In our meditation beginner guide, we have talked about how meditation cushions can help to adjust our posture and relieve stress. So in this post, we are taking one step further to take a look at how to choose a meditation pillow base on position and your need.
How Does Support Matter To Meditation
When you first begin to meditate, 5 minutes on your sofa or on your bed is a already a good start. As you progress in your practice, the duration of each meditate session becomes longer. And you will need to be in a perfect posture to keep your mind focused and your breathe stable. That’s when a meditation cushion comes handy. A good meditation pillow keeps your spine aligned and straight. By lifting your seated position, it makes more room and support for you to relax your whole body.
If you have ever tried to keep yourself in the lotus position on the floor for over 10 minutes, you know how much your outer thighs and knees hurt. Most sofas and beds are too soft that our body will sink towards the bottom. It will then transfer all the stress to our back and our legs will easily go numb. When you are not feeling 100% comfortable, it’s very likely that you may not be benefiting fully from the time you spend on meditation.
Different Meditation Positions:
image from Pinterest
How To Choose The Right Meditation Support
Pillows aren’t the only one in the game when it comes to providing support. Due to different needs and types of meditation, the industry has revolutionized designs and models over time to better suit the various market.
In general, there are 4 types of meditation support valid in 2018:
1. Zafu and Zabuton Cushion
- Zafu Meditation Cushion
Zafu cushion usually refers to the round-shaped or moon-shaped cushion, in comparison to the zabuton cushions, usually in the form of a mat. Zafu cushions provide support for the hip and thigh while lifting the whole body up, leaving enough space to breathe more smoothly and deeply. If you have trouble keeping your back straight during meditation, zafu is the right type for you.
image from Pinterest
Our favorite zafu pillow has these 4 things that we just LOVE:
- Color and size optional
- The cover is removable and can be washed with washing machine
Perfect for those who love to meditate as they go.
- Organic Material
Filled with buckwheat and cotton so it keeps the balance of softness and firmness.
- Keeps the budget
Great for new meditators that are not ready to invest too much. Getting a basic one can already satisfy most of your need.
Check Current Price>> If you are constantly traveling and don’t want to compromise your meditation on the hotel bed, this zafu is perfect for you. It’s light-weighted and comes with a carrying handle. Fitting it in a suitcase and you are go to go. Its removable and washable makes it easy to keep it clean even when you are taking it everywhere.
- Zabuton Meditation Cushion
Zabuton is a flatter version of zafu, usually larger but in the shape a mat. Zabuton provides support for the knee and outer thigh without giving much levitation. So it’s good for the those with knee pain but doesn’t have much trouble keeping their back straight.
While Zafu and Zabuton all have their own advantages, a popular practice is to combine them together into a set. In this way, both your spine and knee are well supported. Your meditation sessions will be inspiring and comforting. This zafu and zabuton set is our favorite.
Most zafu and zabuton is not washable, this one is an exception. The cover of both parts is made of 100% cotton, keeping it natural and organic. With zafu and zabuton together, it is twice stress-relieving. If you are suffering from a poor back alignment, this one is perfect for you. Check current price>>
2. Meditation Bench
While the lotus is the most preferred meditating posture, some favors a kneeling position(namely “seiza” position). If you are a knee meditator, instead of the traditional pillows, a bench may be more suitable for you. With a bench, your hip is elevated. There is enough space to put your legs on the bench thus keep them from getting numb over time. Also, benches are more stable for seiza than cushions so you are less likely to move around during the practice.
Our top-rated bench here is handmade with acacia wood, which is usually used in flooring because of its durability. The bench is designed to be slightly tilting to better fit the seiza position more. This bench is loved by this meditation teacher and his students as well!
3. Meditation Sofa
Meditation sofa is a new genre that appears in the couple years. It is a luxurious version of a cushion set. It combines the softness of a cushion and the stableness of a bench, thus making meditation a pleasant experience not only for your mind but also for your body.
Our top pick meditation sofa is a winner of Reddot Design Award. This chair simply molds the human posture of a lotus position and take care of your hip, knees, ankles and lower back. The internal metallic skeleton makes it more durable and stable for most of the meditators. It’s making meditation an obsession for many people and it’s absolutely the meditation guilty pleasure.
Check current price>>
4. Meditation Chair
For meditators with back pain or need extra back support, a meditation chair will do a better job than a cushion or bench. It provides great support for the back and helps to relieve the stress. But it is not too saggy so you don’t easily fall asleep by getting “too comfortable”.
Designed by a meditation practitioner, this chair allows you to cross the ankles or the feet or pull them up on the soft seat. What we love about this chair is the addition lumbar supporting pillow that takes one step forward in stress-relieving and makes it perfect for those with back pain, back injuries or elderly who have trouble sitting straight for too long. Also, it’s foldable. So you don’t need to worry about it taking up too much space while you are not meditating.
Our Final Thoughts
We can’t simply say which one is the best meditation support because we all have different needs. A good cushion should be able to keep you focused, give you comfort and protect you from injuring yourself. It is definitely an ideal investment and will be the center of your meditation space and your best companion.