Meditation is one of the core parts of yoga that will enhance your physical practice and supplement your healthy lifestyle. Having a meditation cushion is key to ensuring a comfortable practice, especially as a beginner. Practicing meditation can help us achieve stillness in the mind, which brings a myriad of benefits for achieving holistic wellness and will benefit female health in particular. However, this stillness can only be done in the right space and comfort, which is why this guide of the types of meditation seats available in 2021 will help you along the way.
BENEFITS OF USING A MEDITATION SEAT
Sitting comfortably is not only ideal but essential to the quality of your meditation. Sitting upright and cross-legged is not always an easy position, and can sometimes put a strain on your muscles and joints. Having a meditation pillow can be extremely beneficial to maintaining your posture comfortably in order to have a deep and connective practice.
Having a meditation pillow specifically can help your mind prepare for meditation rather than just relaxing on your usual choice of pillow to watch TV.
When you sit on a meditation cushion or mat, having an upright spine and a grounded tailbone is vital to maintain your stability. As you sit, keep the hands on the thighs/knees and relax the shoulders and face. Postural alignment in meditation is important to keep the chakras in line and to allow the breath to flow through them freely. Furthermore, breathing through the chakras can also help identify where you might have blockages and tension in your body.
A comfortable seat is key to keep the focus during meditation.
PICKING THE RIGHT MEDITATION CUSHION FOR YOU
We come in all shapes and sizes, which is why choosing a meditation cushion is a personal decision. Some of us want lots of cushion, while some of us want something firmer and steadier. Also, depending on your height, you might need more or less elevation in the cushion. Perhaps you want a cushion that fits into your home or room so that it’s more inviting for you to use. Therefore, it is great that there are so many options of meditation cushions that are available online in 2021.
The importance of the filling in a mediation seat
The most classic example of a meditation pillow is a round, firm cushion, stuffed with buckwheat hulls and padded with cotton. Buckwheat hulls are ideal as a filling because they are light in weight, yet firm and long-lasting. The firmness will keep your pillow’s shape for a long time, but also give steadiness while you practice. If your cushion is too soft and shifts you around, it can actually disturb your focus and peace during your practice.
Some pillows will have a zip so you can add or take away buckwheat filling depending on how elevated you want to sit. If you are naturally very tall, you might want to add filling so that your legs have more room (and vice versa, if you are naturally short). Lessening the amount of filling can also help if you have trouble sitting cross-legged, and will give your legs more support on the floor. Having a zip on your pillow is helpful if you wish to customize it to suit your body but also allows you to wash the cover once in a while.
Shape matters too
The shape of your cushion will also depend on your body type. If you are comfortable in a cross-legged position, then a round cushion will suit you fine. However, if this position doesn’t come easily to you, or if you need more support for your knees and ankles, a crescent-shaped pillow might be better. A crescent-shaped meditation seat is naturally lower, so opt for a rounded one if you need more elevation.
There is also an option for a bench type of meditation seat, which is another alternative if you can’t sit cross-legged. A bench can help elongate your spine and prevent your legs from sleeping! Because a bench isn’t adjustable, if you are not between 165-180cm in height, then a pillow will be more suitable for you.
Buckwheat hulls are lightweight, firm and long lasting. The ideal filling.
BEST MEDITATION CUSHIONS/SEATS IN 2021
“The Round One”
The HiHealer is a classic meditation pillow that is round and will give the perfect comfort and elevation you need. It can be used for meditation, yoga, and even for simply “chilling” on the floor. It is filled with buckwheat, making it comfortable, high quality, and gives the yoga cushion more stability. With an elevated seat, you are able to ease the tension off of the ankles and knees when sitting in the cross-legged position.
You can buy it here on Amazon.
“The Crescent-Shaped One”
This meditation seat by Mindful and Modern offers a different shape and is made with natural, eco-friendly materials. The crescent moon shape gives more space for the legs, ankles, and knees to relax in the seated position while also maintaining your posture. It is also adjustable to your height by having compartments to take out or add in more buckwheat hulls.
“The Square One”
This meditation pillow from Higogogo is both comfortable and stylish. Therefore, it can be used for indoor and outdoor seating in your home as well as for yoga and meditation purposes. It is made from soft, linen fabrics and large enough to sit cross-legged in. It comes in different, beautiful patterns to complement those who like a more boho-chic style environment.
