How to Use a Meditation Chair or Bench: Everything You Need To Know (And our Best Picks)

meditation chair bench

If you’re starting a meditation practice, it’s a good idea to procure a meditation chair.

A meditation bench is an ideal tool if you’re not flexible or if you’re uncomfortable keeping your legs crossed for prolonged periods.

If you can’t sit down on the ground without feeling discomfort in your knees, ankles, back or anywhere else in your body, that’s an issue that a meditation chair can solve.

Now there are many ways to meditate and sitting down in a calm, cool and collected manner happens to be one of the better ways of going about it.

People have used meditation chair, also known as prayer benches, for centuries. They have been shown to help in compensating for the lack of flexibility and functionality that your body may be experiencing while meditating.

Keep reading to find out what meditation benches are and how they function—and access our top product recommendations.

What is a Meditation Chair / Bench?

A meditation bench is a small, single-person bench designed to help align your back and shoulders and alleviate pressure from the knees and feet while kneeling.

A meditation bench is small and usually wooden. It has two short legs usually between 6–8 inches tall and an angled seat.

For meditators with any level of experience, it is beneficial to utilize a meditation bench. However, keep in mind that a meditation bench doesn’t work magic. The practice requires showing up regularly and being still and quiet.

Although not every individual needs a bench, if you’ve felt pain in the traditional kneeling or cross-legged seated position, meditation benches are helpful.

The classic posture for a meditation chair is the kneeling position (known as the seiza position in Japan or hero pose in yoga). For many people, it’s difficult and uncomfortable for the knee joints to sit in this position.

Without support or sufficient flexibility, this kneeling position is too hard on the knees, ankles. and feet. Using a meditation chair enables you to sit in an elevated kneeling position and ensures that your spine is straight and aligned!

Benefits of Using a Meditation Bench

The first time I saw a meditation bench was at a 10-day silent meditation retreat I attended many years ago. In the meditation hall, there were pillows, bolsters and meditation chairs for people to use.

We were practicing meditation for many hours each day, so much that my knees began to feel creaky and my lower back and neck hurt. Using a meditation bench surely saved my practice that week! I even invested in my own meditation chair to use at home.

Check out these handy benefits:

  • Keep your spine in alignment
  • Hold the proper posture
  • Remain comfortable while meditating
  • Enable yourself to practice for longer periods of time
  • Establish the optimal conditions for a meaningful meditation session

It Encourages Better Blood Circulation in Your Legs

Kneeling or sitting in the same position for a long time may lead to issues and problems with your blood circulation. Poor blood circulation could cause pain, muscle tension, and even prevent the healthy flow of oxygen to the brain.

Thanks to their elevation, meditation benches help to prevent this problem by keeping your blood circulating while you’re kneeling.

How to Use a Meditation Chair

Simply place the bench behind you and get into a kneeling position. Then, slide the bench closer toward you.

Keep the tops of your feet and ankles flat below you and move the bench until it’s directly above your ankles. Sit down and rest on the seat.

Adjust the angle and position of the chair and your pelvis until it feels right.

6 Essential Meditation Bench Tips For Beginners

Why not use a meditation bench to make you feel comfortable while you meditate?

Use this guide to find the right chair and posture for you based on your needs as well as your height, body condition and age.

1. Choose the Appropriate Bench Height

If your meditation bench is too high or too low, it will cause discomfort during meditation periods.

Most chairs are about 6 to 8 inches tall. If you’re shorter you can use a shorter bench. Taller people prefer a taller chair.

2. Cushion Your Knees

Even though most of your weight will be on the bench, there is still some pressure on your knees when you use a meditation bench.

If your chair is on a hard surface, cushion your knees to be more comfortable. You might use a yoga mat, a cushion or a folded blanket.

3. Support Your Ankles

If your ankles are flexible enough, the ideal position for them is to keep them flat and straight behind you, with the soles of your feet pointing upward.

However, if your ankles or feet hurt because they are not yet flexible enough for this, place a flat pillow or rolled-up towel beneath them to alleviate the pain.

