sitting positions

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

sitting positions

Postby Karma K Sonam » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:46 pm

I am entering that age when I am starting to worry about varicose veins and general circulation in my legs when sitting for long periods. Does anyone know if there is any evidence (not anecdotal) about whether not not sitting crossed legged causes circulation problems/complications?

I'm kinda hoping people will post back saying nooooo it is all fine as I like sitting on my cushion; I've tried a chair but it just doesn't seem the same (too high up for a start!)

Many thanks :D
don't forget to stop and smell the daisies.
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Re: sitting positions

Postby nirmal » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:44 pm

I know a guy whose feet turn blue while sitting in a lotus position.This is bad.We should not force ourselves.Now he walks with a limp and has knee trouble.When I first started meditation, there was nothing but pain.I was not able to meditate at all but just kept going until I broke through the pain barrier and I mean that blood started flowing naturally after a few years.Now, after about 20 years, I can sit with ease for 2 hours and get up right away and start walking without any numbness or pain in my legs.I still sit in a semi lotus position and will keep doing that as it suits me and gives me the peace of mind to meditate.It's just time that will actually allow blood circulation take its natural path.The meditation seat that I made for myself is a great help too.
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Re: sitting positions

Postby Karma K Sonam » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:23 pm

I saw this in a different thread (I think) it looks really neat. It took a while to work it out when I first saw it, I thought, do you sit IN it? Then I realised there was another photo! Lol!
don't forget to stop and smell the daisies.
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Re: sitting positions

Postby Chaz » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:47 pm

Karma K Sonam wrote:I am entering that age when I am starting to worry about varicose veins and general circulation in my legs when sitting for long periods. Does anyone know if there is any evidence (not anecdotal) about whether not not sitting crossed legged causes circulation problems/complications?

I'm kinda hoping people will post back saying nooooo it is all fine as I like sitting on my cushion; I've tried a chair but it just doesn't seem the same (too high up for a start!)

Many thanks :D


I'm at a similar age and I'm finding that extended sitting has some negative effect on joints - knees, hips and ankles. Last time I did a Shambhala Training level, I almost couldn't walk out of the room at the end of the weekend. With my last solitary retreat, my hips hurt so bad after 3.5 days I HAD to fo to a chair. Lately I've taken to using a chair all the time - an inexpensive height-adjustable office chair from IKEA - and a laptop stand for a table. It doesn't have quite the same "feel" as sitting on a cushion, but after getting used to it, I find I can sit for longer periods and my practice is as good if not better than on a cushion.

I've never seen any data drawn from medical studies, etc. I don't need them I guess. I go with what works. I say we leave the "work through the pain" attitude to the 20-somethings. Practicing with pain is no virtue.

All that said, if there's any studies available I'd love to read them.
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Re: sitting positions

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:26 pm

If this guy can practice and reach enlightenment while sitting on a chair I can't see why we cannot!
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"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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