Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 32 of 32

Thread: pins and needles

  1. #1

    pins and needles

    Hi all,

    I was hoping to get some advice. Pretty much every time I sit, by the end of the session the foot up on my thigh (I sit in the half lotus) goes numb/falls asleep. It seems that I cut off circulation to the raised foot during sitting and then I have some quite painful pins and needles as the blood re-enters the foot. It happens so often that I am used to it now and don't really think about it, but it has occurred to me that perhaps this is happening because my posture is incorrect. It doesn't matter so much at home, but when I am at the Sunday Zazenkai with the group Kinhin is a bit of a challenge!

    Is a numb foot just an unavoidable part of Zazen, or is there something I can do about this? Do others experience the same? Perhaps it's that I still lack flexibility and getting my knees firmly to the floor causes my raised foot to be pushed down hard onto my thigh, thereby cutting off the blood supply...?? Will this stop happening as my body gets more accustomed to the half lotus?

    Thanks!

    Gassho,
    David

  2. #2

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi.

    Try to work/excercise some and stretch.
    It's all part of the practice, you will feel some "numbness" as your muscles are'nt used to the sitting, but it will go away.

    May the force be with you
    Fugen

  3. #3

    Re: pins and needles

    Dear David

    Good to hear from you again. I will preface my comments by saying I am no expert & other more advanced practitioners will have more to say on the correct zazen posture. However, I do feel able to say something as a health professional.

    If you are having pins and needles every time you sit, them your body is trying to commuicate to you (please don't ignore it). If you are attached to sitting in the half lotus you may have to take up stretching exercises, or change the height of your zafu or have more cushions under your zabuton - these adjustments to posture may help keep the blood and nerve signal flowing.

    Personally I sit in the burmese position and even that after an hour can cause a dead leg for me . The danger is that if we sit for long periods in these constricted positions that it can lead to damaged knees, hips and a blood clot in the leg (Deep Vein Thrombosis). That is why we need to move every 30-40 minutes to ensure that all the circulation etc has a chance to be restored to a normal level.

    Just some thoughts

    Kind regards

    Jools (Shindo)

  4. #4

    Re: pins and needles

    Thanks for getting back to me guys

    I did stretching exercises when I first started sitting but then after a while I thought that just sitting daily would be the best way to gain flexibility. I might start again though.
    Maybe I can experiment with cushions and adjustments to the the height of my zafu... The height seems OK, however, because my knees are firmly on the floor.
    I do like the half-lotus and would like to perservere with it. I find it very stable and more a more comfortable, apart from this sleeping foot thing... I never sit for longer than 40 minutes (usually 20 - 30 minutes) so the blood isn't cut off for very very long periods at a time...

    I've been sitting in the half-lotus for about a year now. Has anybody had the same thing when were relatively new to sitting? Did it go away?

    Gassho,
    David

  5. #5

    Re: pins and needles

    posture seems like an ongoing issue for me. probably because i want to do it 'right' i do think there is an element of listening to our bodies when it comes to sitting. i can basically tell if i am just being dull or actually in attention. i sit burmese and find that i sometimes get a sleepy leg or my right calf begins to ache. these come and go and happen less the more i sit. it doesn't seem to be a huge issue.
    i have struggled with the best height of zafu for me, which could be your problem. too bad there isn't a zafu store around for us to try them out before buying :lol: my issue is getting my knees to stay on the floor. my legs totally tense up when i focus on sitting up straight which tells me my legs aren't where they should be. when i sit it seems like a constant cycle of relaxing my legs then straightening the back. thoughts on that?
    peace
    craig

  6. #6
    Myoshin
    Guest

    Re: pins and needles

    I find that when I sit in the half lotus my left foot (the foot that is on the floor) tends to go numb, and I too have the sensation of pins and needles; however this is only happens every once and a while. I am currently useing an improv zafu (one of my pillows with arms), it does the trick most of the time, so I do not know if my sensation of pins and needles is from using that pillow/zafu or just the normal thing.

