Finding a safe and quiet space to master Zen meditation can be tricky sometimes. We don’t always think about the suitability of the seat or spot we have chosen and its impact on our session. That is why anyone looking to meditate frequently should consider a meditation cushion:
Why should you use a pillow or meditation cushion when you meditate?
You might ask why use a pillow on the floor at all when you can sit in a chair or lie down in bed. Lying down to meditate can be helpful for some people that are a little more anxious or have chronic pain or mobility issues. A bed is comforting and cradles the whole body. But, this doesn’t offer the best posture for meditation. Also, lying down and closing your eyes in bed triggers thoughts of sleep rather than meditation.
A cushion on the floor might be unusual at first, but it will help you get into the habit of meditation. Those that create more of a ritual can get into the habit of finding a safe, quiet space and meditating each day. Setting up the cushion on the floor is unique to meditation and enforces that habit.
Can I use a normal pillow to mediate with?
If you already sit on the floor to meditate, you might find that you rely on a cushion to keep you comfortable for the duration of your session. After all, we don’t want to be distracted by the pain in our hips or a loss of circulation in our legs from a hard floor. While there is nothing wrong with using any old pillow or throw cushion when starting out, they can be problematic. Soft, squishy cushions will provide a barrier between you and the floor for short term comfort. However, they can also cause you to slip into bad posture.
Posture and alignment are important for meditation to ensure that you are comfortable and alert. Ideally, you want a nice straight spine and open chest, as though you are being held up by an invisible string. This allows you to connect with your breath and the energy in your body for a more beneficial experience. If you start slumping over due to poor support, you might lose that alertness and connection to your experience.
Why are meditation cushions better than normal pillows?
When you sit in a meditation pillow during your session, you should notice a difference straight away. These pillows have more structure and support to them than a throw pillow. This means that your hips will sit in just the right place underneath your body. In turn, your spine should align and straighten, naturally allowing you to create that tall, open, and positive posture for meditation.
The stiffness in the structure also means that you are less likely to shift your position mid-session. As your mind starts to drift off and you lose concentration on your posture, it is natural to droop a little and allow a cushion to sag. Here, that isn’t a problem. The cushion will continue to cradle your hips in just the right place as you switch off from any external influences. Essentially, it is doing all the hard work for you.
How to find the best meditation cushion for your room.
If you decide that you want to switch to sitting on the floor with a meditation cushion, you need to find the right product. The traditional pleated cushion is a great choice for an authentic experience and great posture. It also helps if the cushion is full of buckwheat (Amazon Link*) to make it stiff and comfortable enough for ongoing support. However, there are other shapes out there that promote support and comfort in other areas. They can be helpful for those new to meditation or those with joint issues.
If you are serious about turning this into a regular habit, you might also want to consider a smart cushion. These devices have built-in AI that provides additional data on your posture and session. They are great for all those that love goal tracking apps and working on personal development.
Take your time to find a cushion that works for you.
The most important thing is that you get the posture control and support you need for a comfortable and refreshing session. You could soon find that once you sit down on the floor in the right cushion, you won’t want to use the bed or chair again.
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