Last Updated on July 27, 2020 by Ash
If you’re new to meditation, you probably have a lot of questions. Don’t worry – it’s normal to ask questions about something you’re not familiar with. A common question that people who are new to meditation have is “are meditation cushions necessary?”
You’ll see just as many meditators sitting on a meditation cushion as you’ll see sitting on the ground. So of course, this begs the question of whether you really need a meditation cushion to meditate properly or not.
Table of Contents
- Are Meditation Cushions Necessary?
- Benefits of Using a Meditation Cushion
- What Can I Use as a Meditation Cushion?
- How to Choose a Meditation Cushion
- How to Sit on a Meditation Cushion
Are Meditation Cushions Necessary?
This might surprise you, but the answer to the question, are meditation cushions necessary, is no. In fact, there are virtually zero requirements when it comes to meditation – a desire to meditate is all you need.
But just because a meditation cushion isn’t necessary to begin meditating, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use one.
Aside from the many health benefits, one of the things that draws a lot of people to meditation was the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of fancy and/or expensive equipment.
Having said that, I urge you to keep reading, as there are plenty of reasons why, although it’s not a requirement, you probably should consider using a meditation cushion.
Benefits of Using a Meditation Cushion
Personally, I always use a meditation cushion. Although meditation cushions are not a requirement, there are a number of benefits to using one. These include:
If you find it uncomfortable sitting in lotus position on the hard floor, you’re not alone. Most people find this uncomfortable, and there’s a scientific reason for that. According to Healthline, sitting cross legged for an extended period can cause your pelvis to rotate and tip, thus causing lower back pain.
Improves Spine Alignment
In addition to causing lower back pain, sitting cross legged can also throw your spine out of alignment which again, causes pain and discomfort.
A good meditation cushion will gently lift your hips and roll them forward. This helps to support the natural curve of your spine, thus improving your posture and reducing pressure on your muscles, who are forced to overcompensate when you have poor posture.
Beyond the physical benefits of a meditation cushion, simply owning a meditation cushion can help to increase your motivation to meditate.
You know how weight loss coaches encourage people not to keep chocolate in the house because if they see it, they want to eat it?
Having a meditation cushion in your house works in a similar way – just by seeing it sitting there in your house, it can help to increase your motivation to meditate.
Reinforces the Habit of Meditation
We know that kitchens are for cooking and beds are for sleeping, right? It would feel pretty strange to sleep on a mattress in your kitchen and set up a burner in your bedroom.
That’s because your brain has been programmed and conditioned to sleep in your bed and cook in your kitchen.
Likewise, owning a meditation cushion acts as a visual reminder to meditate, and can help program and condition your mind to be in a meditative headspace.
What Can I Use as a Meditation Cushion?
Now that we’ve determined why it’s a good idea to own a meditation cushion, let’s look at what you can use as a meditation cushion.
If you don’t have the budget for a purpose made meditation cushion, you can try the following:
- Folded blanket
- Bath towel
Of course, while these may work as a temporary measure, they are not going to provide the same benefits as a meditation cushion.
Meditation cushions are purposefully designed to promote proper spine alignment, release pressure and improve posture so it’s worth investing in a meditation cushion once your budget allows.
How to Choose a Meditation Cushion
There are an overwhelming array of meditation cushions available, all with different features with prices ranging from budget-friendly to super-splurge.
When you’re choosing a meditation cushion, keep the following factors in mind:
- Inner filling
- Machine Washable Cover
- Cover material
Here are my top 3 picks:
A zafu is simply a round cushion, commonly seen in Japanese and Chinese homes. While a zafu can also be used as a simple seat, it is commonly used as a meditation cushion, particularly in Zen meditation.
The MV Joie Zafu is a budget-friendly, comfortable and luxurious feeling cushion, filled with fumigated buckwheat hulls. The removable cover is machine-washable and the interior filling can be removed if you’d prefer a slightly less full cushion.
The MV Joie Zafu comes in 3 chakra colors – violet, indigo and green.
This is my personal favorite meditation cushion – the velvety material is soft and comfortable to sit on, and I like to use the small pocket on the side of the cushion to hold a couple of my favorite healing crystals.
If you have a bigger budget and want the ultimate in support, then the Alexia Meditation Seat is the ultimate in meditative comfort.
The Alexia Meditation Seat is an ergonomically designed meditation cushion that raises your hips and angles them slightly forward, naturally correcting your posture. Your legs are positioned lower than your sitz bones, allowing you to fold them comfortably without pressure from your body weight.
The vegan leather is easily wiped clean, and the lotus-like design makes a stylish addition to any meditation space.
Acupressure can be a wonderful complementary therapy, and the Body Quiet Acupressure Cushion allows you combine the benefits of meditation and acupressure.
This meditation cushion features lotus-flower shaped acupressure points that gently trigger pressure points on your body, helping you relax, relieve stress and anxiety and enjoy a deeper meditation practice.
And for the days when you’d prefer a regular meditation cushion, you can simply flip the acupressure cushion over, as the back side has no acupressure points.
The Body Quiet Acupressure Cushion is filled with buckwheat, has a removable, washable cover and can be lowered to your desired height.
How to Sit on a Meditation Cushion
There are various ways to sit while meditating. Watch the following video to learn how best to sit if you’re new to meditation.
Are meditation cushions necessary? No, you don’t need a meditation cushion. However, for a optimal meditation experience, investing in a meditation cushion can help to align the spine, release pressure and tension, decrease pain and allow you to enter a deeper meditative state.
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