Meditation was originally a Buddhist tradition, and has only spread to the western half of the world in recent decades, bringing peace and a sense of balance into the homes of thousands of Americans. Often complimented by Yoga and Pilates
practices, meditation can be performed as often as you wish, and from the privacy of your own home. Some prefer to meditate on the floor, others in arm chairs, and sometimes on the bed, but meditation cushions are also growing in popularity.
Originally used as regular, everyday chairs in Asia, meditation cushions have become available in today’s markets as the perfect way to meditate daily. They are extremely comfortable, and are designed to lend support for the lower back, knees, ankles, and buttocks. The traditional name for this cushions is zafu, which means “sewn seat.” They are also accompanied by the zabuton, which is a large square cushion that is placed under the zafu for added support.
The zafu can be any size, but they are typically around 40cm in diameter and 20cm in hight. Some are shaped as balls or beans, while others can be square or crescent-shaped. Choosing the right size and shape depends on your body style, and which fits most comfortably. There are also different fillings for zafus, which include buckweat hulls, kapox (a natural fiber found in the east), cotton twil, or cotton drill. The substance that fills the zafu will also determine the price.
Meditation sessions vary in length, but it is absolutely essential that you are comfortable during this time. Your back should be complete straight, allowing for smooth and effortless breathing, and there should be no pressure on the lower back or tail bone. Sitting on the floor or even in a chair may not provide the type of support that you need; in this case, a zafu might completely fix the problem.
You can find these meditation cushions in any number of places, including local yoga and metaphysical stores, as well as online. Here are a few sites that might aid in your search:
It really is better to buy them from a store, however, because you should be free to try them before selecting the perfect cushion. If you need extra support for your knees, then you might also want to try a zabuton, which is made from the same material and offers the same amount of support.