Meditation balls, also known as baoding balls, are something I’ve always been interested in for both dexterity reasons and to help meditate. However, I realized that I honestly had no idea how to use these balls properly, so I decided to share my research with everyone reading this post.
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What are Meditation Balls?
History tells us that the first baoding balls come from Hebei, China, dating all the way back to the Ming Dynasty, which lasted from 1368 – 1644. The exact year of the ball’s creation is unknown, but its uses for them remain today.
However, these balls were often made of iron at the time, and they may have been used as a weapon and/or for meditation purposes.
The balls transitioned to a steel material because they were lighter.
Benefits of Using Meditation Balls
While the history of balls for meditation is fascinating, their benefits are easy to overlook. A few of the key benefits, include:
- Dexterity: It takes a lot of skill to be able to move the balls with your hand. A lot of people have mastered the practice and can stop the two balls from touching.
- Calming: Rotating in one direction than another can help create a sense of calming.
- Focus: On top of the calming feeling, I find that moving the balls around helps to keep me focused.
- Anxiety and Stress: Many people find that focusing on this practice provides a sense of stress and anxiety relief.
- Chi Points: Other practitioners use these items to put pressure on the chi points in their hands.
If you’re practicing mindful living or learning how to practice mindfulness, I find meditation balls to be very helpful. While I do try to use them in my regular practice, I believe they help me focus on objects a lot better when I’m working on mindfulness.
Note: An interesting tidbit that I cannot verify nor deny is that using metal balls can zap your energy. I initially read this on Reddit, but it’s one of those things that will never be truly known. If you feel like your energy is being zapped, you can always try using balls that have a covering on them.
How to Use Meditation Balls
Using baoding balls isn’t difficult to start, but you’ll certainly need some practice to move the balls effortlessly with either hand.
- Hold both balls in a single hand.
- Place one ball end on your pinky.
- Place the other ball end touching the ball and extending just over the side of your pointer finger.
- Curl the fingers over the top of the ball.
- Rotate the balls in your hands. Many people will use their fingers at first for this rotation, primarily their thumb.
- Practice moving the balls in a clockwise rotation.
Over time, you’ll master moving in one direction and can then work on going counterclockwise. Next, practice using both hands and master moving the balls in either direction effortlessly. If you want to progress further, you can also try rotating the balls without allowing them to touch. Over time, you’ll also learn how to engage the fingers less and use your palm to help with ball movement.
But I haven’t reached this level personally.
Also, there’s a chance that you’ll drop the balls when first starting out. If you’re doing this over glass or while standing over tile, make an extra effort to avoid dropping the balls.
3 Best Meditation Balls on Amazon
1. JapanBargain 3297, Baoding Balls Chinese
If you’re purely interested in the lowest price meditation balls, these are the best I could find. Priced just under $10, these are two chrome color balls, made of metal that weigh just 0.5 pounds. You can purchase these balls in multiple color options if you like, including:
For a cheap set of baoding balls, these are definitely the most popular option I could find.
2. BCQLI 2″Greenish Stone Baoding Balls, Hand Exercise Tool
If you’re concerned about the metal balls zapping your energy, these are an excellent option for you. These balls come in a green stone color and weigh just 150 grams. The ornate box that comes with them is very nice and can fit perfectly on any desk or meditation altar.
Made from jade, the one thing that people love about these meditation balls is that they’re just the right weight – not too heavy or light.
3. 1.57 Inch Solid Baoding Balls 304 Stainless Steel by Nimble Agility™
Nimble Agility™ is a brand that is a little more expensive, but they come with a stunning stainless steel finish and a very nice holding case. The balls are 1.57” in height, width and length, and the stainless steel ensures that they’re resistant to:
A lot of users left reviews mentioning how these balls were heavier than other options, but they helped to loosen their hands and help with arthritis pain. While I am not sure that these claims are true, they are intriguing to me since I type all day, leaving my hands very tight.
Meditation balls are fun and a little something different to add to your mindfulness and meditation practice. They’re also neat to master, especially when you begin rotating in both directions, and they can help keep your hands looser and stronger.