The position of the meditator is of paramount importance in many meditative practices. By being well positioned, it will allow your body to meditate well. To be well seated, he must choose a meditation cushion (zafu) taking into account his practice, his morphology and his tastes. With the help of this article, discover some ways to choose your zafu.
What is the best meditation cushion?
Before getting one of these, it is important that you determine what your true need is and you can acquire the one that is most suitable for you.
Having a small guide to help you select, is always a good option, so we did a test and evaluated the different cushions available and here we leave you a short selection.
1. Yoga Calming Breath meditation cushion
Available in more than 10 different colours, this zafu type pad is recommended for all cross-legged postures. It is the classic zafu par excellence, ideal for classes as well as for retreats or at home.
It is a cushion filled with buckwheat hulls, with washable cotton cover, perfect for people with stature up to 1.90 meters and has to transport it easily.
It is a comfortable product that offers greater stability if you combine its use with a zabuton also from CalmingBreath. It is affordable and the manufacturer relies so much on its strength that it gives you a lifetime guarantee.
2. Lotuscrafts Meditation Cushion
This model is a zafu universal use, with dimensions of 31 by 15 cm, ideal for various uses related to meditation.
The pillow of the brand Lotuscraft is completely ecological made with a cotton cover whose colouration is respectful with the environment and is filled with spelled wheat husks, which guarantees firmness, stability and comfort.
It has a good price and is made of resistant materials. It is an option that you should not stop analyzing.
3. Lotuscrafts Zafu Meditation Cushion
This model has the same height as the previous cushion. On the other hand, its shape is different since it is a half-moon. Here is the ideal zafu for positioning in lotus. If you are a fan of meditation or want to embark on this adventure, I highly recommend it!
Regarding the composition of this cushion, cotton is the only resource used for the design of the cover. This natural fibre gives its softness, robustness and breathability to the yoga cushion. A zipper will allow you to remove the cover which you can machine wash at 30 °.
As for the stuffing, the buckwheat seeds were chosen. These give its firmness to the cushion. To optimize comfort, the cover also contains a cushion made of 55% cotton and 45% polyester.
Given the quality of the materials used to make this zafu, I think it can easily be called durable and comfortable. Several colours are available. Chocolate, dark red, black or purple, you can choose a colour that goes perfectly with your interior decor.
4. Lotuscrafts Zafu Meditation Cushion
It is the most luxurious model of our selection and is only available in red, blue and beige. If money is not a problem for you it is a good investment because it is a cushion of high cost, but of good quality.
The Comfort model has dimensions 64 X 24 cm, is suitable for beginners and especially suitable for people with limited flexibility or problems in the joints.
It also provides comfort to those who have knee discomfort. It comes with a soft and washable cover and brings practical to transport it wherever you go.
5. Om Vita Meditation Cushion
Of the cushions to meditate, this model of Om Vita is one of the most recommended of our selection for its quality and low price.
It is a classic zafu, available in the market in three different colours and with a nice handmade mandala design, which comes painted or embroidered, depending on the case.
This product has a washable cotton cover and is filled with buckwheat hulls that provide firmness, flexibility and an optimal balance.
The On Vita pad has dimensions of 35 X15 cm, its design relieves joint stress and spinal compression. It comes with azas to transport it easily.
6. Support cushion for Handelsturm yoga
The Handelsturm pad is a wonderful ally for your meditation ritual. It is also the most economical of our selection.
In the opinion of those who already have one, it is a resistant, stable cushion whose firmness is due to its kapok fibre filling. It has a nice design and is available in more than 15 different colours.
It is a completely handmade product, reinforced with double stitching, completely hygienic and hypoallergenic. The beginners get something hard, although experts say it is comfortable and firm.
7. Leewadee Meditation Set
This cushion is not only ideal for meditation, but it is also a decorative object of interest for its striking Indian prints. The best thing is that it is one of the least expensive on our list.
It is a classic zafu shaped half-moon that adapts to your position and with which you can have the correct alignment that will allow you to bring the blood flow to the legs and feet. Its design is completely ergonomic.
The product has a polyester and cotton cover and is filled with organic spelt wheat that makes it firm and comfortable. If you already decided to buy this is an option that you can not miss.
Why do you need a meditation cushion?
The body shape is neither flat nor predictably curved. Without adequate support, it will succumb to the shape of the surface on which it rests. This usually causes the legs, hips, spine, shoulders and head to become misaligned, which can result in discomfort. The yoga cushions and other supports can improve your posture and level of comfort during meditation, so it is necessary to buy one if you devote yourself frequently to meditate.
Commonly, meditation postures include the traditional full lotus, half lotus (crossed legs), kneeling (seiza), sitting on a chair and the posture of the dead (Shavasana). You can use more than one, however, the ability to meditate on any of them is determined to a large extent by the flexibility of your ankles, knees and hips. In most cases, some type of support is needed to maintain alignment and comfort during meditation.
During meditation it is essential to maintain not only the posture but the proper alignment so that your body does not suffer and you can reach the maximum concentration that Yoga requires. Each posture has its own alignment and requires different supports and supports. Sometimes, this creates tensions and discomforts that are dissipated by the appropriate cushion for each posture and also for the size of the person.
