Meditation Bench VS Cushion
What is a Meditation Bench?
Meditation benches are single-person, small benches that are designed to relieve some pressure from your legs while you meditate, while also promoting better alignment for your spine and back. These benches generally have two short legs that support a seat, on which you rest your backside while you meditate.
Using a meditation bench involves placing it behind you and getting into a kneeling position. You then slide the bench toward your backside, keeping your ankles flat behind you while moving the bench until it is directly above your ankles. You then sit down and rest on the bench.
If this does not feel comfortable, you can adjust the position and angle of the bench until it feels right. The angled seat of a meditation bench makes it much easier to keep your spine aligned and maintain a healthy posture. Because of this, meditation benches are ideal if:
- You have joint issues that prevent you from properly kneeling or kneeling at all for extended periods
- You lack flexibility and struggle to get into a kneeling position
- You have spinal issues and have to maintain a healthy posture
- You experience discomfort and pain while kneeling
- You want to feel more comfortable while you meditate
Meditation On a Cushion
People who have been sitting cross-legged on the floor since they were children generally have a much easier time adapting to and getting into classic meditation postures, like the lotus position, than people who are more used to chairs and tables, i.e. most westerners. If you dance, practice yoga, stretch, or perform other physical activities that promote flexibility, you should also have an easier time sitting on the floor to meditate.
However, if you don’t fit into any of those categories, but don’t feel comfortable when sitting on a meditation bench, then it might be time to invest in a meditation cushion.
Meditation cushions are essentially large, soft cushions that you place on the floor and kneel or sit on during your meditation sessions. They are extremely comfortable and are great for people who prefer to engage in their meditation on the floor but need extra comfort.
These special cushions lift your hips and allow them to roll forward slightly, supporting the natural curve of your lower back. After your spine has been aligned, the rest of your body will naturally follow suit into a comfortable position - instant bliss!
Why Regular Sitting is Uncomfortable
Sitting comfortably in a cross-legged (or lotus) position means sitting tall and maintaining your spine’s natural curves. This position requires a certain level of mobility in the hips, knees, and ankles that most of us just don’t have. If you work a desk job, then this is particularly true for you.
The resulting sensation is one of pinching, cramping, and slouching that makes it extremely difficult to focus on anything other than the discomfort you’re feeling and when you’ll be able to get up again. This pulls you out of your meditative focus, which generally takes a while to get into, leading to frustration and demotivation to meditate again.
So, Which Should You Choose?
The answer to the question of meditation bench vs cushion is purely subjective based on your needs and preferences.
If you are someone that prefers to kneel while you meditate, but have a hard time kneeling on the hard ground or on a simple yoga mat, then you should consider purchasing a meditation bench. They keep your back supported and your posture healthy while also suspending you off of the ground slightly, ensuring a comfortable kneeling position for extended periods.
On the other hand, if you prefer to meditate in the lotus position, but find the floor too uncomfortable, then a meditation cushion is perfect for you. They are wonderfully plush and comfortable, and provide ample support for your legs, back, spine, and ankles. This allows you to maintain a healthy posture and focus purely on your meditation, without aches and pains distracting you.