Why do we need yoga cushions?
While you are practising meditation or pranayama, sitting in a cross-legged position is recommended position. The difficult part is that sitting in such a position isn’t easy for everyone. This is especially true when you are new to the practice of yoga. Yoga cushions are there to help if sitting cross-legged is difficult on its own.
A yoga cushion is designed to provide support, comfort, and stability during your yoga practice. It can help improve alignment, reduce strain on joints, and assist with proper posture during meditation and various yoga poses.
A stable sitting is one with your knees are close to the mat. When knees are high, keeping your back straight is difficult. So, when we sit on cushions, it raises our hips, thus allowing our knees to come down. This leads to a better sitting posture.
Can I use a regular pillow as a yoga cushion?
A pillow is not designed for sitting. If you plan to sit on the floor once in a while, you can use a pillow as a temporary solution. But for regular use, a yoga cushion is the best solution.
Also, while a regular pillow can provide some support, it may not offer the same level of stability and firmness as a yoga cushion specifically designed for yoga practice. Investing in a yoga cushion can enhance your practice and help maintain proper alignment during poses and meditation.
What types of yoga cushions are available?
There are several types of yoga cushions, including bolsters, meditation cushions, and wedges. Each type serves a different purpose and is designed to cater to specific needs within a yoga practice.
Types of yoga cushions:
There are mainly two types of cushions for sitting on the floor:
- Softcover cushion with the filling of buckwheat husk (like yogasya zafu or gravolite zafu cushion )
- Rubber block-based cushions (like these meditation sitting blocks )
I have personally used both styles for brief periods (as I am able to sit comfortably on the mat without any help), so I am also including feedback given to me by regular users of these cushions.
Let’s see what each type of cushion has to offer
Filling-based cushions: Due to the material’s flexibility inside the cushion, these cushions have the main benefit of adapting according to your comfort. You can try sitting on the edges of the cushion or in middle, to see, which position provides you stable posture. As the inner material gets settled according to your body, finding a suitable seat angle is easy. Also when you sit on the edge, slowly you can reduce the height of the cushion support you want.
But the main problem with these cushions is that you have to settle them into what you want, every time. There is nothing static. You get up, lift it up and it’s round again. Other than this, it serves its purpose very well.
Rubber block-based or fixed height cushions: These are fixed cushions. No adjustment is required. No guessing. You will either get it right or you won’t. But the main benefit is that if this one suits you, then just like your mat, it is there with the same experience every time.
The main point that needs to be taken care of while purchasing this type of cushion is that you sit on one for some time, with different cross-legged positions (sukhasana, padmasana, ardha padmasana etc.)
How do I choose the right yoga cushion for my practice?
When selecting a yoga cushion, consider your personal preferences, your yoga practice, and your physical needs. Assess factors such as cushion size, shape, firmness, and material. You may want to try different cushions to find the one that best suits your needs.
Can I use a yoga cushion if I have physical limitations or injuries?
Yes, yoga cushions can be beneficial for those with physical limitations or injuries. They can provide support and help reduce strain on specific areas of the body. However, it is essential to consult with a medical professional or a qualified yoga instructor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you have an injury.
Are yoga cushions only suitable for meditation practices?
While yoga cushions are often used during meditation, they can also be beneficial for various yoga poses and exercises. They provide additional support, help improve alignment, and can be used as a prop to modify poses, making them more accessible for all skill levels.
How do I clean and care for my yoga cushion?
To clean a yoga cushion, follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Generally, you can spot clean the cushion with a damp cloth and mild soap.
Some cushions come with removable covers that can be machine washed.
Regularly cleaning your cushion is important.
What materials are commonly used in yoga cushions?
Yoga cushions are typically made from a combination of materials, such as cotton, polyester, or organic fabrics for the outer cover, and filled with materials like buckwheat hulls, kapok fiber, or foam. The choice of material often depends on personal preferences, comfort, and eco-friendliness.