STILL experiencing issues re posture

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Justmeagain
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STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Justmeagain » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:44 pm

Hi,

After all these years I am still struggling to sit more than 45 mins without experiencing pain in my leg (depending on which 'Half-Lotus) side I sit on.

It seems my sitting bones are the problem. Short of having either no cushion or having the tiniest part of my butt on the last inch of the Zafu...I am not sure where to go :)

Stools and ordinary chairs are no use...worse in fact!

Any advice you can offer would be great - thanks!

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Mkoll
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Mkoll » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:07 pm

Have you tried a chair with an angled seat?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

AlexMcLeod
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by AlexMcLeod » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:32 am

Stand up.
Relax! Smile From The Heart!
There is a difference between the Mundane and the Transcendental. If you purposefully confuse them, I will ignore you, you nihilist.
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Zla'od » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:52 am

45 minutes is actually pretty good.
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Zhen Li
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:31 am

Lie down.

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:15 am

Zhen Li wrote:Lie down.

This. I lie down with a yoga strap holding up my raised knees when my body tells me it can't hack normal posture.

The posture of course will not support wakefulness on the same level that lotus etc. will, but its been passable for me.
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Ayu
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Ayu » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:59 am

I have the problem of deaden legs since all the 35 years I try to meditate. :smile: I just accepted it.
When I am not so relaxed, for example doing meditation not at home, the sitting posture can become uncomfortable for the legs or feet after 20 min already. 45 min sitting without any problem is the longest time I can imagine. If I want to sit longer, I just stand up, walk some minutes, and then I can sit again for some time.

Lying down is no real option for me. Though I like meditating in a lying position, I can't do it longer than 20 min also. Deadened legs are not the problem here, but falling asleep. :tongue:
Well, this is samsara where nothing is perfect and we have to deal with that.
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Karma Dorje
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Karma Dorje » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:16 am

Justmeagain wrote:Hi,

After all these years I am still struggling to sit more than 45 mins without experiencing pain in my leg (depending on which 'Half-Lotus) side I sit on.

It seems my sitting bones are the problem. Short of having either no cushion or having the tiniest part of my butt on the last inch of the Zafu...I am not sure where to go :)

Stools and ordinary chairs are no use...worse in fact!

Any advice you can offer would be great - thanks!
45 minutes is good. At that point, get up and walk around slowly while meditating for 15 then sit again. Not only does this relieve the pain but it allows you an opportunity to integrate movement.

Pain is always going to be there though, at least it has for me. At a certain point, you just ignore it.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
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Matylda
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Matylda » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:51 am

Justmeagain wrote:Hi,

After all these years I am still struggling to sit more than 45 mins without experiencing pain in my leg (depending on which 'Half-Lotus) side I sit on.

It seems my sitting bones are the problem. Short of having either no cushion or having the tiniest part of my butt on the last inch of the Zafu...I am not sure where to go :)

Stools and ordinary chairs are no use...worse in fact!

Any advice you can offer would be great - thanks!

In some temples in Japan where there is intense zazen they practice daily taiso and makoho... these two forms of physical exercise help monks to keep fit. Many have problems with the backbone, nerves and pain.
However I observed that many Westerners avoid exercises... it is not helpful. Or at least some sort of streching or improving muscles and joints. There is no other way unless one does not reach certain kind of samadhi which influences body. But for most people it is far way to go...
But deliberate physical effort is possible and helpful. However one will need some advise or guidance.

I guess hatha yoga may help as well.

Justmeagain
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Justmeagain » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:37 am

Matylda wrote:
Justmeagain wrote:Hi,

After all these years I am still struggling to sit more than 45 mins without experiencing pain in my leg (depending on which 'Half-Lotus) side I sit on.

It seems my sitting bones are the problem. Short of having either no cushion or having the tiniest part of my butt on the last inch of the Zafu...I am not sure where to go :)

Stools and ordinary chairs are no use...worse in fact!

Any advice you can offer would be great - thanks!

In some temples in Japan where there is intense zazen they practice daily taiso and makoho... these two forms of physical exercise help monks to keep fit. Many have problems with the backbone, nerves and pain.
However I observed that many Westerners avoid exercises... it is not helpful. Or at least some sort of streching or improving muscles and joints. There is no other way unless one does not reach certain kind of samadhi which influences body. But for most people it is far way to go...
But deliberate physical effort is possible and helpful. However one will need some advise or guidance.

I guess hatha yoga may help as well.
You're right of course. I do need to exercise more. :anjali:

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Anders
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Anders » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:30 am

Justmeagain wrote:Hi,

After all these years I am still struggling to sit more than 45 mins without experiencing pain in my leg (depending on which 'Half-Lotus) side I sit on.

It seems my sitting bones are the problem. Short of having either no cushion or having the tiniest part of my butt on the last inch of the Zafu...I am not sure where to go :)

Stools and ordinary chairs are no use...worse in fact!

Any advice you can offer would be great - thanks!
Hi Justmeagain.

Since you are describing leg pain, which should not really be that severe in half lotus, it sounds to me like you may have some misunderstandings about the lotus position that has simply never been corrected.

