Since there are so many meditation cushions that cater to different body types and preferences, it can be a challenge to find the perfect seat for you. But there are a few easy guidelines you can follow to probably get one that works well.
First, take a look at your height and weight. Slight variations in this range shouldn’t be an issue, but if you’re close enough (or further) that might affect the experience significantly. The second thing to keep in mind is whether or not your seated position is more upright or leaned over forward; this will affect how comfortable your cushion needs to be as well as how much padding it needs. More upright poses work best with thin, firm cushions and thin-strapped cushions work best with more upright poses; however, this by no means applies to all meditation techniques. Just do what feels right to you.
If you’re sitting in a position that is more upright yet it still feels too hard or painful, you may want to try lying on your back with the cushion touching your lower back. Keep in mind that if this is the case, some basic stretching practice beforehand might be helpful. Another way to make these cushions softer is by sitting in them after they have been pre-warmed for an hour or so before using them.
Generally speaking, if you are taller and/or heavier, using a thick and wide cushion is best. If you are smaller in stature and/or lighter weight, using a thinner cushion that is more contoured will probably be better. It should be noted that the right cushion will usually be the one that supports your hips without pinching or digging in while still supporting your lower back without pressure points.
The third thing to consider is your body shape and how much pressure it needs to sit comfortably on your seat. The bottom line is that you have to feel comfortable sitting on it for ten minutes or more at least once every day so it’s a good idea to get a cushion that works for you long-term.
If you have a problem with sitting in the traditional cross-legged position, one way to make it more comfortable is by lengthening your spine, which is something that requires a bit of prep work. Take time to practice this before you try anything that involves meditating or you’ll end up with sore hips or an even worse backache. I refer to this as the “sitting up” position because it’s an easy transition from lying down on your back and besides, it’s actually comfortable as well.