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Mindful : April 2014
50 mindful April 2014 getting started: how to meditate Bench If typical zafu postures are a problem, a seiza bench could be the solution, allowing you to sit in a more relaxed cross- legged or kneeling position. They’re available with folding legs in different heights, with or without a cushion, and some are made entirely from recycled materials. Round The classic meditation cushion, the zafu, is usually filled with buckwheat hulls or kapok, a firm natural fiber that will conform to your body over time. For cross-legged postures, sit with your bottom on its for ward third. Alternately, you can place the zafu on its side, between your legs, and sit in a kneeling posture. Rectangular This simple block, or gomden, is one option for comfor table cross-legged sitting. Offered in various heights and degrees of firmness, it’s usually stuffed with foam, though some are filled with buckwheat hulls. It’s a good choice for big and tall people, and those who find a zafu or bench restrictive. Support Before you pick your cushion or bench, you may want to choose a zabuton, a floor mat that relieves pressures in the lower body and helps delineate your personal sitting area. Also available are smaller cush- ions and bolsters to help you maintain your posture with less physical stress. Eco-friendly organic versions are available. Chair Meditating in a chair is defi- nitely not cheating. It’s fine. But make sure you resist the urge to rely too much on the chair’s back, unless you really need to. Doing so can cause you to let your spine go soft, making your breathing less open and invit- ing distraction and discomfor t. Make sure you keep your feet flat on the floor. Inflatable They’re ideal for traveling med- itators—just deflate to fit inside any bag. But even if you’re going no far ther than a corner of your home, you may want to consider one of these. Hint: only blow it up to about half full; this allows the cushion to expand under your legs when you sit, minimizing torque and knee pain. Comfortable Meditation for Every Body Take Your Seat PHOTOGRAPHSBYMARVINMOORE.CUSHIONSANDBENCHESCOURTESYOFDHARMACRAFTS(DHARMACRAFTS.COM)ANDSAMADHICUSHIONS(SAMADHICUSHIONS.COM)