeine.

If you’ve had a long day on zoom meetings and want to take a break and unwind, you might want to do some physical activities (taking a walk, stretching, etc) before becoming a “corpse”.

You get the idea. Meditation is a means to an end, but it’s not the only means. For better results, you need to make better choices.

Bottom line is, if you want to use meditation as a bedtime routine to improve your sleep, you don’t need to worry about it at all—the result is to fall asleep, not to be mindful. Just hit the sack. 

2. Do You Want to Wake up with a Lying-Down Meditation?

Ah-ha, I got you. That’s the tricky part, and that’s probably what you are here for. “I want to meditate first thing in the morning, right after I open my eyes. Wait, I actually want to keep my eyes closed and meditate in bed!”

Really? Do you want to do that, or do you just need more sleep?

If you need more sleep, the problem is also solved—get yourself more sleep! Go to bed earlier, have better sleep hygiene, and try waking up every day at the same time. 

The worst thing is that you know you need more sleep, but you also think you should get up, meditate, and start your day. Those two combatting thoughts give you an idea—why don’t I just meditate in bed for 5 minutes, so I get both?

Truth is, you don’t get both—at least not at the same time. Either you are ready to rise and can meditate while sitting down, or you need more sleep. You pick one.

If you choose more sleep and feel bad about it? Oh, we’ll have to look into that in another article. My point is, you know what you need at this moment. Just accept it, and stick with your choice, drama-free.

3. Do You Want to Have More Support While Meditating?

A sitting position might be too restricting to you while meditating, and you want to try something different. You might want to have more support, or you are simply bored with the same meditation. 

If lying down to meditate is a conscious decision, go for it. You know what you’re doing, and you are going to make it work no matter what. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you have a greater experience. 

How to Meditate Laying Down

Don’t Meditate Laying Down in Your Bed

Get a yoga mat, or a towel, or just lie down on the floor. Use your bed only for sleep and sex—trust me, you will see an improvement in the quality of your sleep right away. 

Lying down on a yoga mat, a towel, or your floor will make it much harder for you to fall asleep—a harder surface and a cooler temperature keeps your mind stay alert.

Start With Guided Meditation

If you are a meditation expert who doesn’t use any guidance, you won’t need any simply because you’re now lying down.

If you are relatively new to meditation, choose a breath-based guidance.

The benefit of lying down is that you will be more aware of your breath and abdomen movement as your body is stretched out and supported. That will make it easier for you to stay mindful throughout the meditation.

Use Visualization

If you like visualization, which is a very effective form of medication, lying down also gives you the option to visualize different things.

Instead of “imagining yourself sitting at the beach or on the mountain top”, try imaging floating on the sea and gaze at the stars, or floating on the cloud watching planes passing you by. 

You can also visualize a stream of light emanating from your spine, sending energy to different parts of your body. Because you are now relaxed and stretched out, this kind of visualization can be even more helpful as you become more aware of your body and breath. 

You get the idea. Try different meditation guides to see what works best. Shake things up. Experiment and practice. Just be aware and be present—because that’s the whole point.

Can you see how many possible solutions you can come up with here? Once you know your “why”, you will be able to figure out “how”. Your brain is smart enough—it just needs to know the purpose and the direction.

Why You Should Meditate

Now, let’s take a look at the even bigger question: Why do you want to meditate? Because honestly, if you want to lie down and take a nap, go for it.

As popular as it seems, meditation is only a means to achieve mindfulness, but you don’t have to do it to be mindful. What do I mean by that? 

Let’s say you meditate 10 minutes a day, every morning. Then you have another 23 hours and 50 minutes when you are not meditating. If you take 7 or 8 hours of sleep out from that time, you still have about 16 hours every day when you are awake and living. 

See?

Those are the hours when you need to be mindful the most. Those are the hours when you need to be your best friend. Those are the hours when you want to fully experience every part of your life.

Meditation certainly helps, but it’s not the only way to help you be more mindful. 

What you need is to make a decision, a commitment to yourself, that you are going to be more mindful and present. You can practice mindfulness by doing yoga, by spending quality time with your family, by eating slowly and tasting your meals. 

You can try sensory exercises, visualization exercises, float therapy, etc. They all work. They are all helpful. You just need to try and find out what works best for you, then figure out how to do that consistently. 

If eventually you find out meditation lying down is what you like most and what works best for you, go to the section above and find out that answer. I won’t be surprised if you come up with ideas better than mine—again, you are very smart. You know how once you know why. 

Do you see how we are looking at the big picture first, before getting into the nitty-gritty of certain things? That’s how you ask brilliant questions to gain clarity.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Now, go out into the world, live your life, and don’t stop asking yourself why. 

Additional Resources

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About the author

Yiqing Zhao
Yiqing Zhao is a creative life coach certified in NLP and Habit Coaching. She is also an award-winning actor, filmmaker, and author. She helps artists and entrepreneurs belong, become, and maximize their creativity to create the life they want. Hang out with her on Instagram.

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