If you’re new to meditation, there is something you should know – sitting meditation is very demanding on the body.
If you stay in one position for long periods of time, you’re bound to get a little antsy.
There is, however, no doubt that using a cushion or something similar will keep you comfortable a little longer.
If you’ve been wondering if you really need to invest in a meditation seat, the honest answer is…maybe. Some people find it easier to sit in a chair to meditate, or they simply sit on the floor.
Other people will use pillows or cushions meant for sleeping, but it will somehow work just fine for them.
Ultimately, the decision is based on what you want and need.
Read on to learn more about the pros of using a meditation cushion, as well as the types of meditation support you can choose from.
Do I Need A Meditation Seat?
Let’s dive a little deeper into the reasons why buying some sort of meditation support seat will benefit you in the long run.
Sitting in the same position for 10 minutes is hard. If you’re sitting on the floor without any support, it’s going to be even harder – literally.
If you’re uncomfortable, you’re not going to have a great meditation session.
Face it, you probably won’t be too eager to do your daily meditations if you know it’s going to be torture.
Think of it like this, you need a proper bed to get a good night’s sleep.
The same can be applied to having a high-quality meditation cushion – your meditation will just be so much more enjoyable.
Seasoned practitioners know this and created various tools to make it possible to meditate for extended periods.
Using the best meditation cushion will prevent your boy from giving in to the shape of the surface it is sitting on. If this happens, your legs, hips, spine, shoulders, and head will misalign and lead to discomfort.
When it comes to the position you choose to meditate in, your ability to stay in it for a set period of time will be determined by how flexible you are.
Your ankles, knees, and hips especially will need to be supple. But even if you are supple in these areas, you will need some sort of back support to ensure that your body stays in proper alignment.
The fundamental aim of meditation support cushion is to lift your pelvis so that your hips end up higher than your knees.
This permits proper blood flow to your legs and feet, and you won’t get pins-and-needles and an achy back while meditating.
How To Pick The Best Meditation Support Cushion
Remember, it’s all about your back and skeleton, and the ability to sit comfortably depends on your spine’s ability to sustain its natural curves.
Not everyone can sit in the traditional meditation position called Sukhasana or Easy Pose because their hips rotate in the wrong direction.
Your knees should be lower than your hips when you sit cross-legged. This means your hip joints rotate externally with ease, and thus your spinal curves will stay intact, and you’ll have back support.
However, if your hips tend to rotate internally more easily, your knees will be at the same level or higher than your hip bones.
When this happens, you lose back support, and things will get uncomfortable.
Keep the above in mind when selecting the best meditation cushion. Here are some more tips on how to choose the best meditation support cushion designed for your body.
Consider in what position you meditate
Do you sit with your legs crossed during meditation, prefer sitting in a meditation chair, or lying down? Or do you switch positions depending on your surroundings?
Well, whichever way you choose, it will have an impact on choosing the correct meditation cushion.
Here are the qualities of a good posture you should aim for during your meditation:
- You will want to keep your back straight. This is vital as this helps you to remain alert and focused.
- Sit on a hard and stable surface as this will allow you to meditate without distractions.
- Make sure you are comfortable. You are supposed to relax while you are meditating. If you’re in pain, that is never going to happen.
If you are used to sitting cross-legged on the floor and have been doing it from an early age, you will have a much easier time adapting to the classic meditation positions.
But not all of us are that lucky, and we have to find ways to make it work for us – making meditation support instrumental.
Comfort is your key to success
We briefly touched on the importance of having a comfortable seat to sit on when meditating. To add to that, the level of comfort you’re in when meditating will play an important role in building consistency.
You’re not going to be very excited to stick to your meditation practice if you know it’s going to start to hurt a few minutes in.
Select a meditation cushion that will offer back support and remove any (or most) discomfort, and you will want to stick to your meditation schedule.
Which Meditation Cushion is Best?
There is quite a selection of meditation support on the market. The type of meditation cushion you select will, as mentioned earlier, depend on the position you meditate in and your body.
Below you will find a few of the most common meditation seats.
Zafu and Zen Cushions
By far, the most popular and most traditional type of meditation support cushions on the market. Zafus are round cushions, about five inches high and filled with buckwheat hulls.
The height of a Zafu cushion will be adequate for the comfort and back support of most people. Zen cushions are the same height as Zafu cushions but are rectangular in shape.
Hint: Sit on the front half of the Zafu cushion for proper spinal alignment.
V-shaped Meditation Cushions
If your hip joints rotate externally with ease, your legs may need more support than the traditional Zafu or Zen cushions offer.
V-shaped cushions slant downwards and offer support to your entire leg. It also encourages your pelvis to tilt forward for perfect spinal alignment and back support.
Create a 5-inch thick stack with blankets to find out if you will enjoy a seat designed in this way. Observe if your knees are higher or lower than your hips.
If they are higher, the v-cushion is not the seat for you as your legs won’t be able to rest on the ‘legs’ of the v-cushion due to being up in the air.
Meditation Chair or Bench
For those people who experience knee pain when sitting in Sukhasana, a meditation chair or bench is the perfect alternative.
When using this type of meditation seat, it does not matter if your hips externally rotate since you won’t be crossing your legs.
Some people don’t get tired when using a meditation chair or bench. They experience the opposite and actually feel an increase in their energy levels.
That is another plus point to consider when shopping for the best meditation chair.
Basically, a mini-futon, a Zabuton, is a wide, rectangular, cotton-filled cushion. A lot of practitioners place a Zabuton cushion underneath their Zafu or Zen cushions for extra comfort.
You don’t want your ankle bones, feet or knees to press into the hard floor. It can become extremely uncomfortable and even painful the longer you meditate.
To help you out, the Zabuton was designed wide enough to provide a soft barrier between you and the floor.
Alexia Meditation Seat
This is the Rolls Royce of meditation chairs. Designed to support the lower back, hip bones, knees, instep, and feet while in a Sukhasana pose, this seat offers the ultimate back support.
The designers of this ergonomically correct meditation chair claim that it prevents the tearing and degeneration of muscles, joints, and bones.
It also reportedly boosts concentration and meditation performance while reducing stress.
The Alexia Meditation Seat raises the hips and rotates them forward to help you naturally sit up straight with your legs folded underneath you.
This meditation chair also lessens the pressure of your body weight on your ankles.
Artificial Intelligence Cushion
This is pretty out of this world, but things like smart cushions exist. The Levels Biofeedback Cushion, for example, captures your breath and heart patters and, with that information, measures the depth of your meditation.
You link it with an app on your phone, and over time, you’ll be able to understand exactly how meditation is impacting your life.
Smart cushions are for people who are very passionate about there meditation practice and want to be time-efficient.
Whether you decided to go with a Zafu, Zen cushion, meditation chair, or the big kahuna, the Alexia meditation chair is a matter of personal choice.
Keep in mind that you want to calm your mind and body when you meditate and discomfort of any type will make this impossible.
Select a meditation cushion that will allow you to sit for extended periods of time with your spinal curves intact. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cushion, chair, bench or on the floor, as long as you keep up your meditation
Your body will get used to sitting in these positions the more you meditate. However, if any pain persists even after selecting the best meditation cushion for you, make sure you’re not overdoing it!