Meditation Cushion - Review. How do you pick the meditation cushion that is best for you?
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Which Meditation Cushion is Right for You?


One of the biggest aspects of meditation that's just NOT talked about enough, is finding your ideal meditation seat — you must be comfortable in order to reach nirvana. Anatomically, most spines require support in order to sit on the floor for long periods of time. If you've ever had pins-and-needles in your feet or an achy back while meditating, you NEED to prop yourself up with cushions. In fact, unless you're in the .01% of people who are comfortable sitting in lotus on the floor with no back support, cushions should be part of your meditation ritual.

In this post, we're going to cover 4 types of meditations cushions: the V-Shape Yoga Cushion, Zafu, Zabuton, and Zen Yoga Pillow (all by veteran yoga brand Hugger-Mugger).

Keep in mind that the aim of any mediation cushion is to elevate your pelvis so your hips are ABOVE your knees. This allows for proper blood flow to your legs and feet so you can sit for longer and cultivates a tall spine in which energy can flow freely.

Don't let the number of options here disrupt your Zen. We're going to make this as simple as possible :) Let's work our way from large to small.

Zabuton

zabuton

Traditionally, a round Zafu cushion is placed on top of a Zabuton so you can sit on the round Zafu with your knees dropping into the pillow-y softness of the big square Zabuton.

While this is the ideal scenario, if your house (or wallet) isn't ready for two cushions off the bat, you can opt to buy the Zabuton alone.

Unlike all the other cushions, Zabutons (because of their large size) have built-in knee support. Sitting in crossed-legs, easy seat or lotus, your knees rest onto its cushy surface. With the other options, your knees fall to the floor, your mat, or ideally, a blanket.

To elevate your pelvis with the Zabuton you can fold a fourth of the Zabuton underneath you. This gains your seat about 2.5 inches in elevation (compare to 6.5 of elevation if you had the matching Zafu). If you're flexible and happy meditating on the floor (just are just looking for more comfort), this may be enough for you.

A secret benefit of the Zabuton no one ever talks about is that it can double as a yoga bolster. Fold it in half and secure it with the strap that's included. Now you can use it as a bolster under your knees for at-home shavasana or as a make-shift bolster to do Yin yoga at home.

Zafu


Heaven is having a Zafu on top of a Zabuton so your pelvis is truly elevated AND your knees have cushioning. However, you can also use the Zafu on it's own. Fold your yoga mat in half for more padding or set down a blanket so your knees can rest on something supportive, then enjoy the length in the spine this prop gives you with 6.5 of elevation. Remember to sit on the front half of the Zafu (not the center) for proper spinal alignment.

Zafus also come in handy as make-shift pillows in all sorts of situations whether we're stretching at home on the floor or on the sofa watching TV.

V-Shape Yoga Cushion



This cushion supports your thighs as well as your pelvis, making it great for people with low back or knee issues who are already flexible sitting in crossed-legs on the floor (just are looking for more comfort).

If your low back is rounded and your knees are elevated 6 or more when seated on floor (look at your seated profile in a mirror to check) this cushion's thigh support won't serve you very well.

Similar to the Zabuton, this is our pick for people who are already comfortable seated on the floor and are just looking for more support and padding.

An added bonus of this cushion is that it's small enough to put on a chair. So you could sit with crossed-legs on this cushion while working at your desk! (Be sure to also elevate your monitor or laptop so it says at eye height).

Zen Yoga Pillow



The rectangular Zen Yoga Pillow technically offers 6.5 inches of elevation like the Zafu, yet feels HIGHER because of its fullness and shape. This cushion is going to give you the most elevation making it great for people who struggle to sit on the floor, have tight hips or categorize themselves as “really stiff.

The rectangular shape (as opposed to the circular shape of the Zafu) provides more stability. When we had our 6'3 yoga guy test the cushions, this was by far his favorite. As a large guy, he felt the Zen Yoga Pillow gave him the most support, height and stability. With the round Zafu, he reported feeling wobbly.

Keep in mind you could pair the Zen Yoga Pillow with the Zabuton to add knee support for an extra luxurious set-up.

Below is a quick comparison chart for your reference. Remember, it's hard to go wrong. Adding any kind of cushioning will profoundly support your meditation practice! OM!

 

    Zabuton

       

Zafu

 

V-Shape Yoga Cushion

Zen Yoga Pillow

 Pros

 Cushions Knees

 Elevates Pelvis

 Elevates Pelvis  & Thighs

 Elevates Pelvis

 Cons*

 Doesn't Elevate Pelvis

 Doesn't Pad Knees

 Doesn't Pad Knees

 Doesn't Pad Knees

 Dimensions

 2" x 25" x 34"

 

 5" x 15"

 

 6" x 24" x 17"

 

 5" x 15" x 11"

 

 Weight

 7 lbs

 6.75 lbs

 

 7.25 lbs

 

 7.25 lbs

 

 Bonus Uses

 Bolster

 Pillow

 Chair Padding

 None

*assumes sitting in a crossed-leg or similar position

Author 

Brett Larkin teaches vinyasa flow yoga at top San Francisco studios and on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than 10 million minutes. Find her "yoga hacks," yoga teacher training tips, and free yoga/meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.


 

 

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