Meditation was supposed to be easy – at least, that is what many of us thought when we first found out about it. When we see other people so deeply focused on their meditation practice, they make it seem so easy and simple enough to follow.
After all, there’s nothing difficult about sitting and doing nothing for a couple of minutes a day. We probably thought that anyone could do it without any problem… But little did we know that we were in for a big surprise.
Do you remember your very first attempt at meditation practice? It was probably during that time when you finally realized how challenging it really is.
If you are like hundreds, or maybe even thousands of other meditation practitioners in the world, your first try at meditation wasn’t exactly how you planned it to be. But that’s alrigt, everybody needs to at least start at some place!
Controlling your own thoughts while sitting still at the same time ironically takes a lot of hard work.
But there’s actually one other issue most people don’t talk about too often: meditation posture.
A lot of us are so focused on working with our minds that we don’t pay much attention to what’s going on with our bodies. It’s always good to remember that meditation isn’t only about spirituality – it is also about improving our physical health.
Meditation and Back Pain
It is said that meditation can cure chronic lower back pain. But what happens if meditation is the very reason why you have back pain in the first place? Moreover, what if back pain is also the problem that hinders you from starting or continuing your practice?
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most common reasons why people are reluctant to start their practice. And also the same reason why some people have stopped meditating.
Teachers of meditation always recommend following proper posture when meditating. Being still in the same position for long periods of time can be strenuous for our bodies, especially if we are not used to it.
Most people tend to think that there is nothing left to do but wait for our bodies to condition itself to the pain. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need to suffer so much while doing your meditation practice.
So the question is, is there a solution to practice-related back pain? The answer is yes – all you need is a good meditation chair.
What Are Meditation Chairs?
As the name suggests, meditation chairs are seats that are made specifically for meditation practice. You’ll be surprised to know that there are plenty of variations available in the market today.
Meditation chairs aren’t just a fancy piece of furniture to add to your yoga room, they are a source of support to those who need it. Below are some of the reasons why you might need a meditation chair for your practice:
Why You Need A Meditation Chair
It Provides Support
One of the most obvious reasons why meditation chairs may be useful to you is a simple fact that it offers extra support.
Meditation is supposed to be enjoyed by everyone – regardless of age or whether or not the person has certain disabilities. It is also important that you stay comfortable during your practice.
Meditation chairs are exceptionally useful for older people as well as persons with injuries that may hinder them from meditating. The additional support from a meditation chair can help the practitioner reduce stress and muscle tension.
Another great reason to use a meditation chair is that it helps you improve your posture. Almost all meditation chairs are designed not just for comfort but to also instill good posture when meditating.
Even if you are not in need of physical support due to injury, a meditation chair can also help you correct your posture.
It Helps You Stay Consistent
As mentioned before, many people stop practicing meditation simply because they do not find the experience comfortable.
Sometimes the problem does not lie within us – other times, it has something to do with our surroundings. To make practice even more enjoyable and effective, one must find ways to improve the condition of their meditation space.
Perhaps your current place of meditation isn’t comfortable enough for your body. Maybe your current chair puts more tension onto your body than you think. A meditation chair can greatly improve the quality of your practice as long as you choose the right type of chair.
Factors When Choosing Your First Meditation Chair
So how do you know which meditation chair is the best for you? There are plenty of designs and variations available today.
Some chairs maybe foldable and portable enough to bring with you during your holidays. Floor chairs are lower and softer than other options as well – it all depends on your personal taste.
There are, however, certain factors you may need to consider when choosing your first meditation chair. Read on below to find out:
A good meditation chair should be able to relieve stress and reduce tension from your back and legs. When it comes to choosing a meditation chair, it’s not all about how it looks physically.
While it’s great to be able to have a chair in your favorite color, your first priority should be its ergonomic design.
Plenty of people think that ergonomic design is limited to the workplace. However, its ergonomic design isn’t just limited to designing furniture to boost productivity. It also means creating products for the safety and physical health of the user.
In the same light, an ergonomic chair should be able to prevent you from getting injured during your practice.
While the ergonomic design is a broad and general term, compatibility allows you to choose a meditation chair according to your own personal taste. Again, this does not mean choosing colors or patterns of your chair.
Consider whether you would like to have a floor chair or if you would like to have it elevated. Think about which position you are most comfortable during your meditation practice. Choose a chair that fits the way you meditate.
If there’s one focal point you need to be attentive about when choosing a chair, it would have to be its back support. Invest in a good quality chair that has excellent back support.
