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Tips on how to Select a Meditation Cushion or Bench

This entry was posted on Mar 2, 2023 by Charlotte Bell.

Folks generally chuckle after I inform them that sitting on a meditation cushion is bodily rigorous. Nevertheless it’s true. Whenever you sit nonetheless and tune into your physique for any size of time, you’re prone to develop into uncomfortable. And sitting for lengthy durations in the identical place will in some unspecified time in the future begin to make you antsy.

Even in my hour-long meditation class, folks generally expertise bodily difficulties. That’s after I work with them to seek out the most effective sitting place. How snug you’re if you’re training sitting meditation is essentially decided by what you select to take a seat on. Every particular person’s physique is completely different, so I additionally assist them discover the suitable help for his or her particular person physique..

It’s All About Your Skeleton

Curves of the Spine

Comfy sitting relies on your backbone’s skill to keep up its pure curves (see illustration). The human backbone holds itself up naturally when its curves are in integrity. The place of your sacrum determines your spinal curves. The optimum place for the sacrum is an roughly 30-degree ahead tilt. When the sacrum is in that place, the remainder of the curves extra simply fall into place.

In sitting meditation, due to the form and construction of our hip joints, or due to inflexibility, the sacrum typically results in a vertical place, as an alternative of the 30-degree ahead tilt. In some instances, the sacrum may even tilt backward as an alternative of ahead. When this occurs, our lumbar curve has to straighten and even flex ahead, inflicting us to have to make use of a complete lot of core energy to take a seat upright. Once we spend a variety of vitality simply to take a seat upright, we get drained fairly rapidly.

How You Sit Issues

Whereas Sukhasana (Straightforward Cross-Legged Pose) is the standard sitting place, not everybody can sit this fashion. Some folks’s hip joints simply rotate externally, whereas others’ extra simply rotate internally. In case your knees are decrease than your hip bones if you sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion, meaning your hip joints rotate externally with ease. When your knees are decrease than the hip bones, your sacrum will tilt ahead, maintaining your spinal curves intact. In case your hip joints internally rotate extra simply, your knees will rise to the extent of the hip bones or greater. When your knees are greater than your hip bones, your sacrum will naturally tilt backward, making sitting for lengthy durations uncomfortable.

We have to sit excessive sufficient on a meditation cushion or bench in order that our sacrum, and due to this fact our pelvis, can tilt ahead in order that the spinal curves can fall into place. That’s the reason meditation cushions are designed to present us additional peak. Listed here are some recommendations on how to decide on the most effective help on your physique and your apply:

Zafu and Zen Meditation Cushions

Zafu Meditation Cushion - Aqua

Zafus are the standard, spherical meditation cushion. At about 5 inches excessive, Zafus can be greater than ample for snug sitting for most individuals.

Our Zen Cushions are related in peak to our Zafus, however rectangular and wider in form. Whether or not you select the Zafu or Zen is a matter of non-public desire. Sitting on the huge aspect of the Zen Pillow will help the tops of your thighs greater than the Zafu will. Some folks favor extra thigh help, whereas others favor that their higher thighs lengthen off the sting of their cushion. All in all, the help may be very related between the 2 of them.

Zen Meditation Cushion - Olive

For those who’re pondering of making an attempt a Zafu or Zen Cushion for cross-legged sitting, first attempt sitting on a 5-inch-high stack of agency blankets together with your ankles on the ground in entrance of your blanket stack. Examine the place your knees land, and in the event you discover that your knees are at hip bone stage or greater, Sukhasana may not be your finest meditation place.

The excellent news is that the Zafu and Zen are adaptable. If cross-legged sitting doesn’t be just right for you, you possibly can flip your Zafu or Zen Cushion on its aspect. Place it between your thighs and sit on it together with your knees bent, shins on the ground on both aspect of the cushion.

V-Formed Meditation Cushion

V-Shaped Meditation Cushion - Rain

Our V-Formed Cushion is analogous in peak and function to the Zafu. However right here’s what makes me love the V-Formed Cushion: As a result of my hip joints externally rotate simply, my legs want extra help than conventional cushions can provide. The V-Formed Cushion slants downward in order that it helps your complete leg and encourages your pelvis to tilt ahead—offered your hips externally rotate as described above.

As with the Zafus, you possibly can verify whether or not a V-Formed Meditation Cushion is suitable for you by sitting on a 5-inch stack of agency blankets and observing whether or not your legs are greater or decrease than your pelvis. In case your legs can’t relaxation on the “legs” of the cushion as a result of they’re excessive within the air, the V-Formed Cushion gained’t be snug. If you should utilize a Zafu in a cross-legged place, you’ll in all probability additionally discover the V-Formed Cushion to be snug.

All of Hugger Mugger’s meditation cushions are crammed with natural buckwheat hulls. The zippered covers permit you to add or subtract filling as you want. Right here’s an outline of all the alternatives.

Meditation Bench

Meditation Bench - Olive

Meditation Bench is a superb various to utilizing a meditation cushion. There are a number of benefits. As a result of you don’t sit cross-legged on a Meditation Bench, it doesn’t matter whether or not or not your hip joints externally rotate.

When you’ve got a bent to get drained if you meditate, a Meditation Bench is likely to be a sensible choice. Briefly, sitting on a bench can, for some folks, improve your vitality stage. Right here’s a put up that explains why.


Zabuton Meditation Pillow - Olive

A Zabuton is sort of a mini-futon. It’s a large, rectangular, cotton-filled cushion with a detachable cotton cowl.

Putting a Zabuton underneath your meditation cushion or bench will increase your consolation. Ankle bones, toes or knees urgent in opposition to a tough ground could really feel okay at first. However over time, even 20 to half-hour, it’s prone to get fairly uncomfortable.

A Zabuton is a worthwhile funding in the event you’re going to decide to a meditation apply.

Sukasana Meditation Cushion

Sukasana Meditation Cushion - Wild Sky

Hugger Mugger’s Sukasana Cushion is a a lot smaller, transportable meditation cushion. Whereas it doesn’t give as a lot hip help as our different meditation cushions, this small cushion is nice for touring or for taking with you to a yoga studio.

Consolation is Key

Whether or not you determine to make use of a Zafu, Zen Pillow, V-Formed Cushion or Meditation Bench is a matter of non-public desire. Do not forget that no matter you select ought to permit you to sit comfortably with all of your spinal curves intact.

Try our Meditation Cushion Information for more information.

If you wish to learn in additional element about the right way to sit comfortably, or the right way to construction a yoga apply to help your sitting, choose up my ebook Yoga for Meditators. In it I commit a number of chapters to selecting the best sitting help and discovering the optimum sitting place.

Zafuko® Cushions: A Light-weight Different

In the previous few years, we added one other various to our meditation cushion assortment. Our Zafuko® Cushions are extraordinarily mild weight, a terrific various to the heavier meditation cushions and benches we provide. Right here’s an article that explains all of the choices.

About Charlotte Bell

Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Conscious Yoga, Conscious Life: A Information for On a regular basis Follow and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third ebook is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and folks sextet Purple Rock Rondo, whose DVD gained two Emmy awards in 2010.

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