This month’s question. “If I am feeling restless when sit down to meditate, do you think it is a good idea to do some yoga or stretching before the mediation?”
The first thing I would like to say is that if you can sense your restlessness, that’s terrific as this is mindfulness at work.
I think you can experiment with trying to do some favourite stretches before you start a sitting meditation. This can help the body and mind to settle and it is useful to start a meditation feeling comfortable. Try it out and, if it works, I say “do it”. Another approach is to do a few minutes of walking meditation.
You could also try the approach of sensing the restlessness and choosing to sit anyway without the stretches. Investigate the impact of this approach and see if the restlessness subsides.
One way or the other, restlessness is an aspect of our experience that we can bring mindfulness to in any formal mindfulness practice. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn and put out the “welcome mat” for these uncomfortable states.