How to Sit in a Chair for Meditation: Introduction

Bill and I recently recorded a series of videos about how to sit in a chair for optimal energy flow through your body.

Below is the first video in our series of four videos on this subject. Next week we’ll post a video about how to support your back with the back of a chair if you have back issues, or if your back gets tired.

The techniques that Bill teaches in the videos were originally developed for meditation, but they are also helpful for doing other seated activities, such as work, crafts, artwork, gaming, or music.

Sitting for long hours has gotten a lot of negative press lately. And for sure, excessive amounts of sitting can lead to problems. However, sitting is also exceedingly useful for certain activities, meditation being one of them. Additionally, in many professions sitting is hard to avoid.

Many forms of meditation are traditionally done sitting on the floor or on a cushion on the floor. However, for people who are accustomed to sitting in a chair, it can be difficult and even harmful to sit in those positions for long periods of time. And unless you can truly sit comfortably and in good alignment on the floor, it may be a better choice to meditate in a chair.

In Taoist Water Tradition meditation, it is considered to be very important that the body is positioned for optimal energy flow. Our teacher, Bruce Frantzis, has said that sitting with poor alignment is one of the biggest roadblocks for meditators. When your body is not aligned well, it’s energetic flows become distorted and this affects your mind and emotions. Much of the distraction and discomfort that meditators often experience can be eliminated simply by sitting with good alignment.

There is a great wealth of knowledge in the Taoist tradition about how to sit so that the body’s energy channels are open and flowing. Applying these principles could ameliorate some of the potential problems of sitting for long periods of time, such as back pain, neck pain, poor circulation, low energy, brain fog, spinal compression, and excessive muscular tension.

This video project was inspired by Hal Michaels, who designed and built the chair that we use in the video. Our teacher, Bruce Frantzis, has described in some of his books (Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body and The Great Stillness) how to build a chair for sitting meditation that would allow the meditator to sit with optimal alignment. Hal read this description and went the distance. Not only did he build himself a chair using Bruce’s specifications - he’ll build one for you too, designed for your body’s unique proportions.

Hal’s chairs are made of five pieces that easily come apart for easy storage or travel. They are solidly constructed, and he offers several different type of beautiful wood. He is also in the process of designing a chair for sitting in the lotus position with a back support. You can learn more about them at

Of course, it is possible to meditate in any chair. But after watching these videos, I think you’ll appreciate how helpful it would be to have a chair that is designed for your body.

If you try sitting like this, please let us know how it goes in the comments section below.

Video Playback Quality

If this video looks blurry or grainy, please try adjusting the playback settings on youtube. You can do this by clicking on the gear icon near the bottom right corner of the video and selecting the highest available setting you internet connection can handle.

You can also adjust the brightness settings on your display.

For more information:

On the chairs produced by Hal Michaels, please visit:

On how to sit in a chair, read these books by Bruce Frantzis and his company, Energy Arts, Inc:

Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body

The Great Stillness

Medical Disclaimer

The instruction presented in this video is for informational or educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your physician, psychotherapist or other healthcare professional.

© 2019 Bill Ryan, Toward Harmony Tai Chi & Qigong, Northampton, MA, USA. All Rights Reserved.