4. Keep Your Back Tall Yet Relaxed

Meditation benches make it easier to improve your posture, but you still need to focus on sitting in a proper meditation posture.

Avoid slouching forward and allowing your spine to curve excessively and your shoulders to round.

Lift your heart center and the crown of the head to lengthen your spine. Imagine a beam of healing light from the sky pouring into your crown.

5. Stay Calm

Don’t be overly obsessive about your posture. To meditate properly, the key is to maintain a relaxed yet aligned pose.

Keep your muscles loose and focus on deep breathing and whatever meditation technique you are practicing.

6. Adjust As Needed

It may take a little while to figure out how to use your meditation bench for maximum benefits. That’s natural!

We are all different. Be willing to adjust and try different angles, cushions and positions.

Top 5 Meditation Benches

Check out our top five recommendations for meditation benches. When you choose the one you want and receive it, be sure to try sitting in various positions to find the ideal pose for your body.

1. Nomad Meditation Bench (Natural)

This Nomad meditation bench is uniquely designed and is super portable making it perfect for travelling purposes. It’s also light, weighing just 1.7 pounds.

The fact that the height is adjustable makes it a great option. It’s the nomad’s choice for a meditation bench.

Weighing just 1.7 pounds, this is an ideal meditation bench to travel with if you’re going on retreat. What’s more, it’s foldable and light, making it easy to carry around.

Its unique design makes it one of the most comfortable on the market. It’s available in two sizes to best fit your body type and is designed to be used in the kneeling meditation position.

2. Spoko

Spoko makes a wonderful and spacious meditation bench with birch wood.

This bench features two angled legs that are connected to a curved seat. It’s flat in the middle and gradually curves upward to help support your body comfortably. The curvature helps keep your spine aligned and prevent back pain, as well as encourages better blood circulation and deep breathing.

The Spoko kneeling bench can be disassembled by sliding the legs off of the bench to store or transport it. It weighs about four pounds and is designed for meditators who are under six feet tall.

3. Green Eos Folding Meditation Bench

The Green Eos folding meditation bench is made of durable bamboo and features a comfy ergonomic seat that helps to encourage blood circulation in your legs and to prevent them from getting tense and stiff. The slightly angled seat position also helps keep your lower back free from pain.

This portable bench features two foldable legs, making it a cinch to transport.

Durable stainless steel hinges are built into the legs to make them stable and strong. You may opt to place a zabuton (meditation cushion) on the bench for extra support.

The Green Eos folding meditation bench is lightweight at just three pounds. This economical meditation bench is also affordable and won’t put a hole in your wallet.

4. Meditation Designs Bench

This meditation bench by Meditation Designs features is made of light-colored and smooth acacia wood. A soft cushion sits atop the bench to support your body and keep your spine aligned. The cushion’s fabric comes in three colors: black, blue and white. Using it ensures that your legs and lower back won’t hurt during or after your meditation session.

Although the legs of the bench are not foldable, the fact that they’re angled and rounded means you can adjust the bench as necessary when you’re sitting on it. The legs have two height options.

This compact and lightweight meditation bench weighs three pounds. It’s designed to be used by people under 5’11”.

5. Mudra Crafts Meditation Bench

Last but not least, the Mudra Crafts meditation bench is made of pine and has a durable black cushion for comfort and security. The legs of this meditation bench are foldable, making it super travel-friendly.

The legs are slightly curved, empowering you to tilt the bench as needed when meditating. The legs stay secure on all surfaces and not slide on rugs, carpeting or hardwood flooring, for example.

The lovely Mudra Crafts meditation bench weighs 3.7 lbs. and words well for people who are up to 6’1”.

Summary

Meditation benches are a fantastic tool for maintaining an adequate posture and avoiding physical discomfort and pain in your practice. They’re a beautiful addition to your meditation space that encourages and support your daily spiritual practice.

About Julien

Julien Raby has been in the web marketing industry for 15 years. An avid yoga practitioner himself, he's now the full-time owner of The Yoga Nomads where he helps yoga teachers earn more from their passion.

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