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Mindful : June 2018
WHAT’S INSIDE? Foam is a lightweight, spongy, man-made material. Kapok is a cotton-like fiber from the seedpod of the kapok tree. It has been the padding in zafus for thousands of years. This is natural cotton batting like you’d find in a pillow, often pre-consumer recycled. More precisely, it’s the hull of the buckwheat kernel that also forms a popular filling for zafus. Though it’s soft and airy, when stuffed tightly into a cushion, kapok creates a surprisingly sturdy surface. A kapok-filled zafu will elevate your hips more than a buckwheat cushion. Over time, the kapok will compress, but most cushions are zippered so you can refill them. If you want stability in your seat, rather than shiftability, kapok will do the trick. It’s also the best filling if you like to straddle your zafu (either round or crescent) with your hips lifted higher. Found in gomdens and in some bolsters, foam provides a flat, firm surface that still has a slight give to it. A foam seat may be ideal if more height and a soft, yet stable surface work well for you. Found in the zabuton and in many support cushions, cotton provides a soft, slightly bouncy padding (and insulation from cold floors), so no part of you will be ungrounded. Versatility is the name of the game: Grab a cotton- filled cushion if you find your feet or ankles uncomfortable resting on the floor, or if you’d like extra lift or padding in any area. Cotton-filled zafus are inexpensive, but less durable than buckwheat or kapok. The texture is very fine and moveable, like a soft hill of sand. Imagine you’re on the beach, listening to the gentle whoosh of waves (the second par t may be wishful thinking...) . You’ll love buckwheat filling if you want a cushion that contours to your body, while also letting you shift around when sitting cross- legged—or if you’re shorter or very flexible, thus requiring less distance between the ground and your bum. WHAT IT IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE WHY USE IT FOAMKAPOKCOTTONBUCKWHEAT