    I am new to sitting so when this first started to occur I dismissed it as nothing but my body not being used to sitting in this fashion for long periods of time (30-40 minutes). I wonder now, after reading this thread, if it is the 'zafu' that I am using.

    In any case you are not alone in you pins and needles experience.

    Gassho,
    Kyle

  7. #7

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi David
    I sat full lotus despite my pins and needles (and some aches and pains I blamed on 22 years of skiing/snowboarding) for some time (over a year or so) and a few months ago now, I woke up after a longer sit and the back of my knee was giving me some grief. By the end of that day it was clear it wasn't sore muscle... i had done some damage to my knee. Today still i have pain in my left knee when bent beyond a 90 degree angle amplified when i sit. i sit with a taller zafu and always on a zabuton, even still I find I have to sit half and Burmese alternating for longer sits like the Jukai sesshin.

    Just Saying its good to push through a bit of discomfort but any thing else is your body telling you something. Best to listen

    Gassho, Shohei

  8. #8

    Re: pins and needles

    Let me qualify this by saying that I do have to sit in a somewhat unorthodox position as I have arthritis in my neck and a number of years ago I started losing the use of one of my arms. Luckily it went away with physical therapy, but as a result I have to be really careful with sitting. Iíve experimented with every possible posture and the only one that works for me is cross legged with a back support, like the back of a couch with a pillow in the lumbar region. As long as my lumbar region is supported I am OK. I know this sounds like a big deviation from the lotus or Burmese, but itís the only way I do not get pain in my back and I start getting numbness in my arm.

    too bad there isn't a zafu store around for us to try them out before buying :lol: my issue is getting my knees to stay on the floor.
    Until I have this opportunity, I have found that a thick blanket works as well as anything. It can be folded a number of times if need be and you can easily adjust how far you sit on it. I have found that if I have a blanket the right height and my legs tucked near my body, I can go for 40 minutes easily without pain or numbness.

  9. #9

    Re: pins and needles

    i use two pillows that seem to be almost okay. just a little too low. i've been planning on making my own zafu so i can adjust the height by the amount of buckwheat. i find the posture totally relaxing and attention filled when it all comes together. it's like the embodiment of enlightenment. (even though that's not what we're going for :P )

    peace-
    craig

  10. #10

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by Myoshin
    I am new to sitting so when this first started to occur I dismissed it as nothing but my body not being used to sitting in this fashion for long periods of time (30-40 minutes)
    I thought the same, Kyle, but after a year in the half lotus the numbness still hasn't gone away. Maybe it takes longer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Myoshin
    In any case you are not alone in you pins and needles experience.
    Thanks the moral support!

    Quote Originally Posted by krid
    Just Saying its good to push through a bit of discomfort but any thing else is your body telling you something. Best to listen
    Thanks for sharing you experiences, Shohei. I don't want to do any damage to myself. Perhaps my body is telling me that the half lotus is not good for it... It would be a bit of a shame to quit on the half lotus now, though. In general, the pain has been getting less and less in this position. It's just that I can't seem to avoid cutting off the blood supply to the raised foot. I may sit in the burmese a few times to see how it suits me. There is also the 'quarter-lotus' with the raised foot on the calf of the other leg, rather than the thigh... That's the posture I started with. My practice is regressing ops: Good job it's 'goaless sitting'

    What about Zabutons? Do they really help?

    Thanks!

    Gassho,
    David

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,035

    Re: pins and needles

    Hey David,

    I have always used a zabuton and would definitely recommend it, but I usually sit burmese with only a few attempts at half lotus. I figure I'll eventually stretch out where I can go further.

    By the way, did anyone else really work their thighs during the jukai ceremony? I could barely walk the next day from all the prostrating! I really need to find a good strecthing routine.

    Gassho,
    Scott (Dosho)

  12. #12

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi.
    During the second day of the sesshin, i got an immense pain in my leg, thank god that emma is a masseur!
    I think that if you stretch and sit a lot you will get used to it, but you also have to sit longer periods to get used to that too.
    And a zabuton (or suchlike) helps.

