The Seiza Meditation Bench
If you practice meditation that utilizes a sitting position called seiza, a bench can help alleviate any discomfort you may be experiencing in your hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Many people prefer the seiza position over the traditional cross-legged sitting position since the latter can put even more pressure on your joints. This is found mostly in those who meditate on the floor as opposed to a chair or lying down. If you are experiencing joint pain as described above, then a seiza bench might just be the type of meditation furniture that you’re looking for.
What is the Seiza Position
The sitting position known as seiza is best described as a rested kneeling position. Just as you would normally kneel down, you flatten out your ankles so that the tops of your feet and shins are in contact with the floor. Then, you simply sit back on your own legs and keep your back as straight as possible while the rest of your body stays relaxed. When first learning the seiza position, many people have to resist the urge to pull their shoulders back. Again, your torso should be relaxed with only your spinal erector muscles engaged. If you don’t meditate in this position, then take a look at some of our other meditation cushions as they will be more suited for your specific needs.
The idea of sitting on the floor during meditation stems from the idea that you want to be ‘rooted’ to the ground. In more of a practical sense, it distributes the pressure of your body evenly. The only problem with sitting on the floor while you meditate is that it can cause joint pain and in some cases numbness due to lack of blood flow to your extremities. While we do believe that meditation is best done on the ground, there are certainly tools at our disposal that can make it a lot more comfortable. Most people who end up buying a seiza bench have done so because joint pain keeps them from meditating as long as they would like.
During Casual Activities
I’m sure you can recall a time or two when you’ve had to kneel down for a long time, whether it be during gardening, hooking up your living room’s sound system, or manually scrubbing the floor. When you got up, you might have noticed that your joints ached especially around your knees. This is due to the increased pressure within the joint from these everyday examples of the seiza position.
How a Seiza Bench Works
A seiza bench can halt the onset of joint pain when sitting in the same position for a longer time period. You want to meditate for as long as possible without distraction and even mild discomfort can throw you off track. With the use of meditational seiza benches, the amount of time gained in a meditation session is immense. The way that the bench works is simple. It allows you to achieve the seiza position, but supports your weight on the seat. Use of the seiza bench has increased dramatically over the past decade or so, and for good reason. It allows for longer meditation sessions and a quicker disconnect from our physical consciousness.
Different Bench Styles
A seiza bench can come in many different styles. The most traditional and easiest to find is a simple flat piece of wood with a cushion on top. This model has two hollow squares at both ends instead of four legs, giving it more stability as you sit back on it. This simple seiza bench design is probably the most affordable as well. Take a peek at our collection and you’ll find a vast variety of styles and designs.
Different Bench Materials
The traditional seiza bench is made out of wood. Most meditation benches are constructed with this material since it is the most affordable natural substance that can be molded or shaped for furniture. That being said, you can also find seiza benches made from plastic, metal, and in some cases – stone. The latter are obviously less portable.
How to Find the Best Seiza Bench for Meditation
Since they all serve the same function, finding the best seiza bench for your lifestyle isn’t difficult. You’ll want to roughly measure the space that the top of the bench will need to clear. Just take out a tape measure and measure the height of the mass of your calves as you are in sitting in the seiza position. Weigh yourself on an accurate scale. Figure out what type of material you would prefer. Then, get to shopping.
As you scroll through our collection of seiza meditation benches, you may see something that speaks to you. Follow your gut and get it. You never want to be second-guessing yourself when it comes to meditation and reaching a deeper state of enlightenment.