Whether you’re new to meditation or have been practicing for years, a meditation shawl can be a helpful tool in creating a calm and focused state of mind.
Some people find that wearing a shawl helps them focus more intensely on their meditation practice, while others enjoy the added warmth and coziness. No matter your reason for wanting to wear one, a meditation shawl can be a great addition to your practice.
A meditation shawl is a piece of clothing explicitly worn to meditate. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but all serve the same goal: to provide comfort and insulation during long meditation sessions and periods of sitting still.
They’re also often used with other tools such as meditation cushions or blankets to create a comfortable and supportive environment for a meditation session.
Meditation shawls can also be used as a form of self-expression by choosing colors and patterns that reflect one’s unique style.
There are numerous benefits to using a meditation blanket or meditation shawl:
- It helps keep the body cool and comfortable for long hours while sitting in the same position. This is because of the light and airy fabric (usually silk and cotton) from which they are made.
- It provides insulation from the external environment, blocking sun, wind, or insects, eliminating most of the physical sensation distractions meditators face.
- It can help focus more on the meditation practice because wearing a meditation cloak provides a clear sense of being in one’s own space and time, making you feel more grounded and present.
- It makes the meditation practice more comfortable and enjoyable overall. This is because of the shawl’s added warmth and coziness provided during your sessions.
There are many different types of meditation shawls available. The three most common types are:
- Woven Shawls: These shawls are made by interweaving two or more threads. They are lightweight and easy to carry around, making them ideal for use as a travel blanket for meditators who’re always on the move. However, they’re not quite as stretchable as knitted shawls.
- Knitted Shawls: These shawls are made by knitting together different yarns. In contrast to woven shawls, these shawls are usually a bit heavier. However, they provide more warmth and can be great for cold spaces. Examples of common knit fabrics used in meditation shawls include silk and cotton.
- Embroidered and Printed Shawls: These shawls are decorated with prints or embroidery work. Meditation shawl patterns vary significantly in design but usually include mandalas, religious symbols, or nature-inspired designs.
Choosing the proper meditation shawl is very important. This is because the wrong type of shawl can, in the worst case, make your meditation practice uncomfortable and even distracting.
To help you choose the proper meditation shawl for your needs, here are some of our top tips:
- Consider the material of the shawl. It should ideally be made of a light, airy, comfortable, and easy-to-care-for fabric like cotton so that it does not make you feel too hot or uncomfortable during long meditation sessions.
- Make sure the shawl is big enough to cover your body comfortably. It should also be long enough to wrap it around yourself if and when needed. However, never go for one so large that it becomes a hindrance during your practice.
- Consider the design of the shawl. It would help if you always went for a meditation shawl that “speaks” to you or you find aesthetically pleasing and calming. But, also try giving some extra thought to the color of your cape. For instance, if your goal is to boost your concentration during practice, consider going for a red-orange shawl, as this color represents your root chakra, life force, and stability.
- Consider the price and quality of the shawl. Meditation shawls can be pretty expensive. However, it’s always worth investing in a good-quality shawl that will last you for many years rather than buying a cheap one that will fall apart after a few uses.
There is no right or wrong way to use a meditation or prayer shawl. It is up to you to decide how you want to use it. Some people like to drape it over their shoulders, while others prefer to wrap it around their waist. It is also common to see people using it as a head covering.
So, if you are new to meditating with a shawl, it’s usually a good idea to experiment with different ways of using it until you find the one that suits you and works best for your practice.
Like all other garments, meditation shawls must also be cared for properly to last a long time.
Some top tips on how to care for a meditation shawl include:
- Always follow the care or washing instructions given by the manufacturer.
- Delicate meditation shawls made of natural fibers such as wool or cotton can and should be hand washed in cold water. Especially if the label mentions “Dry Clean” or “not machine-washable.”
- Durable meditation cloaks made of synthetic fibers such as polyester or nylon can be machine washed. Just make sure to keep it on a gentle cycle.
- Always try to hang the shawl to dry in a cool, well-ventilated place. Do not expose it to direct sunlight, which can cause the colors to fade.
- You can also iron the shawl if or when required. Just be sure to always use a low heat setting and iron on the reverse side of the fabric to avoid damaging it.
To summarize, a meditation shawl can be a great tool to help you focus on your practice by helping to create a sense of peace and tranquility when meditating. And it’s usually always worth getting if you’re serious about meditation or want to incorporate new things into your practice.
Lastly, if you’ve already bought one, the tips above should help you get the most out of your meditation shawl.
Just remember to have fun experimenting with different ways of using it and find what works best for you.