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  13. #13
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Selinsgrove, PA
    Posts
    1,040

    Re: pins and needles

    Hello David,

    I have been sitting now for about 10-11 months and I still get pins and needles in the half lotus position (when I try to sit half lotus). I agree with Jools here, the pins and needles are telling you that you are pinching a nerve and maybe you should switch. I'm not sure, maybe you can try some yoga stretching and overcome it. But, I have arthritis in my knee already and my docs told me that I shouldn't try the half lotus and the full lotus is definitely out.

    I do yoga and alot of stretching, but still the pins and needles have persisted. Unfortunately, my situation is that I have a curved spine that makes my hips (and pretty much the whole left side of my body) uneven, even while sitting in proper zazen posture. So, I have changed to mostly sitting in the burmese position and even then I have to change position about halfway through a 30-40 sitting.

    I just received a proper zafu (buckwheat filled), which has made my sittings alot more comfortable. I've never had a zabuton - instead, I use a think blanket folded in four (about the same height as a zabuton). I do think a zabuton is necessary for knee comfort.

    I'm not sure if this was any help to you...but I believe your best bet is to listen to your body.

    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  14. #14

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi David,

    Pins and needles aren't because you are not stretched, it is because something is cutting off circulation (calf pressing against thigh, for example).

    Stools are very nice things. As are seiza benches (you can make them veyr easily - I used rubber feet and rubber washers to jack my seiza bench to the right height for me). But a 15 inch to 17 inch stool gives a nice firm support and no pain.

    cheers,
    rowan

  15. #15

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by ros
    But a 15 inch to 17 inch stool gives a nice firm support and no pain.
    rowan
    Hi Rowan, this sounds like a daft question but how do you 'sit' on a 15-17 inch stool? Seems too high for sieza style and too low for normal 'chair' sitting.

    As regards the rest of the thread...

    I have big problems with sitting for extended periods. I can sit for 30 minutes max on my bench before my feet/lower legs are totally dead. 10 minutes kinhin isn't enough for them to recover enough for another it. It' really annoying as otherwise I love this position and have no other discomfort.

    I keep persevering with burmese but although I can more or less sit it OK now my inside leg very soon (10minute) goes dead.

    I've tried a chair but feel very uncomfortable and end up getting severe upper back pain even though I've experimented with seat height. I think lumbar support might help me plus a monk suggested sitting 'egyptian' style. I.E. hand on thighs rather than in the mudra, it's alot better. All very non-hardcore but if it means I can 'drop body and mind' then I'l try not to get to hung up on lotus etc.

    Interesting to hear others experience.

    In gassho, Kev

  16. #16

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by Longdog
    I'm not sure if this was any help to you...
    It definately helps to hear from you, Kelly. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and experiences.

    I may try a zabuton, or a blanket like Kelly.

    Quote Originally Posted by ros
    Pins and needles aren't because you are not stretched, it is because something is cutting off circulation (calf pressing against thigh, for example).
    I think you're partly right, Rowan, but on the other hand I think that if I was more flexible my foot wouldn't be pushed so hard down onto my thigh in the half-lotus. With a more flexible groin perhaps my knees would sit on the floor more easily and the raised foot rest without pressure... But in any case, it would be good to do some specifically Zazen related stretches. Does anyone know any good ones or where we can find some pics and explanations?

    I reckon I'm gonna stick with the half-lotus for a bit and see what happens. However, all those who have said to listen to my body I think have a good point so today during sitting I swapped the raised leg half-way through and avoided the pins and needles...

    So great to have a sangha to discuss these things with

    Gassho,
    David

  17. #17

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi,

    There was a topic on stretching, Maybe somebody knows where it is on Treeeleaf?

    gassho
    rowan



    Quote Originally Posted by Borsuk
    Quote Originally Posted by Longdog
    I'm not sure if this was any help to you...
    It definately helps to hear from you, Kelly. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and experiences.

    I may try a zabuton, or a blanket like Kelly.

