For a meditation session to be successful, it must be done in the right conditions. Two things are essential for a good meditation session: a calm place & being well installed to completely relax. Sitting for long periods of time in the same position can be uncomfortable, and can even make you nervous, topping up for a moment of meditation. It is therefore important to find the best sitting position and the best support for each person’s individual structure.
The ideal posture for meditation has three essential characteristics, for this it is necessary that the posture is stable, upright and comfortable.
Meditation benches are specially designed for kneeling meditation exercises and are used to maintain a comfortable posture during meditation. The purpose of a meditation bench is to support the upper body and reduce weight on the knees, shins, and ankles during kneeling meditation.
How to use a meditation bench?
To properly use a meditation bench, you should sit with your knees on the floor while the bench supports your body, protecting your knees and ankles from your own weight. You should therefore be tilted slightly forward from the part where you are sitting. Thus, the natural arch at the level of the 5th lumbar vertebra is respected. The posture is vertical and promotes meditation and concentration.
Which bench to choose?
There are many models of meditation bench, also called a shoggi. A meditation bench has a standard height of 15/16 cm, these meditation benches are suitable for most people who wish to sit on their knees (seiza posture).
When you travel often, you can use a foldable or removable bench. When choosing your first bench, you should prioritize comfort and stability.
If you have knee problems, consider taking a meditation bench with a higher seat. In general, the less flexible you are, the higher the seat should be.
How do you sit on a meditation bench?
When you settle down to practice meditation on the shoggin bench, choose a quiet location. Where you usually sit, place a zafuton or meditation mat. Place the bench on it so that your knees and ankles are resting on the meditation mat. If possible, be careful and place your joints (ankle, knees and pelvis) in the same axis without spreading the knees too far apart.
The meditation bench should be placed so that your pelvis and sacrum are completely resting on the bench. When your legs and pelvis are well placed, stretch your spine straight up to the sky. The lumbar and cervical vertebrae should also remain stretched vertically. When the spine is straight, all the energy of the person is awakened. With practice, the muscles of the back are strengthened and it becomes a habit to keep the back straight. This is an excellent prevention against back pain.
The benefits of a meditation bench
A free upper body that must balance itself retains the abdominal muscles, shapes and strengthens, and reduces the tendency to sag. Natural alignment also helps reduce neck fatigue and prevent shoulder muscle fatigue.
Open seat angle
The specific angle and curve of the seat rotates the hips forward, opening up the section between the upper and lower body and reducing harmful compressive stresses on the lower back.
Because the body weight is evenly distributed, the blood circulation in the legs is improved, and the heaviness or swelling is reduced with a static sitting position.
The kneeling position is comparable to standing walking, it frees the lungs and upper organs and allows for deeper breathing.
The increased oxygen supply and intuitive comfort unknowingly lead to improved focus and concentration.
It is convenient that some benches have hinges so that you can fold the meditation bench into a compact size and you can easily take it with you.
For an even more comfortable and more flexible seat, a meditation bench can be combined wonderfully with a meditation mat or a zabuton.
But also :
- Promotes correct, tall and upright posture
- Distributes the weight from your behind to your legs
- Relieves your back, neck and shoulders
- Good for alternating between a cushion and a chair
- Allows a good stretch of the knees and ankles
- Meditate longer and enjoy more
How to make your meditation bench, Shoggi or Seiza bench?
The shoggi, Seiza or meditation bench is very easy to make yourself by following a simple tutorial:
Necessary material :
– Screwdriver drill
– Some screws
– 5 pieces of wood including a board (rounded or not)
The elements to make a Shoggi, or Seiza bench:
A meditation bench can be made very simply by bringing together a few elements, the dimensions of which can be adapted as needed:
– A wooden board, rounded or not, 50 cm wide and 19 cm high
– Two pieces of wood to glue under the board, at an angle which will be used to position the feet
– Wooden feet cut one straight side, one side at an angle (large side 15 cm, small side 12 cm, wide 19 cm)
Assemble the elements of the Shoggi or Seiza:
Once the pieces of wood have been cut to the right dimensions, you just need to assemble them, adapting the angle to your needs.
• Fix the two wooden blocks to the board
• Drill the feet and fix them to the wooden blocks at an angle under the board
The meditation bench is ready. It is quite possible to sand and paint the shoggi as you wish.
Many videos exist on YouTube to show the steps (Here a video). When your bench is ready, you can customize it as you wish to adapt it, and relax!
Where does the shoggi or meditation bench come from?
Created in 1983 by Alain Gaubert who was inspired by the traditional position of the judoka on the tatami mat, the SHOGGI or meditation bench is a small seat that allows a good position for the back, avoids crushing the feet and eliminates blockage circulation in the legs: which is an appreciable comfort.
You can try it:
– For the practice of yoga, meditation,
– Around the coffee table, it takes up little space to eat or have an aperitif,
– Work or play with children,
– For people with back pain.
It adapts to your morphology since we offer 5 sizes for flexible and less flexible, for young and old.
In beech, linseed oil finish, removable, it accompanies you on your travels.
Some meditation benches:
Meditation Bench (Acacia wood)
This acacia wood meditation bench is ideal for beginners thanks to its affordable price and the amount of padding it has.
If you are taller than 6 ′ 1 ″ in height, consider purchasing another bench. It should also be borne in mind that this bench is not foldable, which the manufacturers claim is due to the fact that they consider foldable meditation benches to be less stable. Click here for more details.
IKUKO Wooden Kneeling Ergonomic Meditation Bench
This meditation bench is one of the best on the list, mainly because of its ergonomic shape and portability. You can take it with you on your travels thanks to the cotton bag included in the purchase.
Overall, it’s a good bench for people with less flexibility, although it’s a bit pricey. Click here for more details.
Simplysitting Handcrafted Meditation Bench
This Simplysitting bench is undoubtedly one of the most unique meditation benches in terms of design and functionality. The patented design according to the manufacturers is an “evolutionary leap” in design as it centers itself and is ergonomically curved for greater comfort.
It is made from American cherry heartwood and is quite lightweight, making it a good choice for portability and travel. Click here for more details.
To conclude :
Meditation benches can initially be an essential tool for maintaining correct posture and avoiding long-term physical discomfort. They can also be a nice addition to your meditation space or just an extra seat that your guests might oddly try. Who knows, maybe finding the bench in a quiet corner of your house will inspire them to try meditating on their own!
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two and maybe even found the right meditation bench for you in this meditation bench overview.