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sitting cross-legged - Dhamma Wheel

sitting cross-legged

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daniel p
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:43 am

sitting cross-legged

Postby daniel p » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:44 am

Is anyone aware of any negative health effects fom sitting for long periods?
This could be arthritis, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis or nerve damage.

I generally sit for up to an hour before bedtime and get the occassional "pins and needles" etc.
A little pain is very common for most practicioners when sitting and is generally accepted as par for the course,
but recently I sometimes experienced some uncomfortable tingling for a while after going to bed.

My concern is that many of us could be slowly damaging our bodies.
I sit crosslegged (not lotus, half or burmese) on a thick squab with buttocks raised on a cushion. It is quite comfortable
but evetually the blood supply to the left leg is compromised by pressure from the right. All positions seem to have pros
and cons and this has worked the best for me so far. I am in my mid 30s and am in otherwise good health.

your thoughts are appreciated,
an expert opinion even more!

David2
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby David2 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:01 am


nameless
Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:25 pm

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby nameless » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:40 pm

An hour is probably shorter than the amount of time people sit at work, on trains/buses/cars, watching a typical movie, watching tv, being on the computer etc.

santa100
Posts: 2673
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:55 pm

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby santa100 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:24 pm

Don't just meditate. Make sure you also do exercises that use your legs (hiking, jogging, biking, etc..). I run for 1 hour every other day. I do feel some tingling after a long meditation but it doesn't affect my running so I think meditation is safe. Just make sure to combine it with exercises and you should be all right..

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daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby daverupa » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:04 pm

It's probably not blood flow, but rather compressed nerves which are being felt. A slight shifting from one buttock to the other, or swapping which leg is underneath, can often alleviate that, but with cross-legged postures by far the greater danger comes from knee damage due to a pinched meniscus. This is a very real danger; knee-pain is important not to ignore for the sake of meditation. You need a different posture, or greater flexibility, if knee pain arises. The numb bottom and pins-&-needles aren't terribly problematic, but you might consider a meditation bench as opposed to the cushion setup, especially if they are a consistent distraction which carry over into non-meditation times.

A daily stretching routine is extremely beneficial if done correctly.

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Alobha
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:27 pm
Location: Germany

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby Alobha » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:34 pm


daniel p
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:43 am

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby daniel p » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:09 am

Thanks for the input so far.

Fortunately my job involves a moderate amount of physical activity and I regularly practice Taiji in the mornings and evenings. This probably counteracts some of the effects of sitting for long periods.

I would be interested to hear of other peoples experiences of discomfort when sitting and how they deal with it.

I can recall from the first retreat I went on, Mr Goenkas' challenge to sit with "fierce determination" for one hour, and not to be distracted by physical discomforts when sitting. Followed by agonising sessions, and then sometimes a kind of trancendence of pain. Sometimes one could barely walk afterward, other times I could have leapt up and done a little dance. At home it can be fairly similar, but one feels less inclined to push oneself as hard.

Given the emphasis on sitting meditation within the Buddhist tradition I'm surprised so little is said about it, the history, the reasons for the various postures, the hands, the appropriate way to sit. Just the basic physical mechanical aspect. 2500 years experience should yield something.

Where's the manual on best practice? :reading:
The Zen Tradition of course takes it quite seriously I understand.

Yana
Posts: 397
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:45 am

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby Yana » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 am

Hi..

I sit crosslegged and meditate for a hour each day.i use to think i'd get pins and needles but i don't..the only problem is sometimes i feel a certain pain on my knee..i Never ignore this pain..or any other i deem "alarming".. i'd gently stretch out my legs and find a more comfortable position...there are usually no other problems that reoccure..i also do leg exercises generaly.Oh and stretching before meditation helps also.

:namaste:
Life is preparing for Death

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daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:10 pm


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ground
Posts: 2591
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby ground » Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:37 pm

There is nothing cross-legged sitting is needed for. Just give it up if there is pain.

Kind regards

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mikenz66
Posts: 14947
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: sitting cross-legged

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:07 pm



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