Formal Practice happens when we assume a particular posture, such as sitting, standing up, or lying down, and do a formal technique, a specific practice in this posture, for a certain period of time.
Formal meditation practice is a lot like going to the gym and doing an exercise routine. It’s structured, intentional, and focused. The aim of formal practice is to strengthen our mental capacities in a concentrated way. Which capacities we strengthen largely depends on which style of practice we’re doing, but in all cases formal practice is about honing our meditative abilities in a structured environment. Now, a dedicated practitioner may average something like 30 minutes, or an hour, or even more, each day, of formal practice. But that still leaves 20-plus hours of the day & night unaccounted for. And this is where the next type of practice comes in: Life Practice