For example, during a sitting meditation in full or middle lotus posture, a firm foundation is crucial. Here, the alignment of your body supports it naturally, allows greater comfort and reduces stress on the spinal components. In this posture, the traditional Zafu and Zabuton meditation cushions work well.
Also, a rectangular meditation cushion can be used with the zafu to increase the elevation and allow the placement of the cushions to produce an adequate alignment. Here, a chair to support the back can also be useful.
The Zabuton meditation cushion provides cushioning for the joints during sitting meditation. This cushion is placed under the zafu. Proper body alignment in the sitting posture can create some extra pressure on knees and ankles, and the zabuton helps cushion these pressure areas.
On the other hand, the Seiza meditation posture can be supported by a Zafu, a Meditation Bench, a Rectangular Meditation Cushion or a Yoga Bra. In the lying down position a cotton yoga mat or Shiatsu massage can provide the basic basis for comfort.
It does not matter what posture is assumed during the meditation; A firm foundation, proper alignment to support the body and breathing, as well as comfort are important factors. Meditation and support cushions are essential to achieve comfort so that you can focus on the mind and not be distracted by any physical discomfort. When you start a meditation practice, it is helpful to focus on the body for a short time to take note of any area of the body that needs support or additional adjustment.
There are many cushions available for meditation. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and are made with many different materials. It is important to take the time to think about each of the designs and how they can best suit your personal needs. Consider the height of the cushions, if the fabric is durable but soft, and how the padding will support your body. The colour of the cushion can not be too important, although most people look for a colour that matches the colour scheme of their meditation space.
The different shapes of the meditation cushion
The yoga cushion can be round, oval, rectangular or in the shape of a half moon. These different possibilities complicate the choice of this accessory. This is why I wish to enlighten you on the characteristics of each of them.
Round yoga cushion
More or less flat, the round yoga cushions offer different heights and sometimes sophisticated shapes. Some, for example, come in the form of a rectangular cushion topped with a small round cushion. These models are rather wide and firm.
Oval yoga cushion
Generally high, the oval meditation cushion facilitates sitting and squatting postures. Its shape makes it easier to fold the legs to the sides. Thus, the pelvis opens respecting the alignment of the hips so as to avoid twisting of the knees.
Rectangular yoga cushion
This meditation cushion is probably the most comfortable of all. More compact, it can be transported easily. This is why if you travel a lot and want to take your yoga cushion with you, this is a rectangular model that you should choose!
Half moon yoga cushion
Also called a half-zafu, the half-moon cushion offers the ideal shape for positioning yourself in the lotus. It offers different heights. The tallest models are slightly tilted to allow you to hold a more upright posture.
Although very comfortable for certain postures, this yoga cushion is less versatile than the round and oval models.
Choosing a meditation cushion, chair or bench
The first decision you should make when meditating is the posture that you like and the one that best favours your concentration and relaxation. Here we leave you the main positions, from the most difficult to the easiest, and the respective meditation seats.
If you sit on the floor in a Yoga posture (half-lotus, siddhasana, easy pose, or any other), all you need is a thin cushion. In this case, the cushion does not have to be high, otherwise, it bends forward.
Burmese / Balinese
In this position, you sit cross-legged and with the instep of the foot touching the ground. Here you will typically use a Zafu. You can also use a yoga block.
This is ideal for those who find it difficult to sit cross-legged, if you are from that group, you can sit in the position known as seiza. For that, you would use a meditation bench or you can also turn a zafu sideways and ride it astride. Using a zafu for this purpose is usually best for those who are not very flexible since it elevates the hips and is more comfortable on the knees.
If your knees do not support any of the previous positions, or if you need a secondary seat for longer meditation sessions, you can use a chair. Here you may need a thin cushion, either to get the correct height or to support the lower back.
Heights and materials
The height and type of padding can make your meditation experience somewhat different. Heights vary from 5 to 23 cm (2 to 9 inches). If you consider that your cushion is not fulfilling its function, the problem is probably the height, maybe it is too high or too short for your body. Each body is different, so you need to try different pad heights. The other factor is the filling, according to the material that is filled your cushion will be the comfort you provide. The most usual are:
Buckwheat hulls are the outer shell of the buckwheat kernel, they are too hard to eat, which is why they are often used as fillers. This is a soft filler and is the most popular among modern practitioners because it feels as if you sit on the sand. When you sit the filling moves according to the shape of your body.
Kapok is a natural fibre, resistant to mould, soft and hypoallergenic, from the seed of the Kapok tree found in rainforests around the world. The full kapok fibre cushions are firmer than those filled with buckwheat hulls and sustain the shape of your body more consistently. Those who meditate for long periods, as well as those who need higher support, tend to prefer kapok cushions.
The wool does not compress, it is light and durable. Wool cushions tend to be very comfortable and allow more blood flow. According to experts, wool is a good energy insulator and a recommended filler. Its disadvantage is that it is not so firm.
You will also find pillows full of beans or grains, polyester which is an expensive fibre, and cotton that is a cheaper filling, but nothing ecological, although if they are packed using traditional methods, they can be extremely firm. You can also find some inflatable cushions, not recommended for meditation.