This is especially true for people who experience intense back pain. After all, the reason why you decided on getting a meditation chair is due to the tension on your back. Therefore, choosing a chair with ample back support should be at the top of your priority list.
Meanwhile, if your main goal is to improve posture, you may want to consider getting a chair without back support. Some meditation chairs are created to train the back so that in the future, you may meditate with good posture without having to use a chair.
Most people don’t notice right away but the material does change the experience of a meditation chair. Investing in good quality material doesn’t make the product last longer, it also means that it is built with higher standards.
However, this does not mean that you need to purchase an expensive chair. Oftentimes, pricier chairs do not mean good quality – it’s all about branding.
Before purchasing a meditation chair, take a look at the material it’s made out of. A good meditation chair isn’t just about the design, it’s also about what it’s made of.
Think about which types of material works best with you. If you are someone who would rather meditate on the floor, get a floor chair that is soft and with material that won’t flatten over a few months.
In relation to the quality of materials, it is also important that you consider the durability of the chair. One might think that just because meditation does not involve rigorous activities any chair would do.
Opting for a durable chair isn’t just about getting your money’s worth by making it last for years – it is a safety measure to prevent you from getting hurt.
Imagine your chair suddenly breaking during meditation practice – not only did the chair rob you of your peace, you could potentially hurt your back even more.
Lastly, it is also important to look at your lifestyle. Do you meditate at work? Do you travel a lot? Or do you have your own meditation room at home? For those who meditate at work, perhaps a smaller, more compact option would be more appropriate.
Likewise, if you travel a lot and would like to bring your practice wherever you go, a foldable and lighter chair is the way to go.
But if you are looking for a more permanent space in your home, consider getting a robust and elevated chair. Thinking about your own lifestyle can make it easier to choose from a wide variety of meditation chairs.
13 Best Meditation Chairs On The Market Today
There are plenty of beautifully designed meditation chairs out there today. But we’ve rounded up some of the best options in the list below, listing each of their pros and cons.
If you’re looking to purchase your very first meditation chair, you’ve come to the right place. Read on below to get an idea of some of the best meditation chairs on the market today.
#1 Alexia Meditation Seat
We’ve talked about the importance of ergonomics when choosing a meditation chair. The Alexia Meditation Seat is one option that addresses your needs when it comes to functional design. Because of the ergonomic style of this seat, users can feel comfortable from the beginning of their meditation session until the very end. The seat’s form also helps relieve tension and pressure on one’s back. However, do bear in mind that this seat is also designed to correct traditional seating posture with your legs folded. Because of this, your legs may feel strained after a long period of time and you might need to stretch your legs frequently during your practice.
Another great aspect of the Alexia Meditation Seat is the fact that it is handcrafted and it also comes in a variety of fabrics and patterns. The leather option is highly recommended as it can avoid slipping into the seat during your meditation practice.
#2 Friends Of Meditation Large Relaxing Buddha Meditation And Yoga Seat
The Friends of Meditation Yoga Seat was designed by yoga instructor and Osho Meditation facilitator, Swami Dhyan Unmesh. If you’re looking for a seat that is made specifically for the use of the yoga and meditation practitioner, this is the obvious choice. Having been awarded as the No. 1 Meditation Chair by Wiki Ezvid in 2016, you can expect that this chair delivers to all your meditation needs.
Not only does it support those with back pain, this seat can also help you stay at certain postures for a long period of time. We all know that traditional meditation has a lot of different seating positions. The Lotus posture is one of the most iconic yet difficult forms of them all. Those who suffer from back pain or spinal issues may not be able to perform meditation in these postures. But surprisingly, this chair provides ample support even those with back pain can keep a cross-legged position for a long time without pain.
The ergonomic design isn’t the only great thing about this chair. Weighing at about 5 pounds, the Friends of Meditation Yoga Seat is portable and foldable as well. One downside about it is that it is quite large in size. It could be quite distracting for others if you plan to bring this to a meditation class and it may not easily fit into your suitcase if you plan to travel with your seat. But this drawback may have some positive side as well. Taller people 6-feet and above in height can comfortably use this chair as well.
#3 Seagrass Meditation Yoga Chair
If your back isn’t your main problem and it is your feet seem to get in the way of the quality of your meditation practice instead, the Seagrass Meditation Yoga Chair is a viable choice. The main point of this chair lies in its curved triangular seat. The edges provide sufficient space for your legs and feet. They also help support your legs and knees, making it a great help for postures that require cross-legged positions.
Despite not being heavily designed for ergonomics compared to other options, this does not mean that this chair is uncomfortable. Its ultra-soft cushion is made of 100% cotton and the rear side of this chair also provides ample support for the back as well. This chair is also slightly elevated. If crossing your legs on the actual seat is too painful, you can cross your ankles in front of the chair as a variation.
