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 Discussions on AYP Deep Meditation and Samyama
 Meditation cushion, aka Zafu?
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144 Posts

Posted - Nov 04 2018 :  11:46:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Not long ago Christi suggested to use a Zafu to elevate my body and improve foot and leg comfort in DM. Anyone purchased one? Are some better than others?

Im basically looking for a recommendation based on zafu you have loved.

Edited by - kensbikes100 on Nov 05 2018 10:52:37 PM

Will Power

413 Posts

Posted - Nov 07 2018 :  03:51:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi kensbikes100,

I used a zafu for many years until I went to a Vippassana retreat and used the foam cushions they have (at least in Spain). So when I came back I purchased in a local store a foam cushion, and I added a cloth cover, and I am very happy with it.
Comparing both, zafu tends to be much more hard, therefore it is easier to sit for longer periods of time without disconfort with the foam cushion.

As measures, you may use this: 45x30x5 cm (you may need more than one depending on your hip flexibility). You may addapt the measures to your constitution.

Also, as a zafuton substitution, you may use 70x90x7 cm

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144 Posts

Posted - Nov 07 2018 :  2:24:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Will, I recall we have discussed such sitting positional issues in the past. My smaller yoga blocks are 2" thick (5 cm), so I'll use those as prototypes to see if I want to seek out a real zafu. To simulate the zabuton I can just fold up a yoga blanket or two.

I would see them helping my feet in siddhasana and in virsasana.
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Will Power

413 Posts

Posted - Nov 08 2018 :  03:44:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If I use back support against the wall with a pillow in the lower back I dont need elevating my body.

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4 Posts

Posted - Nov 14 2018 :  09:15:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Another approach is the Zen 'seiza bench'. I find it very comfortable. It has an angled seat which holds the pelvis at the right angle to help keep the spine straight naturally. Everyone who needs some sort of assist should try one if they can to see if they like it. For some of us it is much better than a zafu. As an added bonus, they can be made with minimal skills and tools.

I don't know if they allow links here, but if you google "Western Chan meditation bench" you'll find instructions. I simplified them...drop the hinges and use normal "2 by" lumber instead of the thinner hardwood. The thicker lumber is cheaper and it's an easier target to hit when you are screwing the legs on the seat. I bought a nice folding one years ago but I prefer the one I built.
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526 Posts

Posted - Nov 16 2018 :  07:05:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If you use a bench, it means that you would not be able to sit in siddhasana, which has other implications for the practice.

Before you buy a zafu, you could experiment by using an old pillow or an towel to lift the hips, while allowing the knees and maybe the sitting bones to rest on the floor or on the bed. See if this helps your position.

Having some padding under makes it easier to sit in siddhasana. I usually sit on the bed or on two old pillows on the floor, with back support.

Best wishes
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144 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2018 :  5:57:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi, Blanche!

I tried using one of my yoga blocks (2"/5 cm tall, resilient cork), and it was too tall and the the sharp edge was not acceptable. Next I'll try a closed-cell foam cushion about 1" tall, which I made for choral singing (to sit on hard stage risers during long musical pieces like Handel's Messiah.

But I was not crazy about how my legs were oriented with the 2" butt elevation. It was too big a change to be effective in Pranayama.
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144 Posts

Posted - Nov 18 2018 :  6:01:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm in Munich, Germany now and for the next two weeks. Does anybody know a place here where I could see a zafu and perhaps buy one?
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1506 Posts

Posted - Nov 19 2018 :  02:16:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Charliedog's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi kenbikes,

You can google and see in your environment in Munich for yoga mats, meditation cushions, yogaprops etc. Some of the bigger yogastudio's also will have materials for sale and most new age stores will sell them too.
If you would like to purchase, take a heigh one. The new cushions are mostly rock hard stuffed. They are easy to open with a zipper and you can customize the height and softness to your wishes. The meditation cushions/zafus are stuffed with buckwheat chaff, this will crumble and soften after some time of use. So what you take out, store it for later refill.

The yoga blocks you mentioned in your earlier post, you can use to place under your knees as an extra, in case the knees are not touching the floor. This will help you to relax the legs and hips and will improve the sitting position.

Best wishes

Edited by - Charliedog on Nov 19 2018 02:24:27 AM
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