Author Topic: posture and numbness  (Read 6684 times)

pimpoum

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posture and numbness
« on: January 17, 2009, 01:48:07 PM »
I've been practicing very regularly for 3 weeks now. I tend to sit in half-lotus but I get real heavy pins and needle and numbness in the leg which is on the top (like I actually cannot feel my foot AT ALL, and even less control it!)

Is this something which
1/is normal and not to be worry of
2/will disappear with practice
3/is a sign of a wrong positioning?

Thanks!

Hazmatac

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2009, 06:15:09 AM »

pimpoum

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 11:01:32 AM »
Thanks for your reply. I have read this excellent book. He says that the numbness should disappear with time. I just would like to have some people's experience on this :)

Spiral Mindscope

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 11:37:25 AM »
It may go away by itself, when the strange posture (as its a new practice) readjusts the muscles and nerves within. When the inside realigns itself the pain goes away.  However, if there is a nerve problem such as trapped nerve, sciatica, etc. do take your doctor's advice. I know of someone whose sciatica was discovered when he put himself in new positions thereby exposing something that was boudn to happen anyway.

mettajoey

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2009, 03:46:42 PM »
Dear Pimpoum,
Please remember that many of us did not grow up sitting on the ground or in a lotus position.  Doing this as an adult for a long time may or may not be a good idea.  One can have fantastic success with sitting in a kneeler or straight back chair during mediation.  You probably will develop and sit in a lotus position more comfortably for longer periods as you go, but don't get hung up on this being the only way to successful meditation.

With metta,
-Joe
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

greenhorn

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2009, 08:05:16 PM »

Matthew

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2009, 08:31:35 PM »
1/is normal and not to be worry of
2/will disappear with practice
3/is a sign of a wrong positioning?

Thanks!

Dear pimpoum,

Welcome to the forums.

This is a sign of a cut of blood flowing to the leg in question which is probably as a result of the posture. So 1) yes it is quite normal in the sense of common but no it is not a good normal thing. 2) may or may not disappear with practice: this will be dependent on your posture improving if this is the cause. 3) Yes, probably.

As Joey pointed out we westerners are unused to the lotus or half lotus. People in India do not just use the posture for meditation. They sit and eat dinner, watch TV and sit around talking to their friends cross legged on the floor and they do this from very early on in life. We do not. It is therefore no great surprise that the sudden adoption of the lotus or half-lotus position can do this. You are probably constricting the blood flow in one of the major arteries of the leg concerned.

Now you could try and push on through this or not. Only you will know what will work for you.

As Joey advises sitting on a kneeler is good, raising your bum a bit by sitting on a couple of rolled blankets can do the trick - lifts the sacrum, provides better support to the lower back and takes pressure off the legs. Also as Joey says sitting in an upright back chair - with certain stipulations: Do not use the chair back for support - use your back muscles. The chair height should  allow you to place your ankles directly under your knees, whilst your thighs are flat on the chair seat, and your feet should be pointing forwards. This is a very good sitting position for those who experience too much pain from trying to sit in a way that their bodies did not grow up to become accustomed to. If your thighs lift off the chair when your legs are straight fold a blanket to lift the chair height.

Try a few experiments to see what is good for you now and do not give yourself a hard time. If the proscribed sitting posture is harming you it will not lead to greater mindfulness, calmness, compassion or any of the other fruits of meditation.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 08:32:00 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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pimpoum

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2009, 08:56:25 PM »
Thanks for your replies and advice.

First, I'm getting no pain at all (or just a bit in the ankle when I break the position). It's just a heavy numbness like I can hardly feel my foot at all. Otherwise half lotus is very comfortable and full lotus gets better but as you say, I don't force myself to do the latter, I just try a bit every day.

I doubt that it is a question of blood flow as my foot doesn't change color - plus Bhante Gunaratana does say that it is often caused by nerve pinch not lack of circulation - he says that it should get better but I wanted to know if any of you guys had gone through such a stage and if it had resolved itself or if you had to improve your posture (and if so any advice is welcome!)

I don't have a chair in my room at the moment and I found the lotus position very good for the back (very easy to have your spine erect effortlessly). Funnily enough, I'd like to use it for my studies as well since my no-chairness comes with a no-deskness ;D. But well I'm just curious about it - I can always sit the Burmese way - it does absolutely nothing to my legs (but I have to mind my back).

Flipasso

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2009, 01:18:04 AM »
I was going to advise you to sit Burmese style...
Google a little about the postures but don't get lost in it...

I chose to sit Burmese at a course I attended, because the full-lotus, eventhough I am able to, hurts after a while. And the Burmese was explained detailedly and is confortable. Anyhow, you're not trying to impress anyone by sitting in strange positions.
Burmese is very simple:
-Sit near the front tip of a Zafu (cushion)
-Use baggy pants so they don't unable you to move.
-Spread your legs and bring your left (or right) foot near your groin with the upper part of the foot touching the floor.
-Make shure your ankle is aligned with your groin.
-Bring the other foot to the same position right in front of the 1st and if possible align both ankles.
Make sure you have your back straight... This hurted a lot if I sat the whole 20 mins until I got a Zafu.
Don't worry to much about having the correct posture... Allow yourself brief pauses after 10-20mins to re-adjust your posture, as your sensitivitie's enhanced you will get the feel on how to sit correctly.

Anyhow... It most likely will pass with time when your legs are acustomed, but be alert to other simptoms that might arise.
My yoga teacher advised to seat seiza for a while after the meditation session so your knees gain flexibility.

frepi

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2009, 01:58:38 AM »
Try a seiza bench. They are easy to make if you know a little woodworking.

http://www.embody.co.uk/blog/post/how_to_make_a_meditation_stool
http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/meditation-bench.html

Or you can buy one but in my opinion, they are overpriced.

I made one. Though I prefer to sit burmese style, a seiza bench is way more comfortable at the beginning, provided that you have a good cushion under your knees. But eventually, even this position gets uncomfortable. In the end, you always have to face the pain, and this is good, it is part of the lessons taught by meditation.

Hazmatac

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2009, 03:14:55 AM »

Matthew

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    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2009, 12:03:44 AM »
Try a seiza bench. They are easy to make if you know a little woodworking.

They are great for sitting. I made my own with a piece of recycled wood, two brass hinges and 12 screws. Total cost was £1.86 as against £25 - £60 to buy one. The seat sloping forwards a little helps balance the pelvis and support the lower back.

Oh .. and they are great because they fold up so you can take them anywhere easily.

pimpoum .. I know exactly what you mean about the lotus - if you can do it then it is very good for posture. I sit at my desk in the lotus posture on a bar stool ... I don't want the computer and everything on the floor  ;D

Matthew

« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 12:07:15 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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John006

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Re: posture and numbness
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 10:49:28 AM »
It is always painful to be in one posture for a long interval of time. If somebody wants to do multiple asanas they should wear comfortable clothes so that they can exercise easily.

We are at Siddhiwear sell yoga clothes online at a very cost-effective price. Interested people can drop us a call at 4168163098.