Inhale and exhale. You start feeling uncomfortable and adjust your seating position. Inhale and exhale. Your knees are cramping, you unfold your legs for a few seconds and fold them again. Inhale and exhale. You remember that you need to straighten your back. Inhale and exhale. Okay, so clearly this isn’t working out and your idea of meditation is not what you had in mind. Instead of taking time to relax and free your mind and body, you end up over-thinking about your comfort and seating position. Enter the meditation cushion, your solution to a much more relaxed experience while practicing yoga or meditation at home.
What is a meditation cushion?
A meditation cushion is a pillow that is specifically designed to allow you to sit comfortably during a meditation posture or while practicing yoga. It’s designed to stop those endless thoughts popping into your head about whether your seating position is correct and comfortable or not. A meditation cushion is supposed to garner a much more focused meditation experience and minimize distractions.
Types of meditation cushions
In the zen tradition, a meditation cushion is called a Zafu. It’s a round cushion filled with buckwheat which makes it heavy enough to keep you from shifting in your seat. Height ranges from 5-7 inches high for the optimum seating position. A Zen is similar to the Zafu in buckwheat filling and height but differ in the shape. A zen pillow is rectangular and wider, allowing your thighs more comfort. The Zabuton, the Japanese-style futon, provides cushioning for the knees and ankles. The cotton-filled cushion can either be used alone or can be placed under your meditation cushion for maximum comfort.
Choosing the right cushion for you
Meditation cushions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the required seating position during a meditation session or a yoga class. Many spiritual and meditation gurus have reviewed countless of cushions online to save you the hassle. According to the guide by Unify Cosmos on meditation cushions, we all have different body types and require support in different areas of our bodies. So while the reviewer may think that one cushion is the best, you might find another one that supports your own needs. Don’t be scared to experiment and try many types of cushions before finding the right one for you.
Why use a meditation cushion?
As with any practice like cooking or art, meditation requires the right tool to guarantee a successful meditating session. Half the battle of meditating is getting comfortable enough that you’re not distracted by thoughts of discomfort or muscle cramping. During longer meditation sessions, the floor can be hard on your knees and ankles, and without the right support, your body will yield to the surface it rests on, causing great discomfort. A meditation cushion elevates your hips just enough to support the natural curve of your spine by rolling your hip slightly forward. Once your spine is aligned, the rest of your body will naturally follow. The buckwheat filling of your cushion is beneficial because it supports the shape of your body and facilitates air circulation.
Sit, breathe and relax
To fully experience a meditation session without any distractions, consider getting a meditation cushion. It helps support your body posture, create proper alignment of your spine and bring you comfort. It will allow you to focus on your breathing and clearing your mind instead of fussing over your seating position. Your body and mind will definitely thank you for it.