The meditation pillow or cushion is quickly becoming the norm in the world of meditation.
And why not, it serves numerous benefits. Not only does it provide excellent support while sitting, but it also helps in feeling relaxed and comfortable during meditation. Everyone knows how hard it can be when one tries to meditate after a long day’s work. So, we have to look for ways to make it happen for us. This is where such a pillow can be of immense help.
Let us have a look at how to use a meditation pillow or cushion.
In the lotus pose or padmasana, one has to sit cross-legged. When we do it for too long, our feet get numb as a result of the pressure generated by our upper body and pelvis. Furthermore, when we do not use any support when sitting in padmasana, our spine is not properly positioned. This is when a meditation cushion can come in handy. It elevates your pelvic region to a higher position, relieving excess pressure on your legs. This relaxes you and allows you to concentrate on meditation. With its help, you can also do the half-lotus and quarter-lotus poses which are essentially variations of the same pose but serve the same purpose.
One more meditative position is kneeling where we sit on top of our bent knees. In yoga, many asanas require some or the other kind of kneeling. This posture helps to keep our spine properly erect because our feet placed below our hips give the later support and elevation. But, still, this posture can bring discomfort to our joints when seated for longer durations.
Kneeling for more than a few minutes is enough to cause aching joints. This is where the meditation pillow comes in handy. When placed in between your legs while kneeling, it can act as a cushion to support your joints by relieving them from excess pressure. You have to simply adjust the height at which you sit on top of the pillow.
In savasana or shavasana, also called the corpse pose, a meditation pillow can come in handy. This cushion is suited for supporting the neck and head while lying down. It may be required as this pose requires one to lie down in complete relaxation, so better to have good neck support. When the neck muscles are supported, one can easily relax for the duration of this pose.
Those who practice yoga for treating insomnia can use the same cushion to sleep as it can help them easily shift from the meditative state into a peaceful resting state.
Arching Your Back
The back is arched in yogic poses such as the Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) and the Fish pose (Matsyasana), which can be difficult, especially for novices. These asanas necessitate some practice. As a result, help in the shape of a meditation pillow will be beneficial.
You can do this in the bridge position by placing the pillow beneath your back right where you lift your lower body to form an arch underneath. This will provide you with adequate support while minimizing strain. In the fish pose, you can add a pillow below your hips to avoid straining and continue with the asana in relaxation mode.
The child’s pose or balasana requires you to be in a fetal position where you are on your knees and bring your body in front with arms stretching outwards. It is a resting pose. It is performed in between yoga sessions and acts as a quick cooling-off mechanism to freshen up from the strain caused by other exercises. It is also a form of rehabilitation exercise. When you lay your head on the floor, you can instead use a meditation pillow which will provide support and cushioning. It will help me relax more.
When the body is at its most relaxed, the experience of meditating is at its best. However, a meditation cushion works best when combined with a zabuton, which is a larger rectangular cushion put beneath the zafu or meditation pillow. When relaxed, the zabuton provides a cushion for the legs as well as support for the hands. Many yogis use a zafu or meditation pillow as well as a zabuton or additional mat beneath the zafu. This combination is sufficient to induce a zen experience anywhere in the world.
Meditation pillows indeed help in not only practicing meditation but also in other poses. If you are a beginner or are slow with the transition in it, you can definitely consider getting yourself one.