Meditation is an important health and well-being practice that has multiple benefits and can be applied to help different aspects of your life. Some of the key benefits of mediation include increased relaxation, better control of thoughts, more awareness of one’s body, an improved ability to concentrate, and more support for mental and emotional healing.
Many people choose to incorporate meditation into their lifestyle because they want to become more mindful. While starting mediation might be easy, it can quickly become difficult to sustain for multiple reasons. First, the process of training the mind not to wander is not an easy one and takes tons of discipline and patience in the earliest stages. The second and possibly more difficult hurdle to overcome is the ability to maintain a health and pain-free body posture for long periods of time.
Meditation requires that the mind remains focused and aware, which means that the meditator must push away unnecessary and negative thoughts. One of the key ingredients that the original yogis knew would help the mind remain focused is by allow a natural body posture that keeps the body comfortable. The way this works is that the specific asanas, or body postures, that one gets into while meditating helps to keep random thoughts away. The mind requires a steady flow of blood to remain active and energized, so what these postures do is reduce the blood flow to the brain to a level that just allows the brain to function optimally. This helps the mind to think of the most important thing at the moment and cut out the random thoughts.
While this idea is fairly straightforward, learning and maintaining correct body posture can be a challenge. The body postures were designed to ensure that the spine, the bones, and the entire body are in perfect alignment in their most natural form. However, 50 to 80 percent of Americans complain of back pain, and poor posture is the main culprit. So given how most of us sit hunched over in chairs all day, our ability to use these natural postures has become rather difficult. Sitting in the famous lotus posture for long durations of time can lead to physical discomfort that may force you to shift and change your body’s balance and weight. Moving out of the correct body posture reduces the impact of meditation and its benefits and can lead to increased pain and discomfort.
One way around this physical discomfort is to closely replicate the natural body posture that meditation requires without the physical strain. Something like a meditation pillow can keep your spine aligned and comfortable while you focus on being mindful. If you need a bit more support than that, try a full meditation chair that will ensures the perfect body alignment. After getting used to the correct posture, you can eventually move into the perfect asana without any physical aids.
If you’re a beginner, there’s nothing wrong with using a pillow or chair to assist your meditation practice. It’ll no doubt help you remain steadfast with your meditation routine, and you’ll start seeing immediate results. In the longer run, it also trains and prepares the body to get perfectly aligned into its natural shape. So remember that all of these aids have short and long-term benefits for meditation.