If you’re the type of person who loves maintaining your health and does regular meditation, then a meditation pillow might be perfect for you. For starters simply sit on the floor if you want, that is uncomfortable. Use pillows or cushions from your furniture for a test run. Eventually, though, if you’re not sitting straight on a chair, you’ll probably do good buying a dedicated meditation cushion. The cushion will help your sitting posture and help you make a peaceful mindfulness corner that will encourage you to practice every day. The cushions are not expensive, they’re generally pretty affordable. The practical thing is to find just the right one.
Formerly, there was the use of ancient meditation cushions. In the past, Chinese nuns and monks had hand-stitched mats made of dried grass. They carried these mats on their backs and would use them to cover them if it rained. If there was dew on the ground, the nuns and monks would place their mats on the ground and perch in on them. They could sit for hours with their legs crossed and their eyes closed in deep meditation. Even though these grass cushions were common back in the day, they’re not easy to find today.
In Asia, currently, in India and Nepal, for example, people often sit on the ground on mats to do their everyday activities, as they have for a long time. In suburban areas, school children might use a cowshed as a classroom during daylight hours, perching on the straw while the cow is grazing. In modern homes, as well, meals are often taken while perching on a carpet and cushions around a small table.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the best way you can choose the perfect meditation pillow for you!
Keep your meditation posture in mind
- Your back should be upright. This awakens the body and remains focused.
- You require stability. This allows you to meditate without obstacles.
- Comfort is necessary. Make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed during your meditation session. If you’re uncomfortable, your legs are falling asleep, or there’s too much of a problem, simply change your posture or take a break and come back to your meditation when you are ready to start again.
Keep your comfort in mind
It is better to invest in a comfortable meditation pillow that will motivate you to meditate. If you think of the Seiza style of sitting, where you sit helped by a pillow or a bench in the kneeling position, there are little wood benches and zafu meditation cushions that are designated for this. Seiza, which originates from Japan, is the best choice for meditators who prefer not to sit with their legs crossed. It encourages an upright back but doesn’t put more stress on the knees and maybe best for individuals who are older or less movable.
The major materials that are used to make meditation cushions are:
- Kapok fiber, a natural cotton used material that is taken from tropical trees
- Buckwheat hulls
Kapok fiber is used in firm cushions that hold your body sturdily. If of low-grade quality, clumping can be a problem. Buckwheat hulls are for a heavier meditation pillow and are very widely chosen for home meditation spaces. They can be changed to adapt to your sitting position but won’t hold their shape from one session to the other. Wool cushions and meditation pillows are durable, lighter and extremely good on your back. They’re not usually as strong as kapok-filled cushions and maybe too stretchy for those who like a strong, thick seat. Wool cushions help blood circulation and are often preferred by experts. You can also find zafu shells that are just filled with a fillable beach ball: perfect for traveling.
The most common problem for meditation people in western countries is that their hip & knee joints and feet are not used to sitting in a cross-legged position. In eastern cultures such as India, children learn to sit on the floor in a cross-legged position while doing daily routine activities such as studying, eating, watching, playing etc. This is majorly due to abnormal blood circulation caused by 2 reasons: The feet are resting on a hard floor; It is common with all round-shaped cushions: the cushion presses into the back area of the thighs with all the body weight focused at this point. The blood circulation is not good and tingling pain increases.