By Julie Jarvis
Posted in REALthings Meditation Blog, on January 27, 2017
Sitting flat on the floor is very difficult for most people. Our hips and knees are not flexible enough. So the first step is finding a posture and meditation pillows that will support you. Meditation cushions are designed to support your posture and help you sit straight naturally. When the body is relaxed and quiet, the mind can relax and be still. Even monks use meditation cushions.
Everyone's body is unique, so you will need to find a posture that let's you sit comfortably. Our meditation cushions come in different shapes and sizes to support your body in different postures. There are three popular meditation postures: The lotus (full, half & quarter lotus), burmese style, and seiza. While the Lotus position is the most well known, most modern meditators are simply not flexible enough to do it. And that's perfectly okay. Two popular postures that don't require as much flexibility are the Burmese and Seiza. Another option is to use a chair.
Sit Tip: When you sit Burmese style always place your 'sit cushion' at the back of the 'floor cushion'. In burmese style, one leg is in front of the other. However, some people also cross or hook their ankles.
Sit Tip: When you sit seiza, place your cushion in the middle. You can turn a tall zafu on its side to provide support when sitting in seiza. It lifts your hips higher and spreads weight evenly between your knees and ankles.
If you prefer not to be on the floor, our Runa cushion helps you sit up straight comfortably on a chair by lifting the hips as a zafu does on the floor.
There are two types of meditation cushions
1. a 'sit cushion' or zafu which lifts your hips off the floor so that you can sit straight naturally.
2. a 'floor cushion' or zabuton which cushions the ankles and knees and creates a space for sitting.
Together they are Bliss
The most popular sit cushion is the zafu, a round cushion often stuffed with buckwheat hulls. Zafu's come in different heights and sizes. The key is finding the right height for your body.
Most modern meditators prefer a taller cushion. Our most popular zafu is the Medium Mountain Bliss Zafu which is 8” tall, almost double the height of most traditional-sized zafus. To find the right height you can stack up some pillows and cushions on the floor and sit on them. Add or remove pillows until you find the most comfortable height. Even a small difference in size can have an impact on your comfort and your practice. If in doubt, go one size up as you can always adjust your size by removing some hulls.
The best way to know if a cushion is right for you is to try it out. You can book a 'Sitting Fitting' with us to find the perfect fit.
How tall is your cushions stack?
Cushion props vary widely and are used to offer extra support to the hands, knees and ankles.
Knee cushions are extremely helpful if you find your legs or feet failing asleep during meditation.
Hand cushions lift the hands, relieving stress and pulling on the shoulders, so you can sit straight without strain. It makes a huge difference. Another way to support the hands is by rolling up the bottom of your t-shirt or t-shirt dress and using it as perch for your hands. Just make sure the fabric is stretchy.