Aimee’s favorite mindfulness props
At its core, mindfulness is simple. It doesn’t really require equipment, tools or props. You can essentially sit up straight in your chair, lie down comfortably on a flat surface or walk in a public space, all while breathing deeply and being present.
But, there comes a time when having some mindful goodies makes the journey a bit more enjoyable. And sometimes the props are just so dang cool (or pretty) that it’s a self-love exercise to purchase them! If you find yourself in such a situation, below are some items I’ve come to love on my mindful journey.
If you’re looking for a comfortable sit that looks oh-so-zen, check out the Moonleap meditation crescent cushion. (Note that they also offer a large version.) This organic spelt husk-filled cushion provides a substantial bolster to support longer sitting without numb legs developing. The set-up is customizable, the unique center cushion helps reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and sensitive areas.
The colors are calming, the materials are durable and the customer service is outstanding.
It’s not a cheap cushion, but if you have sciatic problems or issues with traditional cushions, you may want to invest in the Moonleap crescent cushion.
If you’d prefer a more affordable option, check out the Seat Of Your Soul Crescent Meditation Cushion. It’s filled with buckwheat, so it’s very comfortable and adjustable. The cover is machine washable. You can find it in a variety of colors to fit your style. I love its built-in carrying strap; it makes the cushion easy for on-the-go meditation—great for a meditation class, mindfulness training session, day of silence or weekend retreat.
A zabuton (meditation mat) helps support your cushion, and especially your ankles, while you meditate. I enjoy the Moonleap meditation mat. It’s two inches of high quality, firm foam. It really does the trick to support your body and ankle/foot bones as you sit.
You can remove the durable cover to wash it (something to always look for in cushions, mats and other props). If you buy the Moonleap meditation cushion and mat set , you can often get a decent discount. (Note that they also offer a large version of the set.)
Looking for something more spendthrift? While I’ve not personally used the Gaiam Meditation Cushion Zabuton Yoga Pillow, it is highly rated and comes in a variety of colors. I tend to have good luck with other Gaiam props (some of which are included in this post), so I would trust this product.
If you want to adjust the angle of your legs to get more comfortable during your sitting meditation, try the Moonleap support wedges. I find they help my knees and hips not feel so extended and taxed.
Position the wedges with the thin end towards the knee, and the weight of the legs is taken away from the knee to the legs themselves. Your knee stays low but doesn’t push as heavily into the floor.
I was gifted a lovely Gaiam yoga mat by a dear friend of mine years ago. It is similar to this Gaiam Yoga Mat. A thicker yoga mat is a nice addition to your mindful props, saving your hands and knees especially from contact with hard floors while you engage in mindful movement.
Yoga socks? You might ask why one would want special socks just for yoga. One word: grip. Having a non-slip base while you make your mindful movements is a small insurance policy to keep you from unintentional splits and spills. Save face, cover your feet in yoga socks. Your piggies (and patoot) will thank you. I have a few pairs of these Gaiam Yoga Socks, a.k.a. toe-separating gems.
Mexican Yoga Blanket
A yoga blanket is the multi-tool of the mindfulness realm. It can help bolster your haunches when you’re meditating. It can provide cushion under your knees when you’re in tabletop pose. And it can flex its blanket muscles to keep you warm when your body temp drops. Here’s a classic Mexican Yoga Blanket that I use regularly.
This LeVent Refillable Leather Journal is my go-to writing prop! I feel inspired when I write in it, like my words will be nestled in gorgeous leather for centuries to come. It’s simple, yet elegant and very durable. I’ve used it for a few years already, but you’d never know it because it looks so good (and I aim to write every day)!
Great for your daily writing habit. And if you need paper refills, these college ruled refills do the trick.
The Zebra F-301 Ballpoint Stainless Steel Retractable Pen is the most magnificent pen I’ve ever written with (besides a Montblanc a doctor friend once let me borrow for a few moments, but hey, I don’t have to guard the Zebra with my life).
In my book, The Chaos Antidote: A Fable About Mindfulness, the women try Pu-erh tea, a semi-rare black tea. I found Pu-erh tea at a local tea shop, Tea’s Me Cafe, here in Indianapolis. It’s a tea-lover’s paradise and also offers online orders.
Oolong tea is also one of my faves, and the characters in The Chaos Antidote give it a try, much to their delight. Check out this variety of Oolong tea!
I adore this I-pot Tea Pot! I have one in purple and it brightens my day every time I use it! I scoop my loose tea into the mesh insert, pour boiling water over the loose tea, then shut the metal lid with a satisfying “snap”. Bliss awaits in three to seven minutes!
These stainless-steel mesh tea ball infusers are a great match for your loose tea brewing. No nonsense and very affordable. No other props needed (besides a cozy tea cup, boiling water and your loose tea!)
I like to find a song or set of songs that equals the amount of meditation time I’m aiming to complete. I enjoy the Musical Massage CD when I’ve set aside 12-17 minutes for meditation—or around a half hour, if I listen to two songs.
Bell or musical bowl
I’m always getting notices from Amazon about a musical bowl being on sale. I’m often tempted. They’re so beautiful. But for now, I just use a metal mixing bowl if I want to harken the gonging bell.
I have a set of nesting mixing bowls that I picked up at a church rummage sale years ago. So, even while using the bowls for making baked bread, I am comforted by the bell-like sound reminding me to take a deep breath and be fully present in the moment.
I prefer to use my instrumental music as my “timer”. I try to keep all internet-connected devices out of my meditation space if possible to avoid the distraction of buzzes and beeps (and in general to curb the temptation to check messages).
However, I’m considering a simple digital or turn-dial timer. One that has 10, 20, 30 and 60-minute buttons seems ideal to me. But maybe I just need to keep it basic with a digital kitchen countdown timer. I purchased a timer similar to this minutes cube timer, but haven’t tried it for meditation yet. I’ll have to keep you posted!
I recommend collecting inspirational quotes to enrich your practice and feed your brain healthy “food”. I’ve included several inspirational quotes in The Chaos Antidote: A Fable About Mindfulness, and many original blessings in the companion guide, The Chaos Antidote: Six-Week Mindfulness Guide.
Check those out in my books, and keep a handwritten or computer/device-based collection to keep your spirits high.
Mindfulness is simple, whether sitting, walking, lying or moving with intention. With a set of moderate investments of time and money, you can enrich your practice, making it more enjoyable and sustainable.
What mindful props do you most enjoy? Which are on your wish list? Do you have a meditation timer you love?