Meditation pillows, also known as zafus, are a standard tool meditation practitioners use to find a comfortable and stable seated position. These pillows support the body and alleviate pressure on the lower back, hips, and knees, allowing the practitioner to focus on their breath and cultivate a sense of inner peace.
This article will explore the benefits of using a meditation pillow, what to look for when shopping for one, and where meditation pillows are used worldwide. We’ll also provide an overview of some of the best meditation pillows of 2022.
Why Use a Meditation Pillow?
Meditation pillows offer several benefits to practitioners of meditation. The most apparent benefit is comfort. A good meditation pillow supports the body and allows the practitioner to sit for extended periods without experiencing discomfort or pain. This is especially important for those who have difficulty sitting on the ground, with mobility issues, or when engaging in a more intense form of meditation, such as Tummo meditation.
In addition to comfort, meditation pillows also help practitioners maintain proper posture while meditating. This is important because proper posture allows the breath to flow freely and helps the practitioner stay focused on the present moment.
Finally, meditation pillows can also help create a sense of ritual and intention when setting up a meditation practice. By setting aside a dedicated space and using a meditation pillow, the practitioner can develop a sense of separation from the outside world and focus on their inner experience.
This process of developing a ritual will eventually turn into habit, meaning you’ll be more likely to have a consistent meditation practice, where meditation becomes part of your daily life, leading to increase mental health and physical health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Using a Meditation Pillow?
There are several benefits to using a meditation pillow. In addition to the comfort and support they provide, meditation pillows can also help practitioners improve their posture and focus during meditation. This can lead to a deeper and more fulfilling meditation practice.
Using a meditation pillow can help achieve deep meditation, and also reduce stress and promote relaxation, amongst other benefits of meditation such as reduced anxiety and increased focus. Sitting on a meditation pillow and focusing on the breath can help calm the mind and ease tension in the body.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Meditation Pillow
When shopping for a meditation pillow, there are several factors to consider.
The first is height. A meditation pillow should be high enough to allow the practitioner to sit with their hips higher than their knees, which helps to alleviate pressure on the lower back and hips. However, the pillow should not be so high that it causes discomfort or strains the ankles or knees.
The shape of the meditation pillow is also important. Some pillows are round, while others are more oblong. The shape of the pillow should be comfortable and support the spine’s natural curve.
Portability is another factor, especially for those who travel frequently or practice meditation in different locations. Look for a meditation pillow that is lightweight and easy to transport.
Finally, consider the washability of the pillow. Depending on how often the cushion is used, it may need to be washed to maintain cleanliness. Look for a pillow that is easy to clean or has a removable cover and washable outer cover.
Do I Need to Use a Meditation Pillow?
No hard and fast rule says you must use a meditation pillow to practice meditation. Some people find themselves comfortable sitting on a meditation chair or meditation bench or even lying down to meditate.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a comfortable position that allows you to focus on your breath without distractions, which a meditation cushion can help achieve.
If you’re new to meditation and are unsure whether you should use a meditation pillow, try sitting on a regular pillow and seeing how it feels. Some people find a round pillow more comfortable, while others prefer an oblong shape. Experimenting with different options can help you find what works best for you.
Whether or not you need to use a meditation pillow is a personal choice. Some meditators find that a meditation pillow helps them feel more comfortable and focused during their practice. The important thing is to find a position that allows you to sit comfortably, with proper posture, and focus on your breath.
Where Are Meditation Pillows Used?
Meditation pillows are used worldwide by practitioners of various meditation traditions.
In Japan, meditation pillows are known as zafus and are commonly used in Zen meditation practices. Zafus are typically round and made of soft materials such as cotton or kapok, a type of plant fiber.
Meditation pillows are also used in other traditions, such as Vipassana meditation and yoga. In these traditions, practitioners may use a variety of pillow shapes and materials, including foam or buckwheat hulls.
An Overview of the Best Meditation Pillows of 2023
With so many kinds of meditation cushions on the market, it can be challenging to know which one to choose. To help you narrow down your options, here is an overview of some of our favorite meditation pillows of 2023:
- The Zen Den Meditation Pillow: This pillow is made of soft, supportive foam and has a removable and washable cover. It is available in three heights to accommodate different seating preferences and is lightweight and portable, and is a popular choice amongst practicioners.
- The Happy Buddha Meditation Pillow: This pillow is made of natural materials such as buckwheat hulls and is adjustable to accommodate different seating preferences. It is also hypoallergenic and eco-friendly.
- The Meditation Cushion by Manduka: This pillow is made of recycled foam and has a removable and washable cover. It is available in three heights and has a sturdy, non-slip base to keep it in place during meditation.
- The Moonchild Meditation Pillow: This pillow is made of organic cotton and has a removable and washable cover. It’s a crescent-shaped pillow that is available in multiple sizes. We believe this is an excellent choice for your meditation pillow.
- The Boon Meditation Pillow: This pillow is made of foam and has a removable and washable cover. It is available in three heights and has a round shape that is comfortable and supportive. It is also lightweight and portable.
Ultimately, the best meditation pillow for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Consider the pillow’s height, shape, portability, and washability when making your decision. You can also consider our guide on selecting your perfect meditation cushion to help with your decision. With a bit of research and some trial and error, you’ll be able to find the perfect meditation pillow to support your practice.