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How to Use Meditation Cushions

  • Zafu: Where Did It Come From and What Do You Do With It?

      Sitting meditation isn’t easy. And I’m not just talking about the ever-wandering mind. The actual act of sitting is an art and science in its own right. It sounds odd to say this, but sitting is actually pretty rigorous. That’s because virtually all meditation traditions advise meditators to sit upright with a straight spine and no back support. The theory is that a straight, unsupported spine will keep you more alert and energized. The traditional sitting position is usually Sukhasana (Cross-Legged Pose) or Padmasana (Lotus Pose). If your spine is unable to maintain an upright position without straining, your...

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  • Three Ways to Sit on a Zen Meditation Cushion

    Finding your ideal meditation position can be harder than you’d think. We’ve all seen images of loincloth-clad yogis sitting in Lotus Pose—often touted as the “perfect” meditation position. Truth is, not everyone’s hips are capable of the external rotation required to do Lotus. And even if you have hips that can do Lotus easily, it can be hard on your knees. The good news is that there are alternatives to Lotus. These days, we recognize the need to vary our posture depending on each person’s needs. It’s important to explore your options. Sitting meditation isn’t easy, and it’s even harder...

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  • Zafu and Zabuton: The Meditation Combination

    How you support your body in sitting meditation can make all the difference between feeling agitated and edgy or feeling calm and relaxed. The traditional combination of Zafu and Zabuton is the most popular, time-tested support for sitting practice. Sitting on a Zafu gives your hips extra height, allowing your pelvis to tilt forward and your spine to maintain its natural curves. When your spine is in its natural curves, it supports itself. There’s then no need to use muscular energy to sit up straight. When you have to exert a lot of effort just to maintain your posture, your...

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  • 4 Ways to Cultivate a Meditation Practice

    4 Tips for Committing to Meditation Practice Meditation ain’t easy. It’s arguable that it’s a whole lot harder than yoga asana practice. When you’re practicing asana, your mind has plenty of sensations to occupy itself. When you sit, sensations are more subtle. It’s hard work to zero in on what’s actually going on moment to moment when it at least appears that there’s not a whole lot happening. People often tell me they can’t meditate because when they try, their minds spin off even more than they do in daily life. I tell them that’s not a sign of an...

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  • Lightweight Sukasana Pillows Travel Easy

    Use a Sukasana Cushion for Ease in “Easy Pose” In some ways you could call sitting meditation the ultimate vacation. When you make the effort to step away from your mind’s usual drama even for a few minutes, you can feel refreshed, energized and peaceful. So it’s ironic that when we go on vacation—unless we’re going on a yoga or meditation retreat—we often leave our practice behind. Part of the reason could be that most meditation cushions are bulky and heavy, which is great for home practice, but not so easy when baggage space is limited. That’s why Hugger Mugger designed...

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