    Quote Originally Posted by ros
    Pins and needles aren't because you are not stretched, it is because something is cutting off circulation (calf pressing against thigh, for example).
    I think you're partly right, Rowan, but on the other hand I think that if I was more flexible my foot wouldn't be pushed so hard down onto my thigh in the half-lotus. With a more flexible groin perhaps my knees would sit on the floor more easily and the raised foot rest without pressure... But in any case, it would be good to do some specifically Zazen related stretches. Does anyone know any good ones or where we can find some pics and explanations?

    I reckon I'm gonna stick with the half-lotus for a bit and see what happens. However, all those who have said to listen to my body I think have a good point so today during sitting I swapped the raised leg half-way through and avoided the pins and needles...

    So great to have a sangha to discuss these things with

    Gassho,
    David

  18. #18
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: pins and needles

    I put up with this for years before finally just buying a seiza bench. Now my legs do not go numb and I can sit longer than 25 minutes.

  19. #19
    Senior Member KellyRok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Selinsgrove, PA
    Posts
    1,040

    Re: pins and needles

    Hello David and all,

    Someone, posted this link a while back. It has some really good stretches (in my humble opinion) for sitting zazen. I hope they help you get limbered up. When you click on the link, scroll down the page - it has instructions and pictures.


    http://zenmontpellier.site.voila.fr/.../lotuseng.html


    Gassho,
    Kelly/Jinmei

  20. #20

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi everybody. I stumbled across this yesterday, on the Flor de Nopal Sangha website (gracias a Chicanobudista ). It is about improving flexibility to get into the lotus position - it gets a little wild at the end, but I really found the basic premise helpful:


    http://<iframe class="restrain" titl...="0"></iframe>

    Gassho, Juko (Tina)

  21. #21

    Re: pins and needles

    Thank you, Tina, that video is wonderful. I can manage the Full Lotus ... it is the "Wide Angle Forward Bend" that might be the problem! And I will forget the Full Lotus Head Stand at the end!

    I have been recommending for some time that folks who wish to attempt the Lotus Posture consult with a talented Yoga instructor in their community. Frankly, most of the good Yoga instructors I have encountered teach the posture better than almost any Japanese Zen monk I have run across (except the ones who do Yoga!), as their instructions tend to be just "cross the legs, straighten the back, chin in, good!".

    Let me add that "pins and needles" sensation may be caused, not only by cutting off circulation, but by pressure on the leg nerves. That doesn't change the feeling or the recommended solutions, but just for your reference.

    http://sanrow1948.spaces.live.com/blog/ ... !573.entry

    I may do the "sit-a-long" later today, and you will get to see my version of the Full Lotus. Not a pretty thing. You see, most Asians who do the Full Lotus tend to be skinny little Yogis and thin Zen Monks ... not fat Americans with Thunder Thighs. Mine looks kinds like this pose by one of my favorite Hindu Gods, the elephantine Ganesha ...



    As I get older, and the budding arthritis in my knees and ankles kicks in (more on rainy days), I spend most of my time sitting Burmese or Half Lotus. To stay in shape, I try to stay in Full Lotus for a full sitting every few days. Obviously, I feel that the Full Lotus is a beneficial position for many people for Zazen, but not indispensible. I recommend the Burmese for most people.



    Gassho, Jundo

    I will be posting on another thread shortly about the place of the Lotus Posture in Zen Practice.

  22. #22

    Re: pins and needles

    Thanks for the excellent info! I'll have fun checking it out.

    Full-lotus head stand?! Piece of cake... :lol:

    Gassho,
    David

  23. #23

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi.

    Can you stand on your head?


    - Cheshire Cat, alice in wonderland

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  24. #24

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by Juko
    Hi everybody. I stumbled across this yesterday, on the Flor de Nopal Sangha website (gracias a Chicanobudista ).
    You are welcomed!

    ...Of course, as I told our group, once I hear "This is Takoko our senior..." at 0:05 and see that's is a petite slim fit 20-something woman....I knew I had to go step by step veedddddyyy slowly. I am still working on the seiza bench. :mrgreen:

    Gassho....

