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Thread: Zen Sports: Mobility for Better Sitting

  1. #1

    Zen Sports: Mobility for Better Sitting

    JUNDO: Just a little note that, if anyone has any spine, back or other medical issue of concern at all, don't attempt anything without consulting your doctor just to make sure it is recommended, of course!

    As per Jundo's request I am linking a couple of short instructional videos for improving lower body mobility/flexibility.
    Hip mobility can be an impediment to sitting comfortably, so I hope this is of some help. Spinal mobility can be a chicken and egg situation with lower body flexibility or lack of it, so that's also worth paying attention to.
    These movements should feel like a good stretch, so don't try to go hard or push through any pain. You should be able to breathe comfortably while doing them, and maybe do 1 minute per movement. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Hip rotation:
    Hip extension:
    Thoracic spine rotation:


    Gassho
    Chris
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-23-2021 at 02:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Thank you for sharing these Chris. I’ll give them a try


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  3. #3
    Thank you Chris!

    Gassho,
    Koushi
    STLaH
    理道弘志 | Ridō Koushi

    Please take this novice priest-in-training's words with a grain of salt.

  4. #4
    Thank you, Chris. These look like they can be very helpful to folks with some flexibility issues, as was brought up at our tea meeting yesterday. I will try them too.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Thank you!

    gassho

    risho
    -stlah

  6. #6
    Chris, I will eventually move this into our new "sports" section just so we don't lose it, and can access it easily.

    Thanks again.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    A sports section? This will be interesting
    Glad to help in any way I can.
    Gassho,
    Chris

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Chris, I will eventually move this into our new "sports" section just so we don't lose it, and can access it easily.

    Thanks again.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Done!
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  9. #9
    These look great, thank you!

    Gassho,

    Heiso

    StLah

  10. #10
    I've been doing the thoracic rotations for a few weeks now as part of my physical therapy routine. Designed to help with some spinal issues arthritis, etc.

    Gassho
    stlah
    Shoki

  11. #11
    Dude! Where was this in the 90s and early 2000s when I was sitting half-lotus? Thank you.

    (ST)

  12. #12

  13. #13
    Ankle flexibility is also important! This is where my struggle is. These are really interesting videos, thank you for posting them.

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    浪省 - RouSei - Wandering Introspection

  14. #14
    Thank you so much for these videos, Chris. I started stretching today and will make it a daily practice.

    Gassho,

    Shade

    ST

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingIntrospection View Post
    Ankle flexibility is also important! This is where my struggle is. These are really interesting videos, thank you for posting them.

    Gassho
    Mark
    ST
    Mark, good point thank you. Ankle flexibility can also be worked on in the hip flexor stretch I posted above, just keep the front heel on the ground as you shift hips forward so your knee travels over your toes (2nd toe to be precise). The knee and foot should be pointing in the same direction. This particular ankle movement (dorsiflexion) is where a lot of people lack mobility. Ankle circles are also nice to do - just sit or stand and make slow circles with your ankle in both directions.
    Gassho, Chris

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoki View Post
    I've been doing the thoracic rotations for a few weeks now as part of my physical therapy routine. Designed to help with some spinal issues arthritis, etc.

    Gassho
    stlah
    Shoki

    Good to hear. Thoracic (the mid-back) stiffness is a very common issue that can lead to low back and neck issues, and anyone that sits a lot (all of us) can use some work there.
    Gassho,
    Chris

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kurisu View Post
    As per Jundo's request I am linking a couple of short instructional videos for improving lower body mobility/flexibility.
    Hip mobility can be an impediment to sitting comfortably, so I hope this is of some help. Spinal mobility can be a chicken and egg situation with lower body flexibility or lack of it, so that's also worth paying attention to.
    These movements should feel like a good stretch, so don't try to go hard or push through any pain. You should be able to breathe comfortably while doing them, and maybe do 1 minute per movement. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Hip rotation:
    Hip extension:
    Thoracic spine rotation:


    Gassho
    Chris
    Much gratitude for this.

    I won't try to list my spine issues. As long as no more surgery, I'm good! =)

    Gassho, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 | Meian
    優婆塞 | Ubasoku
    ---------------------------------
    I speak only from my own experiences. Nothing I say is Dharma.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    Much gratitude for this.

    I won't try to list my spine issues. As long as no more surgery, I'm good! =)

    Gassho, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    I would insist that, if you have any spine or back issues, do none of this until checking with your doctor!!!!

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I would insist that, if you have any spine or back issues, do none of this until checking with your doctor!!!!

    Gassho, J
    Well-noted, I will.
    Thank you, Jundo.

    Gassho2

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 | Meian
    優婆塞 | Ubasoku
    ---------------------------------
    I speak only from my own experiences. Nothing I say is Dharma.

  20. #20


    Thank you!

    Tony,
    Dharma name= 浄史

    Received Jukai in January 2022

    The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. - Thích Nhất Hạnh

  21. #21
    Yes thank you Jundo for adding that caution. If you have chronic issues or are in pain please consult with a trusted clinician first.
    It is possible to make things worse, as with any type of exercise or action.

    Some years ago a person came to me with a history of multiple back surgeries and chronic pain, who's goal was to be able to sit zazen again. He had been a member of the Mt. Shasta monastery while Leonard Cohen was living there in fact. We had to take things very cautiously, and with the assistance and advice of his doctors. And there were setbacks here and there, but progress did come with consistency.

    Gassho,
    Chris

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by kurisu View Post
    Some years ago a person came to me with a history of multiple back surgeries and chronic pain, who's goal was to be able to sit zazen again. He had been a member of the Mt. Shasta monastery while Leonard Cohen was living there in fact. We had to take things very cautiously, and with the assistance and advice of his doctors. And there were setbacks here and there, but progress did come with consistency.

    Gassho,
    Chris
    I would have told her to just "sit" as she is, as her capabilities allowed. Like Leonard Cohen's grumbly voice (no close relation, by the way), one just sits or sings with what one has. On the other hand, no reason to give up on the body either, and quit rehab too early, if one want to recover. Middle way. Not clinging to recovery, neither running away.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I would have told her to just "sit" as she is, as her capabilities allowed. Like Leonard Cohen's grumbly voice (no close relation, by the way), one just sits or sings with what one has. On the other hand, no reason to give up on the body either, and quit rehab too early, if one want to recover. Middle way. Not clinging to recovery, neither running away.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I agree, and this person did for the most part, doing zazen while lying and in a chair. However the largest setback came when he went on a retreat in Colorado and came back in extreme pain due to being forced to sit for long periods with an option to change position, and had a new teacher that insisted on 2 hours of uninterrupted sitting that really caused back problems. I was pretty furious at whoever this teacher was at causing harm, but it was also his choice to do it. Couldn't agree more that middle way is appropriate here.
    Gassho,
    Chris

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