What should you look for in a meditation cushion? More than the material of the cushion, you should consider several criteria—including the proper alignment, your meditation posture, and level of comfort.
Most people don’t even realize that they need one. However, considering the unique structure of the body, there’s a tendency for the legs, hips, shoulders, and spine to misalign. You need blankets, yoga boslters, and meditation cushions improve your posture and maximize the beneficial effects of yoga.
You need a meditation cushion that will work for the different kinds of meditation postures, including kneeling, chair-sitting, full-lotus, half-lotus, and lying postures.
The Zafu, the traditional round pleated cushion, raises the hips and upper body so that the legs can rest comfortably. One normally sits on the edge of the zafu so that the thighs slope down slightly. This posture rolls the hips forward creating the natural curve in the spinal column. When the spinal column is in its natural alignment, the back, shoulders, neck and head assume a comfortable upright posture that is easy to maintain during meditation. When used alone, the zafu is well suited for persons of average height and who have normal to above average flexibility.
Taller individuals and those with more limited flexibility tend to benefit from a higher lift. Sitting directly on top of the zafu can increase lift, but may result in an unstable feel with difficulty maintaining balance and proper alignment. A rectangular meditation cushion can be used with the zafu to increase lift and allow for positioning of the cushions to produce proper alignment.
Cosmic Cushion and Zabuton Meditation Cushion SetA unique variation to the zafu is the Cosmic Cushion. This cushion has a fortune cookie shape and built-in slope that produces proper alignment with greater comfort. The extended sides of the cushion support the thighs and the heel cutout allows the heels and ankles to be positioned closely to the body. The Cosmic Cushion works well for most everyone, but is an ideal cushion for taller persons and those who are less flexible. A lower loft version of the Cosmic Cushion may be best suited for persons of average height and average to above average flexibility. (Check out more here)
The Heavenly Buckwheat Bean is best for those who only prefer a slight lift, The rectangular meditation cushion, on the other hand, can help in providing a lift for proper alignment. The straight edges are especially preferred by meditators who are more experienced.
For the cushioning of the knees and ankles, the zabuton meditation cushion is the best type as it can help in proper alignment when the knees and ankles are put under too much pressure.
The knee pillow or kapok support cushion, placed below the knee, will allow the knee to be raised up and to reduce the torque on a person’s knee joint.
The meditation bench, also known as the yoga bolster, will provide the much needed support to the upper body, while the BackJack chair will support one’s back while in the sitting meditation posture. The Tush-Cush will create a forward slope and improve the spinal curve.
Lastly, but definitely not by any means the least important, the cotton yoga mat or the Shiatsu massage mat, will provide a basic support for comfort.