Author Topic: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat  (Read 2202 times)

Ja192827

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I am debating whether I should attend a 10 day Goenka retreat for one reason, and I hate to sound like a primadonna, but I have back pain. I sent an email on their website asking if they had chairs, and they said they had plastic chairs. I also asked if I could bring a lawn chair, but they didnt respond. If it is the type of cheap plastic chair I am thinking of, I dont think my back will allow me to attend the course. To anyone who has attended a Goenka retreat: did anyone bring their own chair? And could you describe what the plastic chairs are like there? I realize there might be a variation from center to center. Thank you in advance.

TheJourney

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 06:17:12 PM »
You have to make sure you request for a chair in the registration and reaffirm in email. I asked for a chair for a class in May 2015 and requested for a chair. They replied that they will reserve one for me.. I couldnt go in May so I regisyered again for October. I forgot to ask for a chair in email.

When I got there and asked for a chair, the assistant teacher denied me a chair on repeated daily request from me. Make sure you request for a chair ahead of time. In my case, it was good that he denied me a chair.

The chairs are stackable type. You need to bring cushion if you want to lean back. Yes, it is stackable chair with hard surface, if you are hoping for chair with cushion.

Ja192827

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Matthew

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 08:09:40 PM »
Ja,

Have you tried sitting with a seiza bench? They're pretty good for back issues.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Ja192827

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2016, 08:20:17 PM »
I looked into them previously, and I thought that since there was no support, that it would not make the back feel good. But you are saying that it is less likely to cause back pain?

mdr

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2016, 09:27:49 PM »
I had back pain when i was doing the retreat and since i was sitting 1st to the wall i sat in a way so that i can lean against  the wall during first couple of days, no one said that it was wrong or anything. There was one person sitting on seiza bench they brought themselves and there was a lady in her 70ies who had knee issues hence was sitting in a chair with support (i don't know though whether it was requested in advance.) I don't think anyone would judge you as a primadonna or anything, people are nice at retreats   ;) Btw, there's a discourse on posture in ''Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind '', paraphrasing: it's important that you meditate and if for valid reasons (and back pain is certainly one!) your posture is less than perfect - it doesn't really matter.

p.s. i forgot to add, there was a girl who had brought all kind of cushions with herself, quite few of them, and she sat by fixing cushions under her knees, that was fine too, no one criticized her or whatsoever  :)
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 09:30:57 PM by mdr »

Ja192827

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2016, 09:46:19 PM »
I had back pain when i was doing the retreat and since i was sitting 1st to the wall i sat in a way so that i can lean against  the wall during first couple of days, no one said that it was wrong or anything. There was one person sitting on seiza bench they brought themselves and there was a lady in her 70ies who had knee issues hence was sitting in a chair with support (i don't know though whether it was requested in advance.) I don't think anyone would judge you as a primadonna or anything, people are nice at retreats   ;) Btw, there's a discourse on posture in ''Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind '', paraphrasing: it's important that you meditate and if for valid reasons (and back pain is certainly one!) your posture is less than perfect - it doesn't really matter.

p.s. i forgot to add, there was a girl who had brought all kind of cushions with herself, quite few of them, and she sat by fixing cushions under her knees, that was fine too, no one criticized her or whatsoever  :)

That is great to hear. I have a large lawn chair with a butt cushion and back cushion, so I am going to bring that and see what happens. And since it is a silent retreat, I dont have to worry about the other students saying anything. (: I migjt try a bench as recommended as well. I actually bought a folding meditation bench with a seat and back cushion for $180 and was disappointed that my legs could not remain crossed for more than 30 minutes.

Suited4Battle

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 10:13:30 PM »
is there a diff between seiza benches that are made for sitting cross legged and those made for kneeling?

Ja192827

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2016, 10:18:46 PM »
Sorry, was a meditation chair, not bench

mdr

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2016, 10:30:46 PM »

That is great to hear. I have a large lawn chair with a butt cushion and back cushion, so I am going to bring that and see what happens. And since it is a silent retreat, I dont have to worry about the other students saying anything. (: I migjt try a bench as recommended as well. I actually bought a folding meditation bench with a seat and back cushion for $180 and was disappointed that my legs could not remain crossed for more than 30 minutes.

I am sorry it didn't work for you  :( I hope you find the optimal solution for yourself! Have a spiritually empowering and uplifting retreat!  :)

Ja192827

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2016, 11:12:44 PM »
Thanks a lot. Everyone on this board has been very encouraging and helpful. Hopefully I will be able to be a helpful contributor one of these days.

Matthew

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Re: Concerned my back will not allow me to complete a 10 day retreat
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 11:06:38 AM »
I looked into them previously, and I thought that since there was no support, that it would not make the back feel good. But you are saying that it is less likely to cause back pain?

Yes. The best ones tilt the pelvis slightly forward and push the lumbar spine up creating a better balance.

You can make one easily enough - I used to knock up folding ones for people from scrap wood and couple of hinges that cost £1.50 at Wilko's.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

 

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