About a year ago I connected with Shelley, Co-Owner of Love My Mat – a yoga and meditation accessory company from Hamilton, ON built on the intention to enhance your yoga practice, your home and your life. Their products are beautifully crafted and so much love goes into each one-of-a-kind design. I love the unique quality of their products and I really love the half moon shape of their cushions – they’re super comfortable and can be used a variety of ways.
I had the opportunity to interview Shelley about her meditation practice and learn a bit more about their beautiful cushions…read on!
Megan: Is meditation more beneficial sitting up or lying down?
Shelley: I don’t think either is more beneficial than the other. I think it’s just important to meditate and whatever your preference is, go with it. That being said, I generally prefer a seated meditation as I find I connect more with my body and I’m less likely to fall asleep.
What’s the best way to use your cushions?
Sit cross-legged with the rounded edge behind you. Wiggle your sit bones toward the front or straight edge. This will allow your pelvis to tilt forward slightly, making it easier to lengthen the spine, relax the shoulders and sit for longer periods. I always recommend taking the knees as wide as possible, placing the chins as parallel to each other as possible and avoid the feet & ankles being tucked under the knees. This will allow the knees to drop and hips to feel more open.
There is also a video here to show how to use our cushion;
If sitting cross-legged isn’t your thing, you can place the Sit Pillow on the thin flat side with the rounded edge facing upward. Place it between your legs as you kneel over it. It would be like doing Hero Pose or sitting on your heels. This option is great for people who have tight hips or knee pain.
Can you use the cushion more than one way?
Yes you can use the cushion as I explained above for seated or kneeling meditation. Our cushions are also great for placing under your head if you have tight neck or shoulders and find difficultly laying flat on your back. Also great under the head in certain side twists.
You can use them as weights on your belly or feet or legs in specific poses to help ground you or gain a deeper stretch while being gentle.
What are your cushions made of?
All our meditation cushions are filled with organic buckwheat hulls that come from Quebec. We try to get all of our supplies from Canadian or local supplies to reduce emissions. The buckwheat hulls are in a sealed pillow inside the cover. This inner pillow is made with organic, unbleached cotton. The covers for our cushions are always made from reclaimed fabric. We use curtains, duvet covers, old jeans, table cloths, couch covers and more. We try to select natural fabrics like cotton whenever possible, but with reclaimed fabrics we’re not always certain what the fibres are.
What’s your favourite type of meditation?
I like many types of meditation. Currently I’m loving using a mala for Japa Meditation. It’s similar to how you would use a rosary. I have a mantra that I repeat as I touch each of the 108 beads of my mala.
Do you have any favourite online guided meditations that you listen to?
I used to use YouTube for guided meditations, but found it difficult to find meditations that I really like consistently. So I now use an app called Stop, Breathe & Think. It’s fantastic, especially for people who are new to meditation. You can tell it how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally then it gives you a list of meditations that might be beneficial for you at that time. It’s great because the meditations are anywhere from 2 – 8 minutes so it’s very realistic to fit into your day at any time you need it. Plus it’s free or you can upgrade to a premium membership, which I LOVE!
Anything else you’d like to share?
For people that say they’re not good at meditating, of course you’re not! No one is good at anything right away. And after 7+ years of practicing, I’m still not “good” at it. But the point isn’t to be good, the point it to practice. If you don’t have a dedicated space for meditation, a meditation cushion can be your “space.” If you choose a beautiful cushion that you love & fits into your home decor you’re more likely to use it on a regular basis. Then all you have to do it sit for one minute a day and focus on your breath. Once you’re able to do that easily, you can start to extend the length of time you sit for to 3 minutes, then 5, 8 minutes and more!