Did you know that 7% of US children meditate regularly and 36 million adults in the U.S. have tried meditation at least once?
If you aren't as flexible as a child, then sitting down for a long meditation might be uncomfortable for you. That's why a meditation bench or cushion is a worthy addition to your daily practice.
There are so many kinds out there that you might be confused about how to choose a meditation cushion or bench that would work for your body. Keep reading for tips that can help make that decision easier for you.
What Is Required for You to Have a Proper Meditation Posture?
The answer to this question will give you a clear answer for the best meditation bench or cushion for your particular body shape and structure.
Remember that the purpose of getting a meditation cushion isn't so you can look more authentic or you can spend money needlessly. There is a very good reason why most modern meditators need a cushion or bench when meditating.
Inflexible Joints and Modern Living
In the past, folks used to sit on the ground or squat the entire day, which meant that their hips, knee, and ankle joints were quite flexible and open. They could sit in the cross-legged position on the ground for hours without feeling tired or in pain.
But nowadays, we spend all of our time sitting on chairs, which doesn't do anything positive for the flexibility of our joints. In fact, we are all more inflexible and stiffer than ever. Even if you do a lot of yoga to alleviate this tightness, you are probably still spending a lot of time sitting in chairs for work or on couches at home.
You know your body best and you can tell what you would need to sit with a straight back when meditating. You want to be able to sit in a comfortable relaxed straight-backed posture without putting too much strain on your lower back, which will allow you to hold it for longer.
Why Meditation Bench or Cushion?
The main point of a meditation bench or cushion is that it raises your hips above your knees which releases some of the pressure on your joints allowing you to sit for longer without discomfort arising.
As you get more comfortable sitting in the meditation posture, over time, your joints will loosen up and you won't need the meditation cushion anymore, or you won't need your hips to be raised as high any longer.
But that takes time and in the beginning, you will want to do everything you can to ensure you are comfortable sitting in meditation. This way you won't fidget a lot because of discomfort and ruin your focus and concentration.
A lot of people start meditating with great enthusiasm but lose that passion quickly as they realize how uncomfortable it can be to sit in such a position for so long.
Don't let that happen to you. It's worth spending a bit of money to get the best meditation bench for yourself, so you can sit for longer without crying in pain. Think of it as an investment in your health and garnering the various benefits of meditation cushions.
Proper Meditation Posture
There's no need to pressure yourself to be the perfect yogi and sit in that perfect padmasana posture that will impress your teacher and everyone around you. That's quite unnecessary and it probably won't help you find that sense of equanimity any quicker.
Everyone's body is different and you need to keep that in mind when figuring out what the perfect meditation posture would be for you. There are some basics to keep in mind with this:
- The spine should be erect
- Knees below the hips ideally - this will ensure you don't get any numbness after sitting for a while
- Shoulders relaxed
- Chin slightly tucked in
- Eyes closed or open depending on the types of meditation you dabble in
- Hands loosely placed on your thigh, lap, or knees
You might use six cushions underneath your hips to make this perfect posture happen for you, and even then you might fidget and feel discomfort. And your partner might be able to sit without any cushions in heavenly bliss.
This isn't a competition. Do what is necessary to ensure that you are comfortable while sitting in meditation. The more comfortable you are, the longer you will sit without getting distracted, and the more benefits you will garner over time from your meditation practice.
Some Details to Think About When Purchasing a Meditation Bench or Cushion
There are so many kinds of cushions and benches that you might feel like you have no idea where to start. Let's go through some of these in detail below.
There are differently-shaped meditation cushions on the market - rectangular, V-shaped, elongated, circular, and more. If you have very limited hip flexibility, you will want to get a long cushion or a meditation bench, which you can straddle or kneel on. But if you just need to elevate your hips then a circular cushion will do just fine.
This is entirely a personal preference thing. If you like a firm cushion that will support your spine, then go for that. Just make sure to get something flexible enough to mold to your body and behind.
Size and Weight
If you are going to travel with your meditation cushion or if you are going to carry it in your carry-on, then size and weight become very important considerations. You don't want to buy a meditation cushion that's too heavy to carry around, or not portable enough, and you don't want something that won't fit in your carry-on luggage.
Buckwheat filling is the most commonly used filling for cushions and there's a very good reason for it. Buckwheat seeds are highly durable and supportive, at the same time being very soft and malleable. These are also highly environmentally friendly as you can just compost them when you are done with them.
You want the material of your meditation cushion to be durable since you are going to be sitting on it for hours on end. Over time, the material will wear down if it doesn't have that tensile strength. If you care about aesthetics, then choose something with a comforting design on it or a color that soothes you.
For example, if you wish to fill your meditation with fire and energy, pick a bright red meditation cushion. If you are more interested in relaxation and spiritual balance, then violet or blue would be more suitable. For focus and discipline, you will want to choose black or yellow.
Ungloo Box or Meditation Bench
As mentioned earlier, you want to raise your hips above your knees, as high as you need, especially if you have stiff hip joints. This is if you are going to be sitting in a cross-legged position or Sukhasana when meditating.
But this position isn't feasible for many folks, especially those who haven't ever sat in this position in their lives. That's why meditation benches are also becoming quite popular nowadays. The Ungloo Box is a great option for those who aren't comfortable sitting without back support while meditating.
Your mind will be able to stay steady on your object of focus rather than roaming toward your tingling and uncomfortable hips, ankles, knees, or back. Also, it's highly portable, so you don't have to worry about lugging it around wherever you go. Go into nature or to a national park with Ungloo Box, and meditate as the yogis of the past used to.
Also, the Ungloo Meditation Bench can be used to straddle or kneel while meditating, which is highly suitable for those folks who just can't manage to sit cross-legged no matter how much yoga they do or how hard they try. This way meditation becomes accessible to everyone, no matter how inflexible.
Now You Know How to Choose a Meditation Cushion or Bench
Meditation is one of the greatest natural practices out there, with benefits galore. Everyone should be able to take advantage of this practice, no matter where they live or what their body structure is.
That's why this article on how to choose a meditation cushion or bench is so important. Once you choose the best meditation bench or cushion for yourself, you will be astounded at how your meditation practice will blossom and grow.
Invest in yourself and your meditation practices by purchasing an Ungloo Box or Ungloo Meditation Bench today.