Author Topic: Seiza posture  (Read 105 times)

sonnald

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Seiza posture
« on: October 25, 2019, 08:18:44 PM »
Hi everyone!

I've bought a seiza bench as my hips were beginning to hurt from sitting cross legged on a high zafu so I thought I'd try another posture. It felt good at first, but after trying to sit for 30 minutes, I started to notice pains in my shins and in one of my thighs. I feel a little irritated by this as I want to find a comfortable way of sitting so I can focus fully on the meditation itself, but would rather not sit in a chair if possible. I want to know, from those of you who use a seiza bench, do you eventually get used to it and so the pain subsides? Hopefully it will be fine once I become a bit more accustomed to it. Any help would be much appreciated.

All the best,

Sonny

stillpointdancer

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Re: Seiza posture
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2019, 11:45:01 AM »
A chair is fine. A seiza bench can be good, but you need to try out a few before you find one the right height for you. I had to find one with the right angle of seat too.
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Katia

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Re: Seiza posture
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2019, 04:00:37 PM »
Has anyone ever used a seiza bench to sit cross-legged?  This would be ideal for me-- I prefer a higher cushion anyway as I have tight hips (at least I assume that is the problem that causes pain in my upper back if I sit without something to lean against), and I actually currently sit on a pile of blankets... it would be great if I could choose between seiza position and sitting cross-legged, all with the same apparatus.   And it would be less-awkwardly portable, easier to keep clean than a cushion.  (I would consider making my own bench.  That way I could have exactly the design I wanted-- without having to buy several benches to try-- and could even come up with a way to make the legs adjustable.)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 04:30:14 PM by Katia »

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Re: Seiza posture
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2019, 11:48:08 PM »
sonnald,

...
I want to know, from those of you who use a seiza bench, do you eventually get used to it and so the pain subsides? Hopefully it will be fine once I become a bit more accustomed to it. Any help would be much appreciated.

Any posture will bring up discomfort at first. It is good to practice equanimity towards these pains and give yourself a chance to get used to it. Having said that, you may need to adjust posture occasionally to be sure you aren't trapping nerves or cutting off blood supply to your legs - you have to find a balance, between equanimity and acceptance on the one hand, and not suffering due to poor posture on the other. It takes time.

Has anyone ever used a seiza bench to sit cross-legged?  This would be ideal for me-- I prefer a higher cushion anyway as I have tight hips (at least I assume that is the problem that causes pain in my upper back if I sit without something to lean against), and I actually currently sit on a pile of blankets... it would be great if I could choose between seiza position and sitting cross-legged, all with the same apparatus.   And it would be less-awkwardly portable, easier to keep clean than a cushion.  (I would consider making my own bench.  That way I could have exactly the design I wanted-- without having to buy several benches to try-- and could even come up with a way to make the legs adjustable.)

Katia,

The seiza bench may not work great cross-legged. The design keeps the pelvis tilted at a healthy angle when you find the right one. Having the weight of your legs in front of you could throw this off, though you may well experiment and find something workable.

I too prefer a higher cushion. I use a Gomden from Samadhi cushions. Made from hard industrial foam. They aren't cheap but you could get a piece of foam cut from a wholesaler and make a removable cover for easy washing yourself.

I also used to have (and make) seiza banches, though I gave my last one away to someone who needed it more than me. I used to make them so the legs folded flat on hinges for ease of travelling with one. Worth experimenting, especially with recycled wood, as the cost is low this way.

The pain in your upper back could come from many things: habitual posture is the usual cause, perhaps causing weak back muscles if you work at a desk. With continued practice it may ease up as your back muscles strengthen. Also, in this male dominated society, I have noticed sometimes women are prone to holding their chest in, so when you are practicing sit and open the chest - it will strengthen your back and make breathing easier if your posture is balanced. Again this may take a little time to adjust to and strengthen the back muscles.
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Katia

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Re: Seiza posture
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2019, 03:44:29 PM »
Thanks!  It's unlikely a weak back as I do go to the gym.  But I also am prone to lordosis, and don't have pain issues when standing, just sitting, both of which are part of why I suspect it's the hips (and, when I am on a cushion rather than the floor, my issues with upper-back pain are much reduced), and tend to be very "tight" pretty much all the way down the back, from shoulders to heels.