How to Choose a Meditation Chair with Back Support
Before we start – I am no ‘guru’ nor a spiritual expert. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and wanted to start a blog from my perspective of trying to create a daily routine that allows me a glimpse of the stillness they can bring. I try to link out to as many reputable sources within these posts as I can, some of these external links enable me to earn a commission which helps towards the running of the blog.
Meditation is a life-changing skill with incredible benefits and has the potential to greatly transform your life.
Sounds great right?
There are however, many myths and associations around the practice of meditation that can make it seem a little out of reach, like for example that it is the answer to everlasting happiness or that you need to sit up a mountain in an uncomfortable pose wearing orange robes.
The truth is that meditation is really about accepting your own present moment reality.
Meditation does bring happiness, but it’s about uncovering a sense of deep inner contentment, the calming essence of you that is ever present, rather than fleeting happiness that comes from maintaining a state of constant forced joy.
Meditation allows you to let emotions, feelings and thoughts come and go and eventually settle as you focus on the quiet part of you within.
You can meditate when you are happy or when you are sad, angry or just feeling neutral.
That is the magic, if you like, that meditation allow you to tap into – that ever present sense of everything is ok no matter what is going on in your life.
Once you understand that meditation is a personal thing, something you can adapt to your lifestyle and not a forced practice that you can only do if you are twisted into the lotus position under a tree – you can explore the ways it works best for you.
When you first start out meditating, you’ll notice that it can be difficult to focus your mind, as racing, busy thoughts will pop in and out all the time. That’s totally normal and something that everyone faces, even those most practiced in meditation.
Another very important factor is your comfort level while you meditate.
If you have any kind of pain that stops you from sitting still for any length of time, you may find this to be very challenging.
There is a fine line between sitting and breathing through any kind of tension or discomfort and actually putting up with deep pain. Meditation is not about forcing and no matter how perfect you can bend yourself into a lotus position, if your mind is racing because you are uncomfortable it really makes no sense.
Meditation works just as well if you are in a chair or using a prop like a cushion. The most important thing is to be comfortable, relaxed with a sensation of alertness and focus at the same time.
While the regular practice of meditation does help you to let physical discomfort go, if you are in real pain you will find it really tricky to remove your focus from the source of pain. If you are someone who wants to take up regular meditation, but is put off by the idea of sitting still for so long, here are some things to bear in mind.
Ways to Ease Physical Pain during Meditation
The best posture to meditate in is sitting in a chair, ideally a fairly upright chair that allows you to sit up straight, rather than a squishy sofa or armchair or bed. It is best if your back is straight, but not forced straight and if your legs are uncrossed and your feet are flat on the floor. Try to sit without collapsing or leaning too much backwards into the chairs back support.
If you have lower back trouble, try using a cushion beneath you to help tilt your pelvis or place a cushion between your back and the back of the chair, to support the small of your back without strain.
If you prefer to sit on the floor, you might find that any length of time cross-legged can put strain on your hip joints or lower back. This is when specific cushions come in very handy as a helpful aid to your meditation posture.
If you prefer you can even meditate lying down and the results are the same. It’s important to be comfortable above all else.
Yoga to ease back pain
Yoga and meditation go hand in hand as two incredibly beneficial practices that can greatly enhance your quality of life, emotional state and mental abilities.
Both practices are used as alternative treatments for depression, anxiety, anger, insomnia, addiction and much more. Physically, yoga is a wonderful way to improve posture, flexibility, tone the body and feel more positive over all.
Combining the two together is an excellent way to treat your mind, body and soul. If you are someone with ongoing back pain, yoga can also assist you with your meditation posture and help ease some of that pain.
There are several poses that can strengthen and relax you and bring balance and better alignment to your body.
Try the following poses regularly:
Cat Cow – Where you are on all fours with your weight balanced evenly. As you lift your head up, inhale and let your stomach drop as you stretch the top part of your back. Exhale as you arch your back up, drawing your navel in toward your spine and tucking your chin down.
Child’s Pose – This yoga pose is a magic way to release tension immediately. Sit back on your heels with your knees together if possible. Bend forward and rest your forehead on the mat. Allow the weight of your body to relax and fall into your knees as you bring your arms around to the sides of your body. If you prefer you can leave them stretched before you too.
Downward Dog – this traditional pose is great for stretching out the back. Once you are on all fours, make sure that your hands are in alignment under your wrists and keep your knees in line with your hips. As you lift your knees up and move into the position, be sure to keep them slightly bent – the most important thing is to have your back straight with your spine lengthened. It is not about perfecting a pose, it is about the correct alignment for your body.
Extended Triangle Pose – For this pose you need to be standing on your mat with your legs apart. Turn your right foot forward and your left foot out slightly. You should have your arms lifted and parallel to the floor, palms facing down. Tilt your body forward, make the movement come from your core and bend at the right hip to lean forward with your arm and torso. If you can bring your hand to your leg and your left arm extends up to the sky. A yoga block can be helpful here to bring the floor up to you and eliminate any chance of over extension or strain.
Bridge – Another excellent back strengthening exercise, the bridge allows you to stretch the spine out for great relaxation. Lie on your back with your knees up and draw your heels in towards your sit bones. Press your arms, hands and feet firmly into the floor as you raise your tailbone up towards the sky.
