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Thread: Posture accomplished!

  1. #1

    Posture accomplished!

    Today I sat for the first time all the way through zazen in quarter-lotus, without any major pain or numbness! Yay!

    It took about 6 weeks of daily sitting, first in Burmese (which I didn't really like - my right leg would always fall asleep rather badly) and in the last few weeks slowly working up to quarter lotus. I like quarter lotus so much better than Burmese - the way the ankles interlock feels so much more firm, and no more problems with legs falling asleep. My hips are still quite sore afterwards but every day it gets a little better.

    Anyway, just wanted to let all the other inflexible people out there (I could barely sit cross-legged a few months ago) to keep working at it, keep stretching and sitting with discomfort as long as is reasonable, and eventually you do loosen up a bit!!

    (Just in time too, I was dreading the Buddha's birthday retreat a little, now I can't wait)


  2. #2

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Hey Well done Skye.

    I'm working on burmese. Can sit in it for about 5 minutes before having to swap legs round. My back still feels much more comfortable in seiza in my bench.

    May be there is hope


  3. #3

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Well done! Your message is encouraging. I am very tight and like Kev, sit in Burmese position and bail out to my seiza position when my back hurts or legs ache. I don;t think I stretch consistently enough, and I do not practice yoga consistently. I fidget way too much on the zafu. Jundo did make the very helpful suggestion for the time being, that I support my thighs/knees with some pillows until the joints open up and I can sustain a more stable posture.

    Kev - let's hear it for burmese and seiza! You are not alone!


  4. #4

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Thanks for the (simple ops: ) hip openers! Yes, listening to knee pain is very important. Being a stubborn Greek male, responding to it is a different matter. I hear the voice of my old Russian Sambo/Savate instructor ringing in my ears: "Pain is weakness leaving your body!"

    Seriously, thanks for the link. I will work at these....


  5. #5

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Hi Harry! Great vid with three levels to work with which is really nice! You are so right about the hip/knee connection! Having sustained terrible knee twists in dance class because my hips didn't go so my knees tried to do the work...OUCH!!

    I'm currently mad for gyrotonics which has opened my entire body in ways it hasn't known for 20+ years. It's a system of movement designed to help you learn to articulate your entire spine, vertebrae by vertebrae, as well as open your joints and gain amazing flexibility. It builds the core stabilizers very quickly without the risk of injury as some exercise traditions can cause.

    That said...I gave up zafu sitting a couple of years ago. Due to the limitations of not having any discs in my lower four vertebrae it's just too painful for any length of time. I have a fantastic bench which I got from Great Vow Monastery (to order: It's a high seiza bench, basically. I can sit with my legs just less than 90^, which maintains neutral spine and opens the belly for proper breathing. It's nicer than a chair and the cushion that comes with it is unbelievably comforatble.

    There are many ways to sit. All good when done with proper alignment and intention.

    In Gassho~


  6. #6

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Do have any recommendations for gyrotonics resouces Lynn?

    G, W

  7. #7

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    I have been using the hip openers in the video Harry posted, that helped for sure. Plus through the evening I would just try to keep stretching out alternating legs while watching TV, on the computer etc. Some days are more sore than others but overall flexibility is improving. The difference in grounded-ness feeling between Burmese and quarter lotus was really surprising to me, I'll have to keep going and see what half and maybe even full lotus is like someday. But first I want to enjoy this posture for a while :mrgreen:


  8. #8

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    What is the quarter lotus? If the foot on the calf rather than thigh?

  9. #9

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Quote Originally Posted by plankton
    What is the quarter lotus? If the foot on the calf rather than thigh?
    That's right.

  10. #10

    Re: Posture accomplished!


    Congrats! If I understand you correctly....I think that's the position I've been sitting in without knowing it. I used to sit "Indian Style"....but just started quarter lotus. The outside of my right foot sits right on top of and fits into the crease between my left thigh and calf...and my right calf is resting on top of my lower left leg and left foot. It really make me feel like my lower body is stable and "locked" into position. I don't how much further I'll be able to push it since I have tight hips and some past knee injuries, but hopefully the quarter lotus will at least become more comfortable over time. I guess the next step would be half-lotus? That's a big step from where I'm at...

    - John

  11. #11

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    To me Quarter and Half Lotus seem less Stable than Burmese . . . Burmese seems level while in the other two I feel pulled to one side. Maybe I'm too tight . . . anyway I think its important to be stable in a posture regardless of what it is. I just injured my Hip . . . not sure if it was from running or Karate, going to be sitting Seiza for tonight. :P

  12. #12

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Hi all! Will, the gyro home page can be found at: Not sure you'll find it there in China, but you *never know. BTW, the Gyrokenesis classes are wonderful as well and you don't kneed any equiptment. But the Gyrotonics unit truly is amazing.

    Hope you find it interesting if not helpful!

    In Gassho~

  13. #13

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Thanks Lynn. I didn't realize it was a machine. Definitely interesting, but I don't think it's going to fit in my small apartment. I hope you find it helpful.

    Gassho Will

  14. #14

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    I sit in the Burmese position but only because I am worried about harming my knees long term. Does anyone know if the full lotus position can do damage?
    On the opposite side I have found sitting good for stretching the Iliotibial Band in the thigh and knee. There is a problem called ITBS which sitting helped early on.

  15. #15

    Re: Posture accomplished!

    Personally, I don't push it. My knees are a little off I think. I heard my knee crack during Yoga a couple of times. I just sit in the Burmese. I think it's a stable posture once you get familiar with it.

    Gassho Will

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