What is a zafu?
October 09, 2018
What is a meditation zafu?Zafu (座蒲) or zafú is a round cushion used for meditation. It is a Japanese word that literally means seat made of cattail (the material with which it was originally made). Legend has it that the zafu was invented by Buddha when he made a cushion of dried herbs on which to sit comfortably to meditate. Actually, the origin of the zafu is in China, from where it passed to Japan. The zafus reach the West with the help of Zen meditation. Un zafu It is a meditation cushion filled with different materials (usually spelled, buckwheat, kapok or kapok husk). They are mainly used for meditation sessions but can also be used for some specific Yoga postures and even as a seat. You can find different types of zafus for yoga and meditation but mainly we can find two types:
- round zafus: they are the classic meditation cushions.
- crescent zafus: These are a type of cushion focused on offering greater comfort in the seat.
Why use a zafu to meditate?Meditation practitioners sit on the zafu to do the practice. This cushion has the function of allowing the pelvis to tilt forward and the knees to rest on the floor, achieving an adequate lumbar curve. The two knees and the coccyx are the three points on which the position is held. A balanced and stable posture is achieved. When you are meditating on top of a zafu, all the muscles relax, your heart rate decreases, your blood pressure drops, your breathing becomes deeper and your ability to concentrate increases, thus favoring a deeper and calmer meditation.
What are zafu made of?The zafus of YogaYe have a filling spelled shell. Traditionally, the spelled husk was spread on the floor of the stables to serve as bedding for the animals. It has recently begun to be used as a filler for pillows, nursing cushions and zafus or meditation cushions for its therapeutic properties, since the spelled husk is a natural analgesic and relaxant, and also because it is very light. Spelled husk is breathable, so it helps regulate your body temperature during meditation. In addition, it adapts perfectly to your body. That is why it is said that meditating on a zafu filled with spelled shells is like meditating sitting on the sand of the sea.
How to choose your zafu?To choose your zafu, you must take into account different factors:
- What poses are you going to use with him?
- Each human body is unique, in its shape and posture. What is your level of flexibility in the hips, back, ankles?
- Do you want it just for Yoga and meditation or also as a decoration?
- What level of padding do you prefer*?
- What colors and designs do you like the most?