This chair by Alexia gives a new alternative to the classic meditation cushions above. With vegan leathers available, a steel frame, and foam padding in its make-up, this meditation seat can give you ultimate steadiness and comfort at all times. You can sit in Sukhasana (cross-legged) even easier by placing your legs in the space provided, while also sitting elevated. This way, there is absolutely no compression in the lower body, and the upper body can maintain alignment on its own with the chair.
You can get it on Amazon.
“The Complete Set”
The meditation mat and cushion set by Leewadee give you the option of elevation as well as a cushion for the ankles and knees. It is eco-friendly and made with comfortable, smooth plant fibers. You can use the mat and cushion together or separately for different purposes, such as yoga, meditation, and indoor seating – they also come in different colors!
This mediation seat by Monk and Llama offers a different position for those who prefer not to sit cross-legged. By kneeling with this bench, you are able to sit more upright to open up even more space for breathing and blood circulation. It also alleviates pressure from the knees and engages the core muscles for better posture.
Get the bench on Amazon.
WHY WOMEN NEED MEDITATION
Besides the fact that your new meditation cushion can add decor and a peaceful aura in your home, it’s important for you to actually put it to use!
It has been shown that women, in particular, can benefit from meditation. More females have been linked to having depression and anxiety and tend to produce more cortisol in stressful situations than males (2). During meditation, our breathing slows down and helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and lets us achieve more mental peace and clarity.
With increased stress/cortisol, our sleep and immunity worsen, which is another side effect that comes with female hormonal changes.
Mental fog increases as we age and reach menopause, which can actually be helped with meditation as well.
Studies showed that the gray matter in our brain increased with consistent meditation, which helps our memory, emotional regulation, and ability to learn (1). Therefore, this practice is an excellent tool for us women, especially as we age (read more on holistic ways to deal with menopause here).
PUTTING YOUR NEW MEDITATION CUSHION TO WORK
Instead of trying to find a tree to meditate under, get your new meditation cushion and enter a quiet, peaceful place. If you are new to meditation and yoga, there are some meditation activities, or themes, to help with your practice. Allocate a time in your day to meditate, or add it to the beginning and/or end of your yoga practice. Beginners start with 5 minutes and work themselves up to 20 minutes (or more!).
- Visualization: Imagine yourself in a peaceful place, where you feel most at ease (eg. a beach, forest, park, etc.). When you close your eyes and paint this particular space in your head, your body and mind start to mimic the calmness as if you were there.
Enjoy the calmness from picturing yourself in a peaceful place during your meditation.
- Mantras: Mantras and affirmations can be geared towards self-love, growth, or anything you need to hear at the time. You can repeat the words or listen to a recording/song with them as you practice. The more your brain hears the words, the more it will start to learn to believe in them.
- Breath: Instead of letting all your thoughts attack your mind, you focus on and observe the breath. Allow yourself to feel how the air enters and exits your body, fills your lungs, gives energy to your organs, and fuels your blood.
- Viewpoints: Have something soothing and still, such as a candle or flower, to gaze on softly. Having a “drishti” (gazing point) can help with maintaining concentration, especially if your eyes are restless, even when they are closed.
If you want to learn more about how to get started with meditation, here is a comprehensive meditation guide for beginners.
With the many benefits of meditation you hear about, perhaps it is time you actually begin to practice it. Perhaps the best way is finding a comfy seat. Luckily, there are so many options for meditation cushions on the online market in 2021! Treat yourself to one of the meditation cushions above to enhance your meditative experience (and with that your motivation!).
Once you have received the meditation seat, try out the activities above and see which one resonates the most. As a beginner, meditation can be frustrating and tricky at times, but maintaining the comfort with a cushion and having a prompt can increase your chances of being consistent with it. Remember that consistency is what will benefit you in the long term. Maintaining a regular meditation practice will ultimately help you deal with daily stressors and the side effects of aging with grace.
Hi, I’m Amanda! I’m a singer/actress as well as a yoga instructor, who is super passionate about holistic wellness. Having suffered mental and physical stresses due to the hectic life of a performer, I have regained strength through practicing yoga, mindfulness, and healthy eating. I am a firm believer in the power of holistic health to navigate this crazy world we live in, and I hope to help and inspire others on their journeys to a healthier, happier self.