Meditation cushion or pillow is an important and basic tool to increase the effectiveness of your session. They support and relax the body thereby increasing the focus and concentration.
Before we shop meditation pillows let us acquaint ourselves with its important features. Meditation cushions come in various shapes and sizes. The most commonly used cushions are:
- Zafu: This is the traditional round cushion most suited for the full lotus or the half lotus pose. Always sit on the front portion of the zafu for proper elevation and spinal alignment. A yoga mat or blanket can be placed under the zafu for increased cushion to the knees and ankles. Zafu cushions can also be folded for increased elevation and they also double up as pillows.
- Zabuton: These are the square or the rectangular cushions with a knee support built in. These cushions offer great support and cushion to your ankles and knees in the cross legged, lotus or the vajrasana poses. Ideally a zabuton is placed under a zafu. It can also be used without zafu and is recommended for users with higher flexibility as it offers only a slight elevation when compared to zafu. A zabuton can be folded and used as yoga bolster to support knees, shoulders or neck in the sleeping posture.
- V-shaped or crescent shaped: These cushions are similar to zafu but they offer a wider support. These are most suitable for the postures where you need to tuck in the knees close to the body as they offer support to the pelvic area.
The next important feature of these cushions is the material used for stuffing. There are three most commonly used fillings:
- Cotton: These fillings are soft and the cushions tend to be light weight. But cotton stuffing develops lumps and lose shape after repeated uses and its not environmentally friendly.
- Kapok: These fillings are obtained from the kapok trees and are fluffy and soft almost like cotton. These fillings are light weight, mold resistant and hypo allergic. The main drawback of these fillings is refilling is difficult and the cushions tend to lose shape after repeated uses.
- Buckwheat: These hulls are the outer husk of the buckwheat grains. They feel similar to sand mounds and are heavy when compared to other materials. These fillings can be adjusted according to individual specifications and do not lose shape even after repeated uses.
The next feature is the outer covering of the cushions which comes in different materials like cotton, woollen, polyester and silk. Choose a material that is hygienic and easy to maintain.
Now that we are acquainted with the different features of these meditation cushions, select a pillow that best suits your requirements and you are all set to start on the path of meditation with confidence and comfort.