Do you find meditating cross-legged uncomfortable? Or do you normally meditate cross-legged and want to change things up?
If so, a meditation bench may be the perfect addition to your practice. Around 95% of the time I meditate cross-legged. But sometimes my body doesn’t feel comfortable in that position. When that’s the case I’ll break out my meditation bench.
How is Kneeling on a Meditation Bench Different?
A supported kneeling posture is quite different from sitting cross-legged or in lotus. Depending on your body, this may make it a more comfortable option for you.
* Tight Hips? A meditation bench keeps your ankles in line with your legs, which puts less twisting force on the knee.
* Bum Falling Asleep? A meditation bench distributes weight from your sit bones to your legs, giving your bum a break.
* Neck and Shoulders Cramping? A meditation bench makes it easy to find a tall, upright seat. The result? Ease in your back, neck and shoulders.
Even if sitting cross-legged does work for you most of the time, it’s handy to have another option if your body complains during longer sessions (meditation retreat, anyone?)
Customizing Your Seat
Meditation benches are generally one-size-fits-all, so you may need to raise the height of your seat with a folded Yoga Blanketor Chip Foam Block.
For reference, I’m 5’7″ with a balanced proportion of torso and legs and I find the bench on its own or with a blanket on the seat just right. We suggest experimenting to find the height that’s most comfortable for your body.
Also, because the meditation bench distributes weight to your knees, shins, and the tops of your feet, you’ll probably find it more comfortable to kneel on a Zabuton Floor Cushion, or a couple of Yoga Blankets.
Che Nolan is a propologist with a major in bolsterology and an Iyengar yoga practitioner with a daily meditation practice. He is also a writer and a regular Halfmoon contributor.