Meditation can be a way to prepare for a long day, calm your mind after a busy day, or deal with a recent, unpleasant event. Using mediation to help reduce the stress could be nearly as beneficial as seeing a therapist in person. While meditation can be practiced in various positions, there are some more traditional positions that more dedicated meditators tend to use, and that involves using a meditation pillow.
Can you use a regular pillow for meditation?
A regular pillow can be used as a temporary solution for your meditation but not advised for long-term practice. Meditation pillows are designed to support prolonged seating by releasing tension in the lower part of the body. Investing in a good meditation pillow will benefit the quality of your meditation practice as well as the comfort of your spine.
The great thing about meditation is that it doesn’t require a huge investment to start. As a matter of fact, meditation doesn’t need any kind of investment at all in the beginning, if that is your preference. Only when people begin experiencing meditation benefits make the next step in creating a meditation corner, purchasing a meditation pillow, and establishing a regular routine.
Let’s take a look at why it is better to own a good quality meditation pillow and why a regular pillow is not advised for dedicated meditators.
Can I Use a Regular Pillow from my bed for meditation?
For those who prefer to meditate for sleeping (practicing Yoga Nidra), using a regular bed pillow can be the perfect tool to help you get into a meditative state and help you to fall asleep faster. Meditation can be used as part of a bedtime routine to help you fall asleep faster and more deeply, but it can also be used for those experimenting with lucid dreaming.
Using a regular pillow for seated meditation is not advised unless it is a temporary solution. A regular pillow, which is used for sleeping or as decoration, will not provide the support you need for your hips, lower back, and spine. The pillow for sleep is designed to take care of your head, neck, shoulders, while the meditation pillow is designed to support your lower body for an extended period of time.
Let’s say you are traveling and staying in a hotel room or visiting a family member and a meditation cushion is not available, then using a regular pillow to sit on can come in handy. But don’t make a habit of it. It can be tempting to use a regular pillow just because you have one already, but always remember that a proper meditation pillow can prevent your lower back from aching.
Should I buy a Meditation Pillow?
Using a meditation pillow can help your unconscious mind get into the mood for meditation. Just as having a ritual or routine before bed can help you fall asleep faster, having a ritual or routine for regular meditation practice can also help calm your mind quicker, which is the end goal of meditation.
Owning a pillow or cushion that you use specifically for the purpose of meditation can help get your mind into the right frame faster to make your meditation session more productive. Rather than trying to fight your way into a meditative state (which kind of defeats the whole purpose of it), your mind can slip easily into that state simply by using a ritual to prepare you.
While the ritual aspect can be a huge one to some people, others may need them for medical or comfort purposes. Knowing both your own body and how you intend to meditate can make all the difference in the world on what kind of meditation pillow would best suit your purposes.
If meditation became a part of your lifestyle, whether you meditate daily, weekly, or bi-monthly, consider investing in a high-quality meditation pillow. When you meditate, your body helps you stay still without you even realising it. For example, you don’t experience lower back pain, which is the main problem that distracts people from their sessions.
Who Needs a Meditation Pillow?
Anyone for whom meditation became a part of their lifestyle. In addition, those with medical conditions such as reduced circulation in their lower extremities, or people who have diabetes. Also, meditators who are prone to blood clots will need to be aware of circulation issues, especially for long meditation sessions.
The elderly and those who may have arthritis may have issues getting up from sitting directly on the floor. Using a meditation pillow may allow for easier getting up since long meditation sessions can make your legs stiff or sore, mainly affecting the joints.
If you have any type of circulation or joint issues, looking into a meditation pillow will be a worthwhile investment.
If you know that you plan to add meditation into your life regularly, then you too should consider owning a good meditation cushion.
What Type of Meditation Pillow is Best?
While there are plenty of meditation pillows to choose from, finding what works best for you and your meditation style may require a bit of searching. Knowing what position you prefer during the meditation will make your search easier. Are you the person who likes to:
- Lie down
- Sit cross-legged
- Sit on the floor, but elevated
If you are a meditator who prefers to meditate lying down without the aim to fall asleep, then a wedge type pillow may be best for you. This pillow would allow you to elevate your chest and shoulders, allowing for easier breathing. Some people with medical conditions such as asthma may use this technique for sleeping simply because of the ease of breathing benefit.
Sitting Cross-Legged or Kneeling
Finding a comfortable position to meditate is important and for some people kneeling is the one. In this position, the buttock is on your feet, which means it can put a lot of pressure on your foot bones and your knees. This can become uncomfortable quickly, whether you have medical conditions or not, especially if you are doing it on a hard surface. Having a cushion that your feet can hang off can help relieve the pressure on your feet and knees.
If you prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor, you should be aware of your spine alignment. Sitting on the floor without a pillow puts a significant amount of pressure on the lower back, which can manifest as pain in due time. This discomfort can interrupt your meditation. Therefore using a meditation pillow will give your tailbone some cushion and keep your spine in a healthy shape.
Elevated on the Floor
If you want to sit on the floor, but feel uncomfortable in a regular cross-legged position, then having something that lifts you more may be the alternative you seek. Especially for those who have circulation issues in their legs, using an elevated cushion can allow you to sit cross-legged or even straight-legged without having the circulation to your legs interrupted.
Benefits of a Meditation Pillow
Using a meditation pillow during your practice has a long list of benefits, some of them even backed by science—reduced pain from pinched nerves, additional comfort for your spine, reduced stress on your lower back, and prolonged sitting time. This can’t be experienced with a regular pillow.
In addition to the benefits that the pillow can bring to your body and your meditation practice, it can also benefit the Planet. If it is time for you to replace your old pillow or you are looking for the first one to own – choose the one from a sustainable brand.
Can you use a regular pillow for meditation: Final Thoughts
Wheather you are meditation beginner or experienced meditator, investing in a high quality meditation pillow which would match your style of meditation is highly recommended. It is not only about resting your Mind and slowing down the train of thoughts- the comfort of your lower back and legs should be considered equally.