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How To Choose A Meditation Cushion

A good meditation cushion will aid your success in meditating by putting your body in proper alignment so that you can physically relax. When your body is relaxed, your mind can relax. Your investment in a cushion set also helps to increase your commitment to meditating regularly.

When you set up a nice spot in your home for meditation, it will invite you to come and sit. And, it’s also a visual reminder when you walk by if you have slipped off your schedule. When you find colors and prints for your cushions that inspire you, it gives your meditation spot that extra something that you can enjoy. The more time you spend on your cushions, the more like home they will feel.

A meditation cushion is different from the cushions or pillows from your couch or bed, which are mostly made for softness. Meditation cushions are made to give you support, as well as softness. They will continue to provide this support over many years and don’t break down like a synthetic cushion will.

There are just a couple steps to find the right cushion, so let’s get started. 

Quick Overview 

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Getting the Height Right

The rule of thumb is to sit with your hips above your knees. As certified Rolfer, Will Johnson recommends in his book The Posture of Meditation, “This allows the pelvis to tip slightly forward so that the weight of the upper body can rest directly above, or even a bit in front of, the sitting bones of the pelvis”.

If your knees are higher than your hips, it can cause back, hip, and neck pain. Johnson recommends to keep adding support cushions until your hips sit higher than your knees. He cautions against going to high which can cause aches and pains as well.

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Finding The Best Cushion Type For You

Tibetan Seat

Shop Tibetan SeatsThis style of rectangular cushion with foam filling was developed by the Tibetan monk, Chogyam Trungpa for his Western practitioners when he noticed that they were having a hard time sitting still. It’s the perfect cushion for those who are less flexible in their hips, knees, and back as it provides extra height that doesn’t compress or shift like kapok, cotton, or buckwheat.

Our foam has been carefully developed to have just the right balance between support and comfort. It’s firm but still has some give. A cushion that is too firm can cause strain on the lower back and become uncomfortable when sitting for longer durations. And conversely, a cushion that is too soft can cause your body to continually work to keep you balanced so that you cannot relax your body and mind. Also, a cushion that is too soft may not have the support to allow for proper posture.

The rectangular shape has more width than a rounded cushion to support the legs a bit more. This can be particularly helpful during long periods of sitting.

Because of the extra height, it is the cushion of choice for anyone who is less flexible or who has joint pain. This is the most versatile cushion we offer that suits all body types from small to large frames and all flexibilities.

Zafu

The traditional meditation cushion is the zafu. It is low to the ground and provides a very stable base for people who sit in the Burmese, Half Lotus, or Lotus position. The zafu is typically the choice for people who are quite flexible, often experienced meditators or those with a yoga background. It can also be turned vertically for a kneeling posture, which can be more comfortable to those with back problems.

Our zafus are made with kapok, a resilient, durable fiber used in meditation cushions for years for its ability to refluff time and again while packing down firmly to provide stability.

Zabuton

The Zabuton not only provides a cushioned surface to rest your feet but also protects your ankles, knees, and legs by reducing pressure points. The reduced pressure can help people who have trouble with their feet or legs falling asleep.

The zabuton can also serve as a place to rest meditation materials that you do not want to touch the floor.

Support Cushion

If a little more height is needed to raise your hips above the level of your knees for proper positioning, the Support Cushion can be placed on top of a Tibetan Seat or under a Zafu. It will add an extra 2” when packed down from sitting.

A folded support cushion can also provide relief for painful knees by adding support underneath them. It can be used under the knees when kneeling to reduce pressure, as well.

Kapok

Kapok has been a traditional stuffing for meditation cushions for years because of its unique qualities. We import Kapok from Asia rather than using less expensive domestic materials because it performs better over time. It is a natural, biodegradable fiber which is also moisture resistant, hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. And, it’s a resilient, durable fiber that resists clumping and has a bounciness to it, yet it packs down firmly.

You can also feel good about buying a sustainable, eco friendly product with kapok. The fiber comes from inside the seed pod of the Kapok tree, a majestic rainforest tree that grows rapidly to a height of about 60 feet. The trees are host to frogs, birds, and bromeliads and an important source of pollen and nectar for honeybees and bats. The fibers are harvested by hand and air dried so they are never treated with chemicals.

Examples of Modifications

For Meditators That Are Less Flexible:

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Meditation Cushions for Lower Flexibility

 Modification for Knee Pain:

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The Effects of Color

You can always start with your favorite color since it will be inspiring. But if you have more than one favorite color or if you want to create a certain mood, then you can use some guidelines from Feng Shui to assist in creating your ideal meditation space.

Red/pink - Romance, joy and energy. Could be a good color if you have a tendancy to fall asleep when meditating

Blue - Peaceful, soothing color linked with contemplation and spirituality. Particularly if you meditate before bed, this color can help you slow and calm down. 

Green - Growth, nourishment, balance, new beginnings, freshness

Brown - Stability, security and safety

Black - Promoting self-confidence and independence, contemplation, encourages reflection 

Grey - Helpfulness. Harmonious union of black and white

Orange - Active and stimulating, happiness, intellect and concentration

White - Cultivate clarity, precision, new beginnings and cleanliness

Once you have the right style and color picked out for your home, we hope you will try our meditation cushions out for yourself. With proper support and comfort, your meditation sessions will be more relaxed and focused. With the extra success from having the right posture, you might just be motivated to sit more and we would love that! 

 

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