I’ve noticed when meditating in a room with hardwood or bamboo floors the energy feels better and brighter. But without padding, (a cushion or rug) different parts of the body tend to fall asleep. Ankles get really uncomfortable after an hour unless the cushion is thick and your feet and legs will tend to loose circulation.
So when considering where you’ll be setting up your meditation space, think through the flooring carefully. If there is an existing rug with good padding, then a small cushion would work for some, but most prefer a larger flat cushion on the bottom, with a small pillow or cushion on top of that (see picture). This pads the ankles, supports the back, and ultimately helps you stay quiet longer without distractions.
Also consider purchasing rolls of carpet padding from your local discount store. It comes in different sizes that can be placed under an area rug and can be cut to fit. One of my favorite things to do is double the thickness under a good area rug and the feeling is really luxurious. That would work just fine instead of a larger pad, and might even save some money.
In most cases, however, the right supports — pillows and props — will allow you to sit comfortably and relax while you meditate — wherever you plan to meditate. It’s all about figuring out what posture feels best for you, and pairing it with the right cushion for optimal support.” Quote from “Real Things“
So don’t worry if you are a hardwood floor lover like I am, you can still meditate or do yoga in a room with a beautiful wooden floor. In fact to most people, wooden floors are more comfortable and feel warmer because it’s natural.
If you have a room with wall-to-wall carpeting it’s good to make sure it’s cleaned regularly, especially for those with allergies. Vacuum often (at least once a week) and spray with the new anti mold-mildew spray that’s all natural and kills 99% of all bacteria when left to dry. If you’re renting like me, and the carpet in your unit is old and not very likable, get it cleaned professionally, make sure its dry, and then cover it with a colorful new area rug in a pattern you love. It’s an easy fix, and much more conducive to meditating then an old smelly carpet.
I don’t really even want to address a tile floor because it’s the hardest and coldest floor covering. These surfaces are really hard on your feet, and on your meditating session. I love granite or terrazzo tile to look at, but it’s murder on your body, joints and very cold and uncomfortable for a meditation room. Again, a heavily padded area rug does wonders and is perfect under a cushion. I would not skip also using a larger flat cushion on this type of floor. At first sit it feels ok, but 15 minutes into your session you’ll feel the hardness, especially if it’s winter and the cold seeps up.
As usual, I’ll preface all this with the knowledge that someone who is skillful in meditation can overcome any environmental distractions such as the floor, but for most people this isn’t as easy. If your that skilled, I admire and respect your diligence. Me, I like a good cushion to sit on. 🙂