My foot keeps falling asleep

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby bga » Fri May 24, 2013 11:01 pm

Sometimes when I meditate cross-legged for more than 10 minutes at a time, my foot falls asleep. I don't really mind since it doesn't affect my concentration or mindfulness. I simply note it and move on. The only reason it's a problem is that the numbing starts to travel up my leg and I become concerned about the lack of blood traveling to my foot. So, if anyone has any suggestions on how I should deal with this it would be much appreciated. I hope everyone is having a happy Visākha Pūjā!
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby santa100 » Sat May 25, 2013 12:10 am

You might want to try one of those meditation benches. They help relieve some pressure off the legs..

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_ ... tion+bench
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby Viscid » Sat May 25, 2013 12:17 am

The numbness is not due to a loss of circulation, but pressure being put on a nerve. Don't worry: it's harmless and you can meditate just fine with a numb foot.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby mikenz66 » Sat May 25, 2013 12:55 am

Hi bga,

You might try the "Burmese" posture, which avoids having legs on top of each other:
http://zmm.mro.org/teachings/meditation-instructions/
http://www.bisbeelotussangha.org/sittingpostures.htm

:anjali:
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby IanAnd » Sat May 25, 2013 5:35 am

bga wrote:Sometimes when I meditate cross-legged for more than 10 minutes at a time, my foot falls asleep. I don't really mind since it doesn't affect my concentration or mindfulness. I simply note it and move on. . . . So, if anyone has any suggestions on how I should deal with this it would be much appreciated.


mikenz66 wrote:You might try the "Burmese" posture, which avoids having legs on top of each other...


Or shifting from the cross-legged position you start out with and into the Burmese position in order to lesson the pressure on the nerve causing the numbness. I do this all the time whenever the need crops up. Shifting your position during meditation should not be seen as any kind of no-no or whatever. If you're able to endure the circumstance without it bothering (distracting) you, then fine and dandy. But, never hesitate to shift your position in order to facilitate comfort in your sitting.

There are some who may say: "No, don't change position, but bear the pain and explore your reactions for the sake of insight about it." And while that might be good once or twice, it soon becomes old, and there is no need for having to put up with it. Do whatever helps you to continue making progress in your practice (relieves a distracting situation) and don't feel none-the-less for having done so.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby Aloka » Sat May 25, 2013 6:36 am

Sit in a straight-backed chair if you have recurring physical problems. I've never been to a meditation class that hasn't had chairs available for those who need them.

.
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby mirco » Sun May 26, 2013 1:02 am

Jep. Try a chair. There's no magic in sitting on the floor.

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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby Digity » Sun May 26, 2013 1:09 am

If you're not, try sitting on a pillow. I stopped having any major numbness when I did that.
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby bga » Fri May 31, 2013 7:31 am

Thanks friends!
Well-makers lead the water (wherever they like)
fletchers bend the arrow
carpenters bend a log of wood
wise people fashion themselves
-Dhp (80)
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby Mojo » Fri May 31, 2013 8:13 am

I also vote chair
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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri May 31, 2013 11:23 am

Just be grateful that it is only your foot.

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Re: My foot keeps falling asleep

Postby Bretteo » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:53 am

Get a pillow. I was never able to sit comfortably after slouching all through high school.
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