For broader discussion of meditation, see the Meditation page
Sri Aurobindo on posture during meditation
Nirodbaran: Is there any truth in the demand for an erect position in meditation? People here assume all sorts of postures.
Sri Aurobindo: Yes, the erect posture helps in the meditation. Whatever one receives in the subtle body is easy to transmit to the physical through that posture. There are so many Asanas and one can get the right position, then the body doesn’t move.
Nirodbaran: The Mother’s body also stoops down in meditation
Sri Aurobindo: Her body is very plastic. It changes according to the nature of the meditation. You know, formerly her appearance used to change.
Nirodbaran: X, we hear, is obliged to get up when the light comes down into his body.
Sri Aurobindo: That means he can’t hold the power when it comes.
[Nirodbaran, Talks with Sri Aurobindo, Vol 1, p119]
The Mother (Mira Alfassa) in conversation with Satprem
…It’s the same as if I thought it impossible to meditate unless I sat cross-legged and bolt upright! … Fortunately, I lived with Sri Aurobindo, who never used to sit cross-legged. He told me right away that it was all a question of habits – subconscious habits. It has no importance whatsoever. And how well he explained: if a posture is necessary for you, it will come by itself. And it’s perfectly true, for instance, that when necessary, the body will suddenly sit up straight – it comes spontaneously. As he said, the important thing is not the external frame but the inner experience, and if there is a physical necessity and your inner experience is entirely sincere, that physical necessity will come ALL BY ITSELF.[[Such is the case, for example, of Anandamayi-Ma, who was said to be hysterical because of the strange gestures she made during her meditations, until it turned out that they were ritual asanas and mudras which she performed spontaneously. ]] This is something I am absolutely sure of. And he gave me his own example (I had mine, too) of certain things considered dangerous or bad, which we both did independently and spontaneously, and which were a great help to us! Consequently, all those stories of posture and so on are the petty mechanical bounds of the human mind.
[Agenda, May 11, 1963]
Ramana Maharshi on posture(Asana)
Disciple: Which posture (asana) is the best?
Maharshi: Any asana, possibly sukha asana (easy posture or the half-Buddha position). But that is immaterial for jnana, the Path of Knowledge.
Disciple: Does posture indicate the temperament?
Disciple: What are the properties and effects of the tiger’s skin, wool, or deer-skin, etc.?
Maharshi: Some have found them out and related them in Yoga books. They correspond to conductors and non-conductors of magnetism, etc. But it is all immaterial for the Path of Knowledge (Jnana Marga). Posture really means location and steadfastness in the Self. It is internal. The others refer to external positions.
(Talks with Ramana Maharshi, Talk 17, 24th January 1935, p 10)
See also: Stabilizing the body before meditation