Why Does My Body Move Involuntarily When I Meditate?



I have enrolled recently for YSS lessons last month and practice meditation as per instructions.For last three days i feel involuntary movement of my body when i sit for meditation. My body and neck sway or move clockwise. Am i doing anything wrong? If no then what is this and how to control it? I am new to meditation so don’t know much about it.


—Vinit Julka, India


Dear Vinit,

Bodily movements such as you describe are not unusual. Swaying or rotating is sometimes considered indicative of the upward movement of kundalini energy. However, it is best not to dwell or analyze what it is or what it means, if anything at all.

Instead, for a person just beginning meditation practices, it is better to simply relax. The body is accustomed to moving so long as we are not asleep. Its involuntary movements therefore, especially when one is just beginning to establish the habit of meditation, will in time, and with practice and relaxation, begin to subside.

Even if the body moves on its own in meditation because of subtle energy forces in the astral body, one would still want to remain centered in the body (in the subtle spine) and not emphasize or encourage continued bodily movements. The deeper one meditates the less body conscious one becomes. The less body conscious, the more the body becomes inert.

In fact, it is a good practice to consciously relax the body so deeply that you test how long you can remain motionless, without a single bodily movement. This CANNOT be done by force of will; by muscular tension. It can only be done by deeper and deeper relaxation. Our teacher, Swami Kriyananda (a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda) described meditation as “the upward relaxation into superconsciousness.”

Meditation is, however, an art. To be successful you must approach it sensitively. So, too, the body, which is a manifestation of the subconscious mind. Be stern, but not too stern. Relax, but not too much. An upright and natural spine, chest up, shoulders down, head level, palms upward on the thighs; eyes closed and gently raised, peering out through the point between the eyebrows! Do some deep breathing and other breath exercises as you have been taught.

Relax the energy in the body and muscles and draw that energy in to your center: into the subtle spine. Raise that energy upward from the heart to the point between the eyebrows: the seat of enlightenment. Offer yourself one-pointedly, with devotion, to the Infinite Spirit, or to guru or Divine Mother at the point until “I” vanishes and becomes “Thou!”

Peace and joy to you,

Nayaswami Hriman

Ananda Course in Meditation

A 10-week online course with in-depth instruction in scientific meditation techniques that bring more peace, deeper relaxation, and focused concentration to every area of your life.

Learn more