Meditation chairs are designed to provide back support and comfort, so that sitting in the same position for short to medium periods, is not stressful on your body.
The chair allows for proper positioning of the spine and it is low enough to allow your feet to rest naturally. Some chairs are light enough to be carried around.
Especially for beginners trying to master meditation, even a 5-minute meditation session can seem like an hour if you are not sitting in comfort and the only thing you will be focusing on is the pain in your butt or back.
While meditating, your body will need adequate comfort and support and meditation cushions or chairs will provide that comfort and support.
Whether you sit on the floor or on a chair to do your meditation, it is important that you sit in comfort. Constant shifting and shuffling due to discomfort while trying to mediate is not okay.
A hard uncomfortable surface under your butt can quickly make you rethink your need for oneness with the earth or nature. Not to mention your aching back, which already had its share of battering from a hard day’s work.
If you suffer from back problems or have limited flexibility then a meditation chair is ideal for you.
There are several different types of meditation chairs. The more popular types are made from rattan, sea grass or wood from the pine, mango or oak trees.
Some chairs have only padding on the seat and not on the back. Whether the cushion is on the back, the seat or both, there are some chairs that are designed so the cushion can be washed.
The chair should be comfortable. It is not supposed to be an instrument of torture but a tool for enlightenment.
It should also be wide enough to allow you to fold your legs under you in the lotus position - you may not start the meditation practice sitting with crossed legs but as you mature in the practice of meditation you may later choose to sit that way.
The chairs come in different shapes and colours but they are all designed with your comfort and support in mind.
A regular chair can be used but you need to ensure that the chair is slightly tilted forward. The back rest should be in contact with your lower back and the height of the chair should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the floor.
In order for your spine to be straight without slouching, you have to tilt the chair by raising the back legs an inch or so higher - use a wooden block or a telephone book.
If your legs are too short and they don’t completely touch the floor, place them on a book or towel.
If your legs are too long on the floor, then choose a taller chair or sit on the chair with a cushion under you.