Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby sangyey » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:15 am

Sometimes after I have been meditating awhile my legs start to ache and I am wondering if it's something where I should just keep going with it and the pain will subside after the legs start to get used to the position or if I should just not go further because it could further the problem?

Thank you.

~Sangyey
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:33 am

sangyey wrote:Sometimes after I have been meditating awhile my legs start to ache and I am wondering if it's something where I should just keep going with it and the pain will subside after the legs start to get used to the position or if I should just not go further because it could further the problem?

Thank you.

~Sangyey


Stretch before and after.

However, if you start feeling intolerable pain (as opposed to simple discomfort), please stop and stretch, rearrange your legs, whatever...

Forcing yourself to sit through pain like that will only cause injury.
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby sangyey » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:43 am

I had a stretching routine going everyday but I had a slight pull in one of my legs so I stopped. Sometimes I get a little nervous about those things and am unsure whether I should continue or give it a break.
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby Indrajala » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:36 am

sangyey wrote:I had a stretching routine going everyday but I had a slight pull in one of my legs so I stopped. Sometimes I get a little nervous about those things and am unsure whether I should continue or give it a break.


You can meditate without crossing your legs. Just sit in a chair (not leaning against the back) with your feet firmly flat on the floor.

Basically take it easy! Meditation should not be forced. It should arise naturally. If you can't sit cross legged because it hurts, then gradually work towards it, but for the meanwhile sit in a chair with your legs down if need be.
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby Bodhi » Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:54 am

It is hard for a lot of people when they start meditating. If you can cross your legs, it's recommended, however it is not necessary. If you do insist on crossing your legs, that would be fine, because when I first start meditating, i would get horrible leg pains and it kills me, but i take it slowly and after a while, I became more..flexible or used to it I guess but I only do half-lotus position nowday. But if you do cross your legs, and when you feel pain you should definitely release your foot from crossing position and can just put it down like you would be sitting on a chair. Just make sure to keep a relaxed-straight back and concentrate on your breathe counting or w.e. meditation you are doing.
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby catmoon » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:30 am

Why not set yourself a time? I'm getting old and full lotus isn't going to happen in a day, but I can sit half lotus for five minutes each way. Then I give it 24-48 hours to see if there are any lasting pains. If not, I give it another go.

A few days ago, just as a test, I attained full lotus for a few seconds! There was tremendous pressure shinbone against shinbone, and it was a lousy lotus and it was agonizingly painful. But that's ok because there was no pain where I would worry about it. Knees were good and hip joints were fine. Still the pain was way beyond anything I could meditate with and I would not want to subject the bod to that kind of strain.

So I will continue. It's been a year of on and off work, but it's coming along slowly. Be gentle, be patient, and pay attention to those knees and what they are telling you off the cushion.
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby lojong1 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:27 am

I thought almost certainly sitting through my leg and back pain could cause injury. Teacher said sit, I sat, and it got much worse before it subsided. Well worth it. I guess every case is different. After a painful sit, I find it useful to remember how quickly I recover fully and feel better than before the sit. This helps me sit as relaxed as possible through even more pain should it arise again, because I am confident there will be no damage.
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Re: Legs hurt. To continue or not to continue?

Postby spiritnoname » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:14 pm

The first is to make sure you're in the posture correctly, put a brick or two under your pillow to hold up your tail bone, lean forward and then backwards to make sure you're sitting up straight and balanced, move your hands in acceptable ways to see if it helps with balance. Practice sitting up against a wall for a while. Do these until you know your posture is right and as easeful as possible. Maybe you can't sit in full lotus/vajra posture, some people just can't because their legs are too big or short or something, I still don't sit in full lotus, I sit in siddhasana or half lotus after some ten years (God we need better names for these things).

The second thing is bearing with the little muscle pains that come with developing the posture.

The third thing is just going into concentration such that you do not feel pain.
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