Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

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

Postby Mkoll » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:22 pm

Dear friends,

I'm interested in the biomechanics (I think that's the right term here) of meditation postures, specifically the various cross-legged postures. I currently don't have any serious knee or hip issues but I've heard stories of people damaging their knees in meditation. I don't wish to experience this. I sit cross-legged and stretch every day: eventually I would like to be able to sit half or full lotus and I want to do this safely and armed with knowledge. Does anyone know, have recommendations, or can point to where are the following:

*Studies on the meditation postures, specifically the cross-legged posture: peferably peer-reviewed, in meditation or otherwise: long-term effects of the various cross-legged postures on knee health, ankle health, hip health, pain, mobility, etc.

*Web sites or books on the subject: all I've seen so far are very general recommendations, nothing explaining the actual mechanics of sitting.

*Teachers on the subject: I'm guessing a few yoga teachers are versed on the complex anatomy and physiology of this subject but I'm sure not all are. What other professials would be experts in this subject?

By the way, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so if anyone has a reference to a truly outstanding knower of the human body in California, especially in relation to this subject, I would love to know! That is my real goal in this regard: to find a master of the human body who can expertly diagnose you then tell you exactly what you need to do to relieve pain, achieve a certain posture, etc. based on your own personal situation. I think I met a person like this a long time ago but sadly I do not have their contact information.

Metta.

:anjali:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:20 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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Mkoll
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby Mkoll » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:42 pm

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:56 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:35 pm

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Mkoll
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby Mkoll » Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:07 am

Well for me the goal is more a matter of opening up the hips, strengthening the back and abdomen, stretching the hamstrings, etc. in order to get to the point where I can sit for very long periods without the body complaining as much. Being able to sit lotus would just be an added benefit of that work.

I'd like to eventually be able to sit in the "Happy Posture" like Ven. Rahula shows in the first video in this post: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=17113

:D
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Samma
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby Samma » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:22 pm

The yoga or physical therapy community would be the best bet for things like this and understanding the mechanics.

Maybe something like this would help to get a look at the bones and muscles while sitting.
http://www.functionalanatomy.net/yoga_a ... cribe.aspx

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:55 pm

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

SarathW
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby SarathW » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:08 am

it matters more what you do with your mind than what you do with your legs.
:goodpost:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

Samma
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby Samma » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:28 am

After doing some stretching with butterfly aka Happy Posture my take is putting back up against a wall feet close to groin my knees are a around 3 inches off the ground resting. I'll try to do this a couple times a day and report my results. For example, maybe this will allow me to do longer sits in half lotus comfortably.

I doubt you are doing anything really wrong, just search butterfly stretch on youtube and follow some of the advice a couple times daily. It is a pretty unpleasant stretch and that you are likely are not doing it enough. Just bounce