I don't know about you, but I have certainly come to a point in my life where I am slowly but steadily beginning to feel the age and its effect on my body. I have noticed that it takes a bit of effort to stay in shape, and most importantly if I don't make the effort, I suffer for it. I am not talking weight here, I am talking bodily well-being, and being able to perform daily tasks without straining myself or getting injured.
As your body ages, it changes. And after a certain age, you start to loose muscular strength and bone density. This is probably why your strong, perky twenty-something body demanded way less healthy attention, and withstood late nights, endless dancing and lack of sleep, without so much as a whinge.
Enter the 40ish, creaky, stiff and hobbling-lame-in-the-morning-body... (twenty-something; stop laughing!!) For me, my bodily well-being is important. I like being active, and able to be active. I have a physically demanding job, and so I am dependent upon my health to earn my living. I also think of my life after retirement. I want to be strong and healthy even then, so I can enjoy my senior years, too. I did run for a year, loved it, but managed to seriously injure my ankle, and so running is off the table for a good while.
So, I started doing yoga.
|Hoping this is me in a few years :)|
Those of you who are on "the path", will give a consenting nod when I say that yoga looks deceivingly easy and pleasant. My first few practices were rather humbling. I am not at all as mobile and strong as I thought. But that's ok, it's a journey and I will get better.
If you are wondering where the pillow comes in, I'll tell you. I discovered that just sitting tall on the floor, legs extended in front, keeping the natural hollow in my lower back was impossible. Also, sitting crossed legged, with a straight back, also not happening. Solution is to sit up on something to elevate the hips. I got tired with the uncomfortable folded towel, and decided I needed something a bit more fancy. Enter the Zafu.
A Zafu is a traditional round pillow used by Zen buddhists during prolonged seated meditation. It is usually about 35cm (14") in diameter and 20cm (8")high, and stuffed with natural fibres like kapok, or buckwheat hulls.
A little search online, and it was quite clear that natural fibres are rather expensive and hard to come by. But then I remembered this brilliant tip from Debbie, using fabric scraps for stuffing, and decided combine the need for elevated seating, and somewhere to put all those scraps! I am sure, as someone who sew, you are never short on scraps... I used a whole shopping bag just for this one pillow!
I used upholstery fabric, but any sturdy fabric will do. Just make sure it can be eased, as I found I needed to, when sewing on the top and bottom circles. When assembled, just add stuffing until firm. Using smaller scraps is best, as it is less likely to get lumpy.
I also added a handle strap for carrying. I used a decorative stitch on my machine to make it prettier. If you take meditation classes, I guess you could embroider your name on the handle too. If you don't even meditate, or do yoga, the pillow looks great sitting on the couch, too. I've even used it to rest my laptop on when sitting in a recliner.
I am very happy with my Zafu. Using fabric scraps for stuffing, makes for quite a heavy pillow, but I don't mind. It is a bit like a medicine ball :) I just "beat it up" once in a while to keep it fluffy(ish).
Ohm, and peace to all :)