I started meditating recently, it’s been only few weeks. As I started meditating daily I noticed that every time during meditation my body temperature increases, sometimes I even start sweating and I get sweaty palms as I meditate. Is this normal for beginners in meditation?

Or am I doing something wrong?

I always make sure to keep my spine straight and try to sit in the lotus pose or crossed legs.

I would be very grateful if you could answer my question.

—Abhishek, India


Dear Abhishek,

I am glad that you started to meditate. While not a common occurrence, some meditators do report feeling warm, and sweating during meditation.

Since I don’t know what meditation technique you are practicing, I can’t say if you are doing something wrong and can answer your question only in a general way.

You might find reassurance in knowing that Swami Kriyananda, the founder of Ananda, taught us to “expect a few unusual experiences in meditation, so long as meditation itself has not yet become for one a usual practice!”

In advising one new meditator, he said: “Some of these experiences will be startling; this does not mean they are necessarily bad. Usually it is only in their newness that they awaken fear.”

Generally, when one meditates the body cools down, but some meditation techniques, like pranayamas (breathing exercises), can cause the body to become warmer.
When you meditate, energy is moving, hopefully upward, and that might cause heat. Kriyananda said “there are times in meditation when the awakening energy makes the body uncomfortably warm, to the extent that one might perspire even in cold weather. This kind of heat is nothing to worry about.”

However, if you become painfully hot or have feelings of extreme heat in the spine, this is always a sign to stop what you are doing. For a while, you could give up your yoga practices and confine yourself to simple meditation.

When you meditate, make sure you are relaxed and not tense. Before beginning your practice tense your body first, thereby equalizing the flow of tension throughout the body, and then immediately relax. You will find that you released tensions you didn’t know you had.

To relax your mind, inhale slowly counting one to twelve, hold your breath for the same number of counts, and then exhale for the same count. This is one round of “regular breathing.” Do six to nine rounds. You may either lengthen or shorten the number of counts according to what is comfortable, but keep the inhalation, retention and exhalation equal. Inhale and exhale through the nose.

Kriyananda also recommended limiting your yoga practice to an hour a day and to be moderate in your sex life (some of these problems can result from conflict in the direction of energy-flow).

He said it would also help to concentrate on a photo of a great master, such as Paramhansa Yogananda, who brought the highest teachings of yoga to the West, and ask him to guide you in your yoga practice. Call to Yogananda mentally at the point between the eyebrows, then feel his response in the heart center (opposite the physical heart, in the spine).

If you can, meditate in the same place place every day. The purpose is to build up an atmosphere of calmness and concentration that will aid your practice.

Kriyananda recommended insulating ourselves from downward-pulling energies by sitting on simple woolen blankets. For even more beneficial insulation, he suggested adding a silk cloth over the blanket. It’s also helpful to sit facing east or north. “In meditation, you want both enlightenment (the energy that comes from the east) and soul-freedom (the northern kind of energy).

The sitting position you described for your meditation sounds good. A straight spine is especially important because it makes it easier for the life-force to flow to your brain and induces a positive attitude.

Kriyananda reminded us that “the most important thing on the spiritual path is right attitude – in this case, an attitude of devotional self-surrender to God.”

He also told a beginning meditator: “Many good things will follow from such an attitude. First it will bring physical, emotional and mental relaxation, which alone permits things to happen without strain. Thus, inner unfoldment will take place naturally natural; you will not find anything occurring for which you are not yet ready. Second, it will put experiences in their proper perspective, so that you do not get excited or make too much of them, but offer them trustingly back to God, and go on quietly with your daily practice. Third, it will draw divine aid to you, without which no spiritual progress can be made.”

For more detailed instruction, you might consider studying the Ananda Course in Meditation. The course offers 10 weeks on how to attain your highest soul potential: true happiness, inner peace and the dynamic joy of your soul.

Gradually as you get comfortable meditating, the problems you described will go away unless those signs are considered normal for the technique you are practicing.

Blessings on your practice,

Nayaswami Diksha

Updated May, 2023

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