Choosing a suitable meditation cushion will improve your posture, comfort levels and deepen your practice. It will facilitate your meditation wherever and whenever you wish to practice.
We’ve been meditating for over a decade and can say from personal experience that finding the best cushion isn’t as easy as it may sound.
So, in this article, we explain what goes into choosing a meditation pillow and how you can select the perfect cushion to further enhance and continue your meditation journey.
Meditation requires proper posture and alignment, so you can sit comfortably while facilitating effortless breathing and energy flow around the body for prolonged periods of time. A meditation cushion helps promote the right kind of posture and alignment needed for meditation practice.
Meditation cushions, or meditation pillows, also provide comfort and support for the body. There are many types of meditation cushions, each one catering to a different body type, weight, level of flexibility, and desired degree of firmness or softness. We’ve reviewed our seven favorite meditation cushions to help you choose the right one here.
Correct meditation posture has several key elements:
– Sitting with your spine erect
– Knees below the hips, facilitating blood circulation
– Shoulders relaxed, dropped away from your ears
– Chin slightly tucked in towards collar bone
– Eyes closed or softly gazing at a slight decline angle, in line with the tilt of the head
– Hands placed loosely on the knees, thighs, or lap
Proper meditation posture aligns the body while promoting balanced energy flow. It helps you relax, supports the neck, spine, and shoulders, and makes breathing easier while providing comfort for the body while you meditate.
Flexibility is often the limiting factor that prevents people from sitting with proper meditation posture, which is why a meditation cushion can be so beneficial.
There are several considerations to take into account when choosing a meditation cushion:
The shape is perhaps the most important consideration for a meditation cushion, as different forms facilitate different sitting positions. Is the cushion rectangular, circular, V-shaped, or elongated?
V-shapes enable the feet to be easily pulled towards the body, while circular cushions will further elevate the hips. Long cushions will allow the practitioner to straddle or kneel on the pillow, which is highly beneficial for those with limited hip flexibility.
How firm do you want your cushion to be? We suggest one that is firm enough to support your spine while you sit cross-legged and soft enough to be comfortable and mold to the shape of your seat.
What size do you prefer? Where are you planning on using your cushion? If you plan on meditating in various locations, such as on hikes, in the forest, on the beach, or in class, a smaller or foldable cushion makes transportation easier.
On the other hand, if you’re planning on setting up a meditation area in your home, such as in a spare room or on your balcony, then a larger meditation cushion might be more appropriate.
The material depends on how you plan to use your meditation cushion. If you’ll be moving it around and using it outdoors, you want to ensure your cushion is made of highly durable fabric that is easily washed. If your pillow is more for home use, selecting an aesthetically pleasing material might be more priority.
Let us not forget that meditation is a profoundly personal experience, and your primary tool for facilitating meditation needs to appeal to the user.
Source: Live And Dare
There are many different colors and prints available, so selecting a color that resonates with you, your personality, and your goals for your meditation practice is essential to make your approach unique and personalized.
Red – associated with heat and fire, high energy
Violet – restores spiritual balance
Yellow – mood-boosting and provides clarity
Blue – a soothing color that promotes relaxation
Black – nurtures deep inward focus and discipline
Orange – induces confidence and mental serenity
Green – stimulates balance and sensitivity; encourages slow, deep breathing
Source: Infographic Now
The height of your cushion needs to promote correct meditation posture. Generally, the stiffer the hips are, the higher the pillow needs to be. When sitting cross-legged for meditation, your knees should be either in line with or ideally below the hips.
If you can’t sit comfortably in a cross-legged position, look for meditation cushions that elevate your buttocks and hips high enough so that you can cross your ankles and have your knees dropped lower than your hips. This might mean selecting a cushion set that includes a padded mat to help protect the feet and ankles.
On the other hand, if you’d like to work on your flexibility or can already sit comfortably cross-legged, a flat cushion with less height will help you work towards your goals.
Source: Hugger Mugger
Buckwheat filling is made from the hulls of buckwheat seeds, which is the outer seed covering not used for consumption. They are the most commonly used filling for meditation pillows, as they are highly durable and supportive yet still soft and malleable.
We suggest you select a meditation cushion that uses buckwheat filling or high-grade foam stuffing for ergonomic support.
Non-recommended alternative fillings include polystyrene balls, which have several pitfalls as cushion filling. Not only are they non-environmentally friendly, but their texture and lightweight make them noisy and unsupportive, preventing the meditator from finding a firm, comfortable position on the cushion.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand a bit more about how to choose a meditation cushion.
To summarize, we suggest considering:
- Your level of flexibility. Your cushion needs to facilitate proper posture. So, be completely honest with yourself. If your hips are stiff, select a taller cushion that will allow you to sit comfortably with your knees below the hips. If a greater range of motion is accessible to you, select a shorter cushion that can slowly improve flexibility until you can access the half-louts and full-lotus positions.
- Where and how you plan to meditate and use your cushion. If you travel and meditate in different places, go with a smaller, foldable cushion with an easily cleaned, highly durable cover. If you’ll be using your meditation cushion at home, go for more of a set that includes ankle and foot protection while facilitating hip elevation.
- Your personal color and design preferences. Choose a cushion that appeals to you and resonates with you. Remember, meditation is your journey, so select a cushion that reflects that.
If, at the end of this article, you’re still undecided on a meditation cushion, take a look at our seven favorite cushions here. You could also try our community’s favorite cushion, the Hugger Mugger V-Shaped Cushion Print.
This V-shaped cushion enables you to adjust your seat height easily. It is small enough to be easily transported but also aesthetically pleasing. Decide for yourself!
Hugger Mugger V-Shaped Cushion Print.