  25. #25

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Thank you, Tina, that video is wonderful. I can manage the Full Lotus ... it is the "Wide Angle Forward Bend" that might be the problem! And I will forget the Full Lotus Head Stand at the end!
    Awww, come on, can't we practice Zazen standing on our heads ? I can get the "wide angle forward bend", but alas, even though I am almost freakishly flexible, I can only manage a half lotus, and I have to admit it still looks kind of wilted :lol: , so I stick to Burmese.

    Gassho, Juko

  26. #26

    Re: pins and needles

    BTW....that youtube group has more videos worth looking. I know Jundo wasn't too crazy about their ?ry?ki vid. :mrgreen:

  27. #27

    Re: pins and needles

    Hi,

    You may want to try this against pins & needles - I think these guys may really be onto something:



    Could be a good place for a Sit-A-Long too, huh? (hint, hint... )

    Gassho
    Bansho

  28. #28

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bansho
    Hi,

    You may want to try this against pins & needles - I think these guys may really be onto something:

    Could be a good place for a Sit-A-Long too, huh? (hint, hint... )

    Gassho
    Bansho
    This is not enough?

    http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2008/06 ... redux.html


  29. #29

    Re: pins and needles

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Ha! OK, OK, I forgot about that one.

    Gassho
    Bansho

  30. #30

    Re: pins and needles

    Found something I was looking for ...

    My friend, Rev. Nonin Chowaney, of the Nebraska Zen Center, posted this very helpful message awhile back ...



    There are many ways to sit zazen: full-lotus, half-lotus, quarter-lotus (with foot on calf), burmese (with both feet on the floor), seiza (Japanese kneeling posture) with the zafu on it's side, seiza on two zafus (one on top of the others), seiza on a bench, and sitting in a chair (this is frequently necessary for those who have injured themselves or with joint replacements). Also, some people with severe physical problems or illness sit zazen lying down.

    I recommend to all beginners that they sit as close to full lotus posture as they can for as long as they can. I also suggest that they sit somewhere between wimp and macho. Sit until it becomes uncomfortable, and then sit a few minutes more before you change postures. If you change too soon, you won't stretch out. On the other hand, don't tough it out for so long that you do yourself damage.

    Also, learn the difference between soft tissue or muscle pain and nerve pain. Everyone's legs fall asleep from time to time. Sometimes bending forward will take the pressure off the sciatic nerve and the legs will wake up. If your legs are asleep at the end of a sitting and they come back quickly as you stretch them out and get up, I wouldn't worry about it. If they don't and the numbness persists for some time, don't sit the way you have been. You can damage nerves. If you damage 1/8" of a nerve, it can take months to heal.

    Anytime you hold the body in a specific position, it will hurt. Just try holding your arm out parallel to the floor for any length of time. Sitting zazen for any length of time will hurt most people, although some can without pain. I have never been very limber, and I sat seiza for three years when I first started while I did exercises and stretched out. Then, I was able to sit burmese style. Eventually I was able to sit quarter-lotus and then half-lotus. I've never been able to sit full-lotus, and as I've aged, I've gone back to quarter lotus. Also, I have a knee problem, and when it flared up severely a couple of years ago, I spent six months sitting in a chair.

    Hands palm-to-palm,

    Nonin

  31. #31

    Re: pins and needles

    i just wanted to thank you all for pointing out the different postures. i have been having alot of trouble with the half lotus as well with pain in the bottom of my hip. i tried stretching to no avail. but i read the other day about the burmese posture and it has helped tremendously! ( my feet do still fall asleep, but none of that un-sit-throughable (yes, its a word really! :lol: ) pain.

    Gassho,

    Steve Taylor

  32. #32

    Re: pins and needles

    Oh, I remembered something I wanted to post on this and forgot ... senior moment ...

    When I am sitting Burmese or Half Lotus, and the leg goes 'pins and needles', I try ever so gently shifting my weight when it happens. By leaning slightly to the left or right, I "take the weight off" slightly one leg or the other. No harm being a little "Leaning tower of Pisa" for a few minutes. When the circulation comes back, I return to the posture without leaning to the side.

    See if that helps.

    Gassho, J

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •