For meditators looking to get comfortable with their practice, having the right meditation furniture and accessories is a big plus. A suitable meditation chair is especially helpful for people who need more back support, have physical difficulties or simply can’t sit comfortably on the floor.
Note that many meditation chairs aren’t really what we usually think of as chairs. They may be more like seats. Some are designed to support meditators who sit on the floor, others are what we might call benches, and still others really are of the kitchen chair variety.
Benefits of using meditation chairs:
Most meditation chairs are compact and lightweight, meaning you can easily change their position or place. For instance, meditation floor chairs are low and super comfy. Some designs are portable and are easily carried from one place to another, making them perfect for meditators who travel.
A good meditation chair relieves the pressure that gradually builds up in the back and legs when you sit in one pose for long periods of time. In addition to alleviating pressure and tension, sitting on a chair encourages good back alignment.
The chair you choose will depend on what kind of meditation you are practicing, which design is most comfortable and supportive, and what your budget can handle. For example, the super deluxe “Alexia Meditation Seat Zen Yoga Chair” is ergonomically designed and weighs in at $463.99 on Amazon. The “Friends of Meditation Extra Large Relaxing Buddha Meditation and Yoga Chair” is also pretty pricey at $235, and the name is a mouthful! If you’re not looking to invest so much, you can find less luxurious – but perfectly adequate – benches and chairs for under $50.
A major difference between cushions and chairs is that generally speaking, cushions do not have incorporated backs. If you are able to sit comfortably in a meditation posture that naturally promotes back alignment, such as the full or half lotus, a cushion may well suffice. On the other hand, using a meditation chair with back support not only guarantees maximum comfort and relaxation, it also helps you maintain a consistent practice.
The best household chairs for meditation are straight-backed (or benches with no backs) with a comfortable seat and no armrests. Your hips should be slightly higher than your knees and you should be able to place your feet flat on the floor about 18 inches apart. Use a cushion under your feet if your feet don’t touch the floor comfortably, and use a cushion under your buttocks if you’re too tall and your knees are higher than your hips. If you don’t require the extra support, it’s best not to lean on the back of the chair. Often a small pillow or cushion between the back of the chair and the small of your back will provide enough comfort.
Maintaining the perfect meditation posture
Maintaining good posture helps us remain rooted in the present and fosters awareness. The most important point is that your back should be as straight as it comfortably can be, since spinal alignment promotes good energy flow during practice. Next, you should not be brutalizing your back or knees! If you opt for a chair, make sure it’s a good fit based on your height, weight and back comfort.