shuchau deshe pratishthaapya sthiramaasanamaatmanaha |
naatyucchritam naatineecham chailaajinakushottaram || 11 ||

In a clean place, establish your stable seat that is not too high or low, with cloth, deerskin and grass.
shuchau : clean
deshe : place
pratishthaapya : establish
sthiram : stable
aasanam : seat
aatmanaha : your
na : not
ati : too
ucchritam : high
neecham : low
chaila : cloth
ajina : deerskin
kusha : grass
uttaram : thereafter
Shri Krishna now describes the actual process of meditation. In this shloka, he talks about
how to sit down and where to sit down for meditation. He says that the seat of meditation should be in a clean and pure place, it should not be too high or too low, and should have sufficient insulation such as a cloth.
First let us look at what is meant by “shuchau deshe” or clean place. The seat of meditation should be placed in a clean and pure location. Some places are naturally clean and pure, and some can be cleaned through one’s effort. Anything that distracts us from meditation becomes an obstacle. If something is dirty, or we are afraid that some insects are around, we cannot do meditation. Preferably, it should be a room or an area of the house where we do not have strong associations. If we meditate in the kitchen, out of habit we will start thinking about food and so on. Therefore, without a clean and pure place, meditation is not possible for beginners.
There is a subtle point made here that merits attention. Why should we sit for meditation? Why cannot we stand or sleep in meditation? Meditation requires the cultivation of saattvic tendencies. It is not possible in sleeping which is a tamasic posture, or in standing which is a raajasic posture. That is why we need to sit. Sitting in one place without doing anything itself becomes difficult for many of us. Hence, that should be our first step.
Next, let’s look at the seat itself. Shri Krishna says that the height of the seat should not be too high so that we are scared of falling down, or too low that insects and other animals can bother us. It should be stable so that we are not distracted by the constant fear of falling down.
Finally, Shri Krishna asks us to put cloth, deer skin and kusha grass on the seat. What is meant here is that there should be a layer of insulation between our body and the seat. The seat could be very cold or hot, which could again become a distraction to the mind.
Having prepared oneself in a seating posture, what should come next? Shri Krishna covers this point in the next shloka.