How to Sit on a Zafu Meditation Pillow – Bloom Mindfulness

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How to Sit on a Zafu Meditation Pillow

how to sit on a zafu meditation pillow

A lesson on sitting seems like a silly post to write because sitting is something we do daily and arguably far too much, but sitting on a firm-yet-mushy cylindrical pillow on the ground is a new concept for some people. I, in fact, Googled the exact phrase “how to sit on a zafu” before ever starting BLOOM and before my first zafu purchase. 


So, if you need to learn how to sit on your (hopefully BLOOM) zafu, here’s how!

GETTING YOUR BOOTY INTO POSITION

I find it best to position my bottom on the front half of the meditation pillow. I start by squatting down onto it like I’m about to go relieve myself in the woods. Get a nice, deep knee bend going and place your tush in the middle of the pillow. You got it!

 

CROSSING YOUR LEGS 

I then bring my legs forward and cross them. Don’t overthink this part. Just because you see statues and images of Zen monks sitting like a human pretzel doesn’t mean you have to in order to be a “good” meditator. My advice? Do what’s comfortable for you. Your knees will thank you. 


For me, that’s with my right foot on top of my left calf. I don’t try to shove it up to my thigh to get into half lotus because it make my ankles hurt and leg go numb in record time (I sprained my right ankle a lot in volleyball as a kid). 


For others, it may be cross-cross-applesauce. Or both knees forward with the calves along the side of the zafu. Or half lotus. Or lotus. 


Whatever it is, make sure you’re comfortable. That brings me to the next stage - the angle. 


ANGLING YOUR HIPS

This is where you use the moldable filling to your advantage. You’re going to want to wiggle your seat a bit to get the filling to hug your tush a bit. I lean side to side a couple of times. 


Then - and this is arguably the most importable part - adjust your pelvis forward so your spine is straight. Kind of like you’re bracing for someone to punch you in the gut...but relaxed. This will allow your legs and hips to be at the best angle for comfort and longer meditation practices. 


It also tends to shift the front filling back a little bit and create a nice angle at the front of your zafu so that your legs are on a supported slope and not cutting into the corner of the pillow. 


STRAIGHTENING YOUR SPINE

The final check-in is to make sure your spine is in line with your hips, shoulders, and head. Imagine a string is connected from your bottom through your back and neck and our through your head. Then imagine someone is pulling at the top of the string to straighten your entire body. This is the way you should be sitting. Be sure to keep this straight pose, but always maintain a relaxed nature too. Don’t be rigid with it like you’re in military formation or something. It’s a nice balance between intention and relaxation. 



That’s it! I hope this helps you feel prepared and comfortable for your meditation practice. 


TL;DR: 

  1. Sit in the middle of your zafu
  2. Cross your legs so you’re comfortable
  3. Wiggle left, right
  4. Bring your pelvis forward 
  5. Align your hips, spine, shoulders and next
  6. Stay tall but relaxed




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