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I’ve been practicing yoga for eight years, but only recently did I venture into yin and restorative yoga—and my view of yoga has completely shifted. These slower practices are more restful and often utilize props to assist in holding poses for several minutes each. Yin yoga is more about working on the connective tissues and joints, while restorative aims to restore (obviously) the body and relax the nervous system.

If I’ve discovered anything in the past few years, it’s that practicing yoga at home isn’t always easy—in a studio, you have a vast open space, no family members, and limitless props at your disposal. Still, at-home yoga allows you to tailor your practice or meditation with your desired support. That’s where Avocado comes in. 

The company started in 2016 when its founders were searching for a truly non-toxic and sustainably made mattress. They couldn’t find an affordable one on the market, so they set out to create their own. Today, Avocado also makes pillows, linens, furniture, bath accessories, and—yes—MADE SAFE® certified yoga mats and yoga meditation pillows, among other product lines. Everything is made from organic materials in a factory in sunny California.

Avocado ensures every step of its production process is low-waste and environmentally sustainable—from sourcing and growing materials to shipping. The packaging my meditation pillow showed up in was minimal; it was simply packed in a cardboard box with no plastic wrapping or anything! Avocado is also renowned for becoming the first Climate Neutral certified mattress company in 2019 and is now climate negative, meaning the brand offsets more carbon than they produce. 

Finally, Avocado is also certified by B Corp and belongs to 1% for the Planet, Oeko-Tex’s Standard 100, and FSC (among other organizations). Simply put: the products and business model are rigorously tested to ensure everything meets the highest sustainability standards, including the yoga meditation pillows.

For my practice, I chose to try the oval organic yoga meditation pillow ($79), a small, round pillow designed to elevate the hips while seated in a cross-legged position.  It’s made in Los Angeles with GOTS-certified organic cotton and filled with buckwheat hulls, making it completely natural and biodegradable. It also comes in an attractive linen color that weaves together different shades of neutrals—perfect for a soothing and restorative practice. The buckwheat hulls are firm and mold nicely to the body while providing a ton of support. I.e., it isn’t soft and squishy! 

I found the pillow also great for propping up my bum while kneeling for a long time, so my legs didn’t get tingly. I loved it behind my back for my favorite restorative pose, supported fish. You can use the versatile pillow to provide support during your practice however you most need it, whether to hold your favorite pose or simply to rest and meditate.

The pillow’s cover unzips so it can be removed and machine-washed, too! And the pillow itself unzips, revealing the buckwheat hulls, which look almost like coffee grounds. Buckwheat pillows don’t last forever, but they should last many years with proper care. If the pillow starts to lose shape and the hulls begin to break apart, they can always be replaced.

Other products in Avocado’s yoga line include the square meditation pillow ($159), wider and flatter than the oval one; the yoga bolster ($119), a traditional bolster great for restorative or prenatal yoga; and a Pranayama pillow ($89), thinner than the bolster for more targeted support.

The Takeaway

As far as bolsters and meditation pillows go, it’s pretty hard to beat Avocado’s quality. The buckwheat filling means the cushion is firm and sturdy, giving maximum spine support while sitting. Plus, Avocado’s ethos and transparency make this a company you can feel good purchasing from.

As for when I’m at the studio or not using the pillow for meditation? I’ve found it’s a great lap desk for my laptop because of the buckwheat’s breathability, and it’s an extra little seat on nights when friends pile into our tiny living room. And it’s even attractive enough to leave lying around as decor, too.


Natalie Gale is a Boston-based freelance journalist. When she’s not writing about art, food, or sustainability, you can find her biking to the farmers’ market, baking, sewing, or planning her next Halloween costume. Say hi on Instagram!