Lift your chest to the sky and your chin towards your chest. Maintain this pose for 1 minute if possible. An alternative is to interlace your hands beneath your back as you lift. Exhale as you release and allow every vertebrae of your spine to unroll slowly as you bring your back to the floor again.
If you practice these exercises and poses are still having trouble sitting comfortable during meditation, it might be a good idea to consider the many benefits of having a dedicated meditation chair with back support.
Meditation Chair Reviews
The fact is that you want meditation to become a regular, easy part of your life, and you want it to be something that you look forward to doing, not a chore that results in discomfort!
Having a meditation chair can not only help your posture but also benefit you acting as a visual clue that it is time to meditate. It can help create a sense of importance to your practice and if discipline is something you struggle with (you’re not alone!) it can even make things seem more professional. You might have just a small corner or area of your home dedicated to meditation. A chair can really make that space feel special! It’s surprising how having something aesthetically attractive can help to motivate us to practice.
Having a designated meditation chair will also help you relax and meditate without all the fuss and distraction that comes from adjusting your position and fidgeting, not to mention experiencing actual pain. The chairs are cushioned to protect you, various models provide back support or are shaped so that your spine is well supported and kept in alignment.
Even if you are seeing results with your yoga practice and are experiencing less pain, having a chair means maintaining proper alignment to support all the hard work you are doing in yoga, so it’s a win win!
Our physical bodies are so important and learning to sit properly wherever you are, whether it’s at work at your desk, driving a car or meditating is an investment into your health for the future. It cannot be emphasized enough!
Meditation chairs can be so effective, particularly for anyone who looks at meditation and feels frustrated and like it’s just not for them! If you feel like there is no way you can get your body to stay still for any length of time, or if you feel like you will spend the entire time worrying about your posture or flexibility – do not waste another precious moment feeling like that. It’s entirely counter productive.
Make meditation work for you, after all it is about bringing ease and flow into your life through calming the mind. We are all individuals with different bodies and unique requirements. These chairs can help you find the comfort needed to feel aligned, relaxed and ready to meditate every day. Look at the below guide for ideas on purchasing the best meditation chair for your own practice.
Alexia Meditation Seat
This is a wonderful ergonomic option providing support to the lower back column and offering ease and relaxation to the person meditating. All you need to do is sit and let your stress melt away, there is no need to hold or tense your body as this Alexia Meditation Seat is doing all that hard work for you. The seat is structured with an internal metallic skeleton, which creates a high level of comfort when you sit down and just let go. The seat measures L 26” x W 32” 1/2 x H 11” ½. And is available in various colours and fabrics including vegan leather.
Gaiam Rattan Meditation Chair
Improve your fitness level and meditation technique when you relax in the rattan meditation chair. There is a tall back for ergonomic support and the seat area is large (dimensions are : 34″w x 25.5″D x 19.5″H / Weight: 28lb) with a lovely cushion made from thick natural cotton and stuffed with sustainable kapok. This seat is really comfortable and also attractive, with its natural fibres it would blend well in a yoga studio or meditation corner. Low to the ground, this chair is particularly designed for sitting for long periods of time in a cross-legged position. It’s perfect for anyone with lower back pain who can sit on the floor without too many problems but who would prefer a good support for the spine while being lifted from the hard floor.
Seagrass Meditation Chair
The Seagrass meditation chair has been designed to curve so that there is more space for the feet and support for the knees when sitting cross-legged. You could also sit with your ankles crossed in front of the chair. It provides a high level of comfort and has a back cushion or you can simply support your back on the rattan seat back. The chair frame and weaving is available in two tones, natural or expresso with olive or cream cushion covers in 100% cotton (easy to wash).
Friends of Meditation Buddha Bliss
This unique design offers great back and shoulder support while elevating the hips. Designed really for long periods of time in a cross-legged position, the extra cushion raises your hips for better comfort and puts an end to those aching joints. The backrest allows you to relax and focus deeply on your meditation without feeling strain. This is very well constructed and easy to open and close if you wish to travel with your chair. The cushions are made for extreme comfort and long hours of sitting. The founders of the company who sell this chair are long-time practitioners themselves and this is more than apparent in the final product.
Friends of Meditation Back Jack
This chair has a long backrest perfect for taller people and anyone with back problems or issues sitting for long periods of time. This is an ideal chair for everyone from beginners who are unused to sitting on the floor to older people with pain or flexibility issues. The seat size is 18 by 18 inches and is well suited to home practice or even for travel to meditation or yoga retreats as it comes with its own carry bag for transportation. It comes in a lovely maroon colour. This chair can also be purchased in a pack of 2 or 4 or more for those who want to partner in meditation.
bonVIVO Easy II
Choose from blue or beige chairs, this meditation chair is wonderful for lower back pain issues as its backrest helps with posture and to prevent strain and pain. It also gets top marks for flexibility with the ability to lock into 5 different positions. It’s ideal for sitting for long periods of time and can even double up for other use or for just reading and relaxing. It blends well with decor and doesn’t take up much space and is easy to travel with and store. Made with a combination of upholstery filling, PE foam and PU foam, it molds well to the body offering a high comfort level and excellent support (up to 100 kg/ 16st). It’s also very easy to clean