How do you use a meditation pillow?
7 mins read

How do you use a meditation pillow?

Meditation pillows can be a great addition to any meditation routine, providing comfort and support during practice. Not only does a meditation pillow help enhance relaxation because of the comfort it provides, it gives practitioners an opportunity to better focus on the intention and purpose of their practice. Incorporating a meditation pillow into a meditation practice can provide improved posture and increased comfort which is instrumental to really getting into the meditative space.

Benefits of Using a Meditation Pillow

Meditation pillows come in various sizes, shapes, and materials, so it’s important to select one that best fits the practitioner’s needs. The right meditation pillow can reduce discomfort during sitting and help improve alertness, focus, and concentration. Proper support is especially important during seated postures, which can cause strain, discomfort, and lack of concentration during long periods of meditation.

Using a meditation pillow can also provide physical and mental health benefits. It creates improved posture which helps the practitioner maintain proper spinal alignment, reducing pressure on the shoulders and back. Improved posture decreases muscle tension, enhances circulation and aids respiration. Meditation pillows can also help to reduce stress and improve relaxation.

Types of Meditation Pillows

There are a few common types of meditation pillows available that serve different purposes. A basic round cushion is often used for seated meditations, because it works well for keeping the spine in proper alignment. This type of cushion creates a comfortable, stable surface for different seated postures and helps prevent the legs from falling asleep during deep meditations.

A bolster cushion is a long cushion that helps gently support the spine while stretched out in restorative postures. It can be used as either a support cushion under the back and hips as well as a cushion between the knees while lying down. It also makes a comfortable headrest while laying down for relaxation and contemplation.

A memory foam filled Zafu cushion is great for comfort and portability. Most Zafu cushions are higher than standard meditation cushions and can provide a greater amount of support for those who may find a round cushion too low or uncomfortable. Memory foam cushions tend to be more expensive but provide excellent support.

Tips for Selecting the Right Meditation Pillow

When selecting a meditation pillow, look for one that is firm but comfortable and provides the right amount of support to keep the spine in alignment. Choose a size and shape that fits the practitioner’s body type and practice style. Look for one made with natural and breathable fabrics such as cotton, linen, hemp, or bamboo that is hypoallergenic and machine washable.

For individuals who plan to use the cushion for long periods of time, a cushion with a removable zippered cover is ideal for easy care and maintenance. Consider a cushion that comes with a carrying handle or shoulder strap for ease of portability.

How to Set Up a Meditation Pillow

Meditation pillows are usually best set up on a non-slip surface such as a yoga mat or carpeted area. If using an outdoor cushion, make sure to find a flat, even surface with plenty of shade and ventilation. No matter where the cushion is being used, it should always be placed on comfortable, even ground so that it remains still during use.

How to Care for Your Meditation Pillow

When it comes to taking care of your meditation pillow, it’s important to clean it regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt and dust. Regularly inspect the cover material of your cushion for any dirt, debris, or stains that may have accumulated over time. If needed, remove the cover and launder it according to manufacturer instructions.

Regularly fluff your cushion to keep it looking and feeling its best. If your cushion has foam inserts, allow them to air out after use and turn them inside out (if possible) to help keep them from clumping up or losing their shape over time.

What to Look for in a Quality Meditation Pillow

When choosing a quality meditation pillow, look for one that is filled with stretchable filling that does not collapse or lose its shape easily. The pillow should also be lightweight but sturdy enough to keep its shape during use. A quality meditation pillow should be made from natural materials such as cotton, flax, hemp or suede that are hypoallergenic and easy to clean.

How to Use a Meditation Pillow in Different Meditations

Depending on the type of meditation being practiced, different seated postures can be achieved comfortably sitting on a meditation pillow. For example, in Zen meditation, practitioners sit with their legs folded in lotus position. This position requires more support than other sitting postures, making a round cushion a better choice because of its stability and height.

In Tibetan Buddhism, practitioners sit with their legs stretched out in front of them in what’s called the semi-lotus position. In this case, using either a round cushion or Zafu cushion is suggested for support. For back support during seated postures, a long bolster cushion is recommended.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Meditation Pillow

For meditation practitioners looking to get the most out of their meditation pillows, it’s important to find one that fits their body type and practice style. Experiment with different pillows to find the one that offers optimal support without compromising posture or comfort. Fill any gaps between the lower body and floor by adjusting the height of the pillow as needed.

It’s also important to remember to relax your body while using your meditation pillow. Try visualizing your body melting into the cushion while allowing yourself to breathe deeply during your practice.

Alternatives to Using a Meditation Pillow

If you don’t have access to a meditation pillow or don’t prefer sitting on one during practice, there are other alternatives you may want to try. Sitting on a yoga mat or rolled towel on top of a carpeted floor can provide some measure of comfort and support during meditations. If you’re looking for more support or increased comfort when sitting on the floor, try using props or blankets placed under your legs or behind your back for added comfort.