Meditation is a practise in which someone utilises a method to train their attention and awareness, reach a cognitively clear and emotionally tranquil and stable state. Recognizing the unique characteristics of the many different traditions—in which ideas and practises might vary—has contributed to the challenge of accurately defining meditation. Even within a religion like “Hinduism” or “Buddhism,” according to Taylor, schools and individual teachers may promote different styles of meditation. Most meditation techniques do not exist as isolated practises, according to Ornstein; they can only be forcibly separated from a comprehensive system of practise and belief.
The mind must be clear in order for good meditation techniques to work. The practitioner needs to be in a comfortable position in order to complete this. Otherwise, prolonged durations of meditation lead to the onset of bodily distractions as thoughts swiftly shift to escalating knee discomfort, escalating numbness in the lower limbs, or escalating prickly feelings in the feet.
There are several ways to sit on a meditation pillow. The most important thing to keep in mind about meditation pillows is that they are intended to do two main tasks: lift your hips above your legs and ensure appropriate vertical alignment of your head, neck, spine, and hips.
A firm yet cosy cushion called a meditation pillow is made to assist you sit comfortably when practising meditation, especially for extended periods of time. There are two primary categories of seating cushions traditionally:
Zafu- This is a spherical, sturdy cushion that is typically filled with either kapok tree fibre or buckwheat hulls.
Zabuton- This is a rectangle cushion that is typically used alone or underneath your zafu or meditation bench.
Below are the top 5 ways to use a meditation pillow:
The easy stance is a meditation posture very similar to a quarter-lotus pose with roughly the same degree of effort. The two positions appear to be identical at first glance. The location of the lifted foot and the toes’ exposure are the main differences. The name of this pose refers to how much less stress is placed on the knee and ankle joints than in the quarter lotus. The raised foot in the quarter-lotus is totally visible, resting on the calf of the opposing leg, and pointing to the knee of the same leg. In contrast, in the sukhasana, the same foot would be concealed and pointed downward toward the floor while being tucked beneath the calf of the opposing leg.
The easiest seated, cross-legged meditation position is the Burmese position. Unlike the simple posture and the three lotus variations, neither foot is supported by any portion of either leg. Instead, both feet are resting on the ground, minimising any bending and twisting of the knee joints. Despite the fact that this pose requires less physical effort from the practitioner, it is still advised to use a meditation pillow to get a straight back. Sitting on the forward edge of the pillow makes it possible to fully rest both knees on the floor, which is another requirement.
Various forms of kneeling are also quite popular among practitioners, and the hero stance is one that is on everyone’s radar for meditation. Cross-legged postures are not the only effective approach to meditate. This meditation position, also known as the virasana position in Sanskrit, is the best choice for anyone who finds it physically impossible, excruciatingly difficult, or both to sit cross-legged on the floor. In the hero pose, you sit with your legs crossed in front of you, but each knee is resting on the floor and pointing forward, and each foot is bent so that it is to either side of you and pointing back.
Another kneeling position that’s mistaken for the hero posture is the thunderbolt pose (and vice-versa). Although there may not be much of a visible difference between the two stances, functionally, there are major distinctions. It starts with the practitioner’s seating arrangement. In the hero pose, the practitioner is seated on the floor in the area between the feet with the knees bent and the feet spread shoulder-width apart. The feet are closer together (aligned with the knees) in the thunderbolt position, and the practitioner sits on the back heels of both feet. The more compact and often regarded as the more challenging of the two kneeling positions is the Vajrasana.
Sitting on chair
Due to back, hip, or knee issues, or other physical ailments that make sitting or kneeling on the floor extremely difficult, sitting meditation is not only a totally acceptable practise, but for many practitioners it is the only practical method of meditation. Good posture is crucial when meditating while seated on a chair . just like it is when doing meditation poses like the lotus, Burmese, easy and other sitting positions . Chair meditation is immensely benefited by employing a meditation pillow, either to support the back, as is the case with meditative practises performed while seated on the floor.