Anyone who has tried meditating knows that posture and comfort are essential, but when Lisa Pedscalny first tried meditation, she found the practice physically uncomfortable.
In an effort to make meditation more accessible to everyone, Pedscalny, along with a business partner, created OmBase, a versatile alternative to traditional meditation benches.
Pedscalny had never tried yoga or meditation before suffering a running injury 10 years ago.
She was a mom of two young children, worked in a corporate job, ran marathons on the side and always had endless to-do lists, so the prospect of slowing down for a yoga class was just not something she had even considered.
But after injuring her hamstring while training, she started yoga as part of the rehabilitation, which then led to meditation.
“I actually laughed when my yoga teacher asked if I’d ever meditated before because I didn’t think of myself as someone who would ever get into meditation,” said Pedscalny.
As soon as she tried it, she began to feel the mental benefits of the practice, but due to her years of running marathons, sitting on the ground or on props for long periods of time was very uncomfortable. Traditional cushions made her back sore and forced her to sit in a position that hurt her knees and ankles. Meditation benches were too bulky and heavy, and she found the fixed height was restrictive.
After beginning to design an adjustable meditation bench for herself, she soon realized there were others that could benefit from it. And OmBase was born.
“We wanted to create something that was portable; we wanted to create something with the right alignment in the body so that people like me could maintain proper posture for longer without having to think about it,” said Pedscalny. “We also wanted to have something that was really versatile and flexible so that people of all different shapes and sizes and with different challenges in their bodies would be able to use it.”
OmBase features fully adjustable legs, variable seat angles and a lightweight, portable design. Pedscalny says it took them two years to perfect the final product.
“We started off with sketching sort of a shape and from there we had a quite hilarious period of time where we tried to fashion our own prototypes just to get a shape,” she said. “I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of pool noodles and we were hot gluing them together trying to get something that looked like a visual representation of what we had in our minds.”
They quickly advanced from pool noodle models to 3D printed prototypes, to a final product with the help of user feedback, engineers and experts in the meditation field.
In September, OmBase also kicked off the #MeditationMovement to demonstrate the positive effects of meditation, as well as the diversity of people who meditate. People from all over the world have submitted videos talking about how meditation has benefitted them in their daily lives.
OmBase recently reached its Kickstarter goal and will be available for order on Nov. 30. The product is available online at ombase.ca and will be sold in store at Cause & Effect Wellness in Courtenay.