Sitting on the floor works. But sitting on a perfect-for-you cushion for meditation works even better.
I have yet to find my perfect match, not for lack of options in the world, but for lack of interest in purchasing individual items from all over the web. I don’t enjoy shopping this way: buy, wait, unpack, find out it’s not “right,” request return/refund, repack, take to the shipping carrier, and start over again. I prefer to see options in-store — ready to try, fall in love with, and buy/take home immediately.
One day soon, I believe we’ll walk the aisles at Target or any local store for home/living goods and be able to shop a wide variety of meditation cushions. From a classic tatami mat to a fiber-stuffed bolster or a high-end resin design at your local boutique, it’s a matter of time before seating in support of self-awareness becomes mainstream.
Mindfulness is already there.
Last Fall, when I was shopping at Target, I noticed they had a prominent book section on mindfulness for kids. It was a happy discovery and a hopeful indication of my daughters' future world. At that time, my eldest daughter, Hazel, had been doing Cosmic Kids Yoga at home, and she really enjoyed the mindfulness "Zen Den" features (as did I). Her generation is growing up with mindfulness as a norm. Even if you don’t practice it yourself, you’re aware of what it is. This wasn’t so just ten years ago. As generations continue to evolve, merchants will need to reflect this newfound appreciation for methods and objects intended for stillness and self-care beyond beauty and aromatherapy.
Mats and cushions for meditating, thinking, resting, and breathing could be a new section in the home department of any major retailer right now. With wellness being the boon that it's been, retailers could easily add meditation cushions and mats to their merchandise mix and find an eager audience. Sure, options are readily available online, but that’s just it: it’s online. My ass can’t tell by looking at a picture if it’s the right cushion for me. I want to feel it, sit on it, and find my perfect zen spot – on the spot.
Imagine a variety of cushions ready to feel with your hands, ready to settle into, merchandised in a way that's intentional (vs. an afterthought) and inviting to the senses. Depending on the retailer, these cushions would have different colors, designs, shapes, textures, and price points to fit any decor style and budget. This simple merchandise addition could enhance customer satisfaction by communicating appreciation and support for their patrons' well-being. And for those not interested in the mindfulness aspect of this cushion category, they’d have more purposeful options for playing and lounging on the floor in their living spaces.
Target and the like could fold this category into their privately owned labels (they’re already making decorative throw cushions) and take it mainstream in a heartbeat. I see high-end boutique stores offering more options like Tina Frey's Meditation Seat. And I’d love to see local mystical stores and yoga studios promote meditation furnishings (more) and expand their audience.
Finding my “perfect match” for things was big fun at Port of Raleigh. If I still had the store, I would play with the concept of a zen den. It would be a little space to invite people to slow down, relax, and test out their new mindfulness companion underneath. Should it be their perfect match, their practice could continue immediately at home, without the wait, without the packaging.
Enjoy exploring these options found online — hopefully, coming to a store near you soon.
Update: I've just learned of this brand Walden AND the newly reopened Naked Retail space in NYC has created just the kind of space discussed above to try one out for yourself! #wavelengths