One of the least understood tools in creating a successful meditation practice is the zafu. Many western practitioners of meditation aren’t even aware that these little delights exist. Support for the body is key in helping quiet the mind during meditation. If you are thinking about your discomfort, you may need support from a zafu-meditation cushions.
A zafu is, essentially, a round seat stuffed with very soft fibers made out of reedmace seed heads. In ancient China, the zafu was filled with the actual down of the reedmace, rather than its seed heads. A typical zaful is about 14 inches in diameter and about eight inches high when fluffed.
Although zafus can be used as comfortable everyday sitting spots, they are regularly used in cross-legged Zen meditation purposes. When using the zafu in Zen, you must give a small bow to the zafu, as well as anyone else you are meditating with, before you begin.
Traditionally, the zafu must be handled in a specific way, but use of that method has faded in modern times.
What’s so important about a zafu? The zafu is designed to not only provide comfort during meditation, but to actually raise your hips slightly. This helps make your cross-legged positions a lot more comfortable and stable than just sitting on the floor.
Most importantly, meditation on a zafu helps to connect you with the ancient traditions of your art. It might not bring you any more insight or relaxation, but it can help you feel more grounded and integrated with the ageless skill of meditation.
So, you’re interested in learning some yoga poses, but aren’t sure where to start. These relatively easy yoga poses are among the most commonly utilized. Learn them and you’re on your way to mastering yoga.
Downward Facing Dog
One of the first poses you should master seems only easy until you’ve done it. There are a few ways you can get into this pose. You can either bend over forward and bring your arms to the ground or push up from the ground. Basically, the pose will create an upside “V” with your body.
Avoid pushing forward too far: many people try to get into a true 45-degree angle and create a pose too much like a plank. 30-35 degrees should be more than enough for this pose.
Perhaps the most instantly identifiable yoga pose, “Warrior II” will challenge your hips, your legs, and your arms. Start by facing forward with your legs about shoulder width apart. Now, turn your head to the right, lift your arms until they are parallel with the ground, and bend to the right.
Bend your right knee until it’s very nearly at a 45-degree angle. Hold here and stare out towards your right finger tips. Squeeze your abs to support your back, waist, and hips.
The “Triangle Pose” is a little trickier, but not impossible for beginners. Start by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart and your hands parallel to the ground.
Now, bend your right arm towards the ground, touching the ground with your palm. Twist your waist back to accommodate. If you can’t quite touch the ground, rest your hand on a yoga brick. Extend your left arm to the sky at a 90-degree angle and hold.
The “Child’s Pose” is an important pose for beginners because it’s the default “break” pose. Start by getting on your knees and bending your arms forward towards the ground. Don’t strain yourself by pushing too far: just feel a gentle stretch as you pull your arms forward and your face to the ground.
Breathe slowly while you’re here and relax your mind. While in this pose, your muscles will release any severe tension and pain. Once you’re done resting, perform your next move.
Yoga is a rewarding and relaxing exercise that can bring a lot of joy and inspiration into your life. Contact us if you’re interested in learning more.
Once upon a time there lived a griffin. Like the long line of her ancestors, she was of the earth and sky – part eagle and lion, and she too was a guardian of treasures.
This particular griffin had traditional eagle talons, but under one of the talons, there was a lion’s paw. And so this griffin was called Catspaw. She was flexible, strong and agile because of the many movements she and all creatures do naturally. We humans call these movements Yoga.
As the years passed, she noticed it was becoming harder to move in her usual, natural way, and also to keep her body aligned and comfortable while her mind focused on other things. And
thus Catspaw began seeking the guidance of masters of mindfulness throughout the land. Yet even while practicing their lessons, she felt she needed some kind of structural support. “A pillow,” she thought. “A cushion would be an ideal enhancement for practicing my lessons.”
And so she began to search the land for a craftsman able to create a beautiful, supportive pillow for her exercises. Soon she found a skilled seamstress with the most amazing fabrics from far and wide. Together, Catspaw and the seamstress worked together to create a cushion using natural seed shells that fit Catspaw’s body perfectly, and yet was also a joy to look at. With her new cushion, Catspaw was able to continue and even broaden her palette of movements in ways she hadn’t thought possible. So inspired, she dedicated herself to teaching others the movements and non-movements of mindfulness.
Soon Catspaw decided to share her idea for an inspirational cushion with all others who were following her spiritual path. And thus was born Catspaw Cushions.
Pause to find your inspirational support.
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Mindfulness unravels the ego, measuring the relationship with yourself and others. Yoga focuses on the physical vibrations, creating a union between the mind and the body’s’ flexibility. Ultimately, whilst practicing mindfulness and actively setting aside time to do yoga, you are engaging active consciousness.
Paying attention to the body is an excellent goal. Crafting the mind without judgment on your perceived good or bad thoughts, enables a healthier inner and outer body.
How Does Mindfulness Work?
Mindfulness follows these steps:
Cultivating Peaceful Confidence
Confidence doesn’t have to consist of being loud, bold, and brash. A confident demeanor that is true to your inner self is what matters. You need to make peace with who you are through and through. Peaceful confidence thrives in those who are mindful of others. Even those who have not reached your pace due to their own choices.
Observing Where Your Attention Lies
What do you spend time thinking about the most? Your past? Your future? For those who multitask, this works for you too. Find a reasonable time to narrow down your perspective and relate to your surroundings.
Initially, this can serve as a challenge. It may take patient repetition cycles in order to achieve your results. Please contact us for a safe and transformative experience.
Anyone who has mastered meditation already knows that it offers them unlimited benefits, including complete
relaxation and inner knowledge. That said, people new to the art may not be convinced. However, a new wealth of information is showing us that meditation works.
Let’s start by creating a working definition of meditation. Simply put, meditation consists of sitting quietly and focusing. Many advanced meditation experts focus on their breath or a phrase of one or more words (called a mantra) to keep their concentration on one repeating idea.
Repeating a mantra enough times eventually strips it of its meaning: this phenomenon is called semantic satiation. It occurs when your body and mind have experienced an excessive stimulation. In self-defense, the mind will lower its acuteness. This experience is related to the way that smells decrease in severity.
As a result, a mantra becomes nothing but meaningless sounds. This is important: stripping the word of its sounds takes away its definition. Soon, you’re just focusing your mind on repeating meaningless sound.
That repetition will increase your concentration by essentially “mesmerizing” your mind. It will force your mind to eliminate outside thoughts and open up for greater focus.
Once your mind has reached that zen-like state of calm, you can start truly concentrating on important aspects of your life. Simply lowering your stress levels might be enough. However, you can also fixate on fixing problematic areas in your life, such as low self-esteem or eating too much.
If you’re still struggling to master meditation, contact us today. We offer a wide range of meditation products that can help you earn the calm you deserve.