Have you been wondering if a meditation chair is right for you? Here’s a quick tour of why you might need a meditation chair and what different types are available.
Why use a meditation chair?
Meditating is hard work. Don’t believe me? Try sitting still for half an hour on the floor. Going away on a Meditation Retreat sounds nice and relaxing. In fact, it can be extremely painful if you can’t sit comfortably.
As you settle in for your hour-long meditation on the nice cushy carpet, your joints begin to hurt as well as your lower back. Some people (like me!) find their blood circulation cuts off at the knees and their feet go numb. Why is this?
Well, we don’t generally have strong backs and core muscles like we once used to. Most of our hunter and gatherer days had us constantly using our backs and sitting on the hard earth. Nowadays, most of us sit or slouch on chairs. As a result, sitting on the floor and meditating becomes hard work for your core and back.
Obviously the solution is strengthening your back and core. This can be done with yoga and exercise. However, that takes time and to truly begin to enjoy meditating you might need a bit of help.
Support your back
Meditation chairs are specifically designed to support you with your meditation posture. Most of the pain of sitting without a chair comes from the lack of back support. Meditation chairs help support you where you need it most.
A meditation chair isn’t the same as a regular chair, which is designed for lounging or dining. Instead, it is usually lower to the ground or on the ground and has thicker cushioning. The right kind of meditation chair can help you sit more comfortably in lotus or hero poses.
When you feel ready for it, I also recommend trying to meditate on the ground with cushions and a back support. Meditating on the ground or floor involves active sitting. This is because you need to engage your muscles to sit without pain. Sitting on the floor also helps to “ground” you. You need to be able to do this when attempting to go beyond your body during meditation.
Types of meditation chairs
There are a variety of meditation chairs you can choose from. You will need to determine a few things before deciding which one is right for you. First, you must decide on your meditation position and your physical needs. Will you be sitting crossed legged, in lotus? Or will you be kneeling? Do you need extra upper back support? Or is just lower support fine?
Portability is another issue. Do you always meditate in the same spot at home? Does your chair need to be packed away? Or will you be traveling with it? These are important factors.
And finally, how much are you willing to spend on a meditation chair? A regular cushion can cost $10 U.S. and a meditation cushion can cost you around $30 U.S. Meanwhile, a mediation chair can range from $40 to $400 U.S.
Decide on your budget. The prices will vary so make sure you look around for a good deal. Here are the three main types of meditation chairs that you’ll find:
The Back Support Chair
There are many versions of this chair–from the very simple to the very luxurious. The main feature of a Back Support chair is a seat with an attachment that supports your back. This chair usually folds up and is easy to carry.
Position: This is used mostly for seated meditation positions.
Price: The cheapest. It can vary from $30-$130 U.S.
Portability: Can vary from being easy to carry to being cumbersome to transport.
The bench is most effective if kneeling is your favorite position. Many benches also have an ergonomic tilt so you are still actively sitting but without putting the pressure on your knees.
Position: This is used mostly for kneeling positions.
Price: You can buy a bench for $40-$160.
Portability: Easy to carry. Not as light and easy to fold as the back support chair.
The Full Chair
Finally, this is the most sturdy and comfortable option as well as the most expensive. These chairs give full support for various meditation positions.
Position: This chair can be used for a variety of positions.
Price: The most expensive. Usually costs between $160-$400.
Portability: Often too heavy to move easily. Ideal for meditating at home.
Do you use a meditation chair? If so, what kind do you use and why? Please share your experience of using meditation chairs. You can leave your comments below.
The handmade chair shown in the image above is from KAMPSTUDIO.