The main stretch that should happen should be in your hips. As such, the pain that you 'should' be feeling, is pulling in the buttocks and only minor pulls elsewhere. If you are not feeling it like this it is most likely because you are compensating for the hip stretch in your knees, which is a very bad idea, besides potentially injuring your knees, is also an obstacle to attaining a relaxed sitting position. At home I suggest that you ease into the lotus by rotating only the hips and making no effort to 'pull down' your knees. If the knee is still too high, apply a sandbag or other weighty object on your leg to assist with the hip stretch rather than exerting your legs to make the knees touch down. The lotus is most essentially a highly relaxed position and should not be a strain.

If it is 'sleeping legs', then you are already on the right track - positioning on the cushion is the main thing. The other is simply getting used to it. It's not that bad after a while.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

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Anders
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Anders » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:35 am

Matylda wrote: In some temples in Japan where there is intense zazen they practice daily taiso and makoho... these two forms of physical exercise help monks to keep fit. Many have problems with the backbone, nerves and pain.
However I observed that many Westerners avoid exercises... it is not helpful. Or at least some sort of streching or improving muscles and joints. There is no other way unless one does not reach certain kind of samadhi which influences body. But for most people it is far way to go...
But deliberate physical effort is possible and helpful. However one will need some advise or guidance.

I guess hatha yoga may help as well.
This is good advice. Stretches are often better for improving the sitting posture than sitting itself.

This video is to me the alpha and omega of training for lotus as it also explains the proper rotation of the body for achieving it and what should be avoided.

phpBB [video]
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra

SeeLion
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by SeeLion » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:32 pm

Can you explain exactly where you experience pain and how the pain evolves during your session ? Is it your leg or your sitting bone / bones ?

Are you experiencing pain while sitting on a chair aswell ?

If pain is related to any sitting position, there is no relationship with half lotus, or is it ?

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Zhen Li
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:52 pm

If you're not used to sitting crossed legged and you're not young, I don't personally see the magic in forcing yourself into it. What's the point of meditating? Samadhi, dhyana, cultivation of wholesome states of mind, etc. In my experience, this is done best when one is fully relaxed and comfortable.

I have a scoliosis and so if I am fully relaxed while sitting up I will lean over like the leaning tower of Pisa and eventually it the floor. I sit cross legged when the formality of a meditation hall requires it of me, but I know that for deep cultivation and progress I need to meditate alone in my room, on a bed or couch, where I can lie down.

I've never found it to increase sleepiness. I probably fell asleep meditating while sitting up more than when I did when I am lying down because when lying down I know I am making better progress and its so much more interesting and exciting.

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maybay
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by maybay » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:02 pm

I never liked zafus. They cut off my legs. I bunch up a shawl or thin blanket just under my spine – the last inch – to raise the coccyx/spiine without raising the bum cheeks. The other thing is the mat. It can't be too spongy. The zabutons I've tried are only just firm enough. I prefer sitting straight onto a carpeted floor or a fine persian carpet. If you're flexible enough to turn your ankles even a wooden floor is doable. The flatter the better. Your bones need something to push against to make space for your flesh and veins. Check your clothing isn't too bulky either. Spend more time on the floor in general. And of course you need an active posture, whatever people say about relaxing. The body didn't evolve for sitting meditation.
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Justmeagain
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Justmeagain » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:04 pm

SeeLion wrote:Can you explain exactly where you experience pain and how the pain evolves during your session ? Is it your leg or your sitting bone / bones ?

Are you experiencing pain while sitting on a chair aswell ?

If pain is related to any sitting position, there is no relationship with half lotus, or is it ?
Thanks everyone. In terms of your particular questions, the pain seems to radiate from my button bone on the side of the leg that's on the thigh. But is felt not in my knees at all actually but as a painful numbness in the foot resting on the thigh. A slight shift and I can feel the blood rush back and then it just feels weak.

_/|\_

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:58 pm

Justmeagain wrote:
SeeLion wrote:Can you explain exactly where you experience pain and how the pain evolves during your session ? Is it your leg or your sitting bone / bones ?

Are you experiencing pain while sitting on a chair aswell ?

If pain is related to any sitting position, there is no relationship with half lotus, or is it ?
Thanks everyone. In terms of your particular questions, the pain seems to radiate from my button bone on the side of the leg that's on the thigh. But is felt not in my knees at all actually but as a painful numbness in the foot resting on the thigh. A slight shift and I can feel the blood rush back and then it just feels weak.

_/|\_
Do you have a wallet in your pants when you sit?

There is a muscle called the piriformis which can actually impinge the sciatic nerve sometimes, beyond that lumbar spine problems can be involved too.

When I was involved with Zen, you did Kinhin after that much sitting during a sesshin etc., it seems like a good policy generally speaking. Personally, I don't see any reason to push yourself past 45 minutes solid, especially when you can just take a break then start up again - it is actually physically normal to have symptoms like that after 45 minutes of sitting, rather than some abnormality.
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Dan74
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Re: STILL experiencing issues re posture

Post by Dan74 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:10 am

Yoga can help a lot, but in my case though the pain has largely gone (except in retreats it usually comes back to some extent), my legs still go to sleep after 12 years. I just do Burmese (dropping the leg that is up on the other in half-lotus down in front). It's much easier on the joints and still steady. Have you tried that?

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