#4 BirdRock Memory Foam Floor Chair
Think that the Memory Foam technology is reserved only for mattresses and pillows? Think again. Who says chairs can’t be as comfortable as a pillow? If you need a meditation chair that could give you optimum comfort and aid to your hurting back, the BirdRock Memory Foam Floor Chair is worth the second look.
This chair is designed with quality chopped memory foam. While material alone can’t prove its functionality, this chair is also highly adjustable. With its 14-position backrest, users can find the perfect position to support their back. And just like some meditation chair options on this list, the BirdRock Memory Floor Chair is also a multipurpose chair. Whenever you aren’t using this chair for meditation, it also fits perfectly into your living room as it also proves to be a comfy seat as you watch television.
#5 Sundale Outdoor Indoor Adjustable Soft-Brushed Polyester Cord Five-Position Multiangle Floor Chair
If you’re looking for a mix of an outdoor chair and a chair that still looks beautiful indoors, this chair from Sundale is a great option. Sundale Outdoor is a company that’s best known for creating outdoor gear. From umbrellas to hammocks, Sundale Outdoors knows what makes a product both functional and comfortable to use.
This chair is one of their hybrid products – a chair which you can use both in the comforts of your own home and outdoors as well. If you would like to bring your meditation practice with you during your travel, this chair is definitely worth the second look. Now you can enjoy a sturdy and stylish meditation chair, whether you’re out in the sun or just inside your hotel room.
This chair from Sundale Outdoor also has a 5-position backrest. So no matter if you’re meditating or simply lounging around, you can find a comfortable position as you sit and enjoy.
#6 Adjustable NNEWVANTE Back Support Floor Chair
The NNEWVANTE Back Support Chair is the simplest and most straightforward option among all the other options on this list. It provides back support with its multi-angle backrest, it is lightweight – great for traveling, and it has washable fabric as well. This is a great chair for anyone who is looking to cover all their basic needs when looking for a meditation chair. Its simple design makes this seat flexible as well for whatever use it may serve.
But as always, since this chair is not designed for meditation purposes only, bear in mind that it might not provide all the features you need for longer meditation sessions. If you are only just beginning and your meditation practice doesn’t call for long periods of time, the NNEWVANTE should be on your watchlist for a meditation chair.
#7 Back Jack Floor Chair
Although not specifically made for the purpose of meditation practice, the Back Jack Floor Chair is one option that can cover all your basic meditation needs. One of the best things about this floor chair is that it has a backrest that supports your skull and neck. So if you ever find the need to lay your head down for a while during meditation, the headrest can give you ample support. Beginners of meditation may experience a strained neck after long moments of being still. With a headrest, you are free to take breaks and ease the tension around your neck even during your meditation session.
Apart from the sturdy backside, the Back Jack Floor Chair also has comfortable cushion seats. However, because the design of the Back Jack is not meant for meditation purposes, sitting still for long periods of time on this chair can be quite strenuous.
Do keep in mind though that this chair was built for other purposes in mind. It can be used while camping or even as a chair to lounge on as you watch television. These activities do not restrict your body posture for a long period of time, unlike in meditation. With that said, you may start to feel uncomfortable after some time. But if you’re not very keen on meditating for a long time then this chair does its job well.
#8 bonVIVO EASY II Padded Floor Chairr
Another similar floor chair to the Back Jack is the bonVIVO EASY II Padded Floor Chair. Just like the Back Jack, bonVIVO’s Easy II is also a multipurpose floor chair with a backrest. Whether it’s for lounging or meditation, its backrest and soft exteriors ease muscle tension and provide extra support for those who suffer from back pain.
One good thing about the bonVIVO in comparison to the Back Jack Floor Chair is that it is slightly lighter. The Back Jack Floor Chair weighs at 4.05 lbs while the bonVIVO weighs in at only 3 lbs. If you are looking for a practical chair that is easily portable, the bonVIVO might be a better choice. However, this does not mean that the Back Jack is at a losing end either. Its heaviness may be due to the fact that it can accommodate taller individuals. The Back Jack can still be used for individuals who are 6 feet and above in height. The bonVIVO, on the other hand, can accommodate only those who are 6 feet and below in height.
#9 RIO Gear My Pod Bleacher Seat
The RIO brand takes pride in creating some of the best outdoor gear and apparel for true adventurers. One of their most popular products is the My Pod Bleacher Set. As the name of the seat suggests, the My Pod Bleacher Seat isn’t meant for meditation at all. This chair was created for mainly for outdoor purposes – it even has straps that can be used as tethering for canoe benches! Another great feature is that its material is made to withstand any weather.
One might think that this option couldn’t possibly make for a meditation chair. But if you are going to bring your meditation practice as you travel – especially out into nature, it’s a wise idea to consider RIO’s My Pod Bleacher Seat. The fact that it is made for the outdoors means that it is durable and highly portable. In fact, this seat is also easily foldable and it also has straps so that you can carry the chair easily no matter where you go.
Another great reason why this chair could help you out in your meditation session is the fact that this seat is also adjustable. It has a five-position backrest which allows you to customize the seat according to your preferences.
#10 ZEN'S BAMBOO Floor Chair for Living Room Japanese Tatami Chair with Cushion Accent Furniture
If an aesthetically pleasing chair is what motivates you to perform your meditation practice, you would definitely appreciate this floor chair from ZEN. This chair is made from bamboo – a very strong and natural material so if you’re also looking for an environment-friendly option, this is definitely the chair for you.
But apart from the beautiful material and style of this chair, the ZEN Bamboo Floor Chair also has a soft and simple sponge cushion. Despite having a tiny frame, this chair has no problems accommodating a person weighing 220 lbs. However, do keep in mind that because this chair is not an accessory for meditation, you might not be receiving ample back support during your meditation practice. This chair is perfect for those who do not experience severe back pain but would like an upgrade from using a regular chair or the floor during their practice.
#11 Sleekform Kneeling Posture Chair
If floor cushions aren’t your thing or if you aren’t very keen on meditating in cross-legged postures, you might want to consider the Sleekform Kneeling Posture Chair. Similar to the Back Jack Floor Chair, this seat is designed for multiple purposes. Other people may use this seat for the office or for gaming. Therefore, if you are interested in correcting your posture for meditation purposes, this may not be the chair to choose. However, if you are simply looking for a comfortable chair that will aid you with your meditation, the Sleekform is a good option.
Compared to the other chairs above, the Sleekform is not a floor chair. It is elevated similar to a regular chair but the difference lies in its feet and the padding to support your knees. A lot of chairs actually ruin our posture. We find ourselves slouching or crouching our backs on a normal chair but the Sleekform claims to correct through its form. Sitting on the Sleekform allows us to be in our natural upright position, making it a great chair to use for prolonged periods of time.
#12 Merax Adjustable 5-Position Floor Cushion Chair
Despite its robust looks, you’ll be surprised to know that this chair from Merax is actually very lightweight and easy to store. Just like many of the other floor chairs on this list, the Merax Adjustable 5-Position Floor Cushion Chair also another multipurpose chair. While it is not created for meditation practice, it does have ample support for the back. And with its 5-position backrest, users can customize their seats to the most comfortable setting.
What sets this chair apart from the other multipurpose chairs, however, is the fact that it also offers ample support for the users’ waist and spine. Anyone who is suffering from back pain knows that these are also important points to take care of when trying to eliminate pain. Other than the practical design of this chair, it is also very stylish and can camouflage perfectly into your interior design.
#13 Friends of Meditation Vipassana Meditation Chair
We’ve talked about another meditation chair from the Friends of Meditation line above. It’s undeniable that this brand is very technical about their products. If you’re looking to get serious about your practice despite your back pain, it’s definitely worth it to check this company out. The Vipassana Meditation Chair is a seat that does not only help ease back pain and muscle tension. It also helps practitioners correct their meditation postures.
If you’ve been practicing meditation for a long time, you know that posture plays an important role in achieving a successful session. But beyond being successful with meditation, it is also essential to practice meditation with proper posture. This is to prevent you from harming your body. This is exactly what the Vipassana Meditation Chair is all about.
Its extra cushion elevates the hip, making it a lot easier to sit for long periods of time. It also has a strict back support that helps relieve tension when kneeling. However, while the Vipassana Chair is a great help in improving posture, it isn’t exactly the kind of chair you can take everywhere with you. But if you are simply looking for a chair to add to your own personal space at home, definitely give this chair a thought.
With all the available options out in the market today, finding the perfect meditation chair could be very difficult. When in doubt, remember to stick to the basics. Coupled with your knowledge of what makes a good meditation chair, take some time to figure out what your needs are as well.
Do you suffer from solely back pain? Do you need a headrest or some support for your knees as well? Make a list of what your needs are and keep searching for the best solution for you.
Lastly, remember that you are not required to have a meditation chair to continue with meditation. The important thing is to stay committed while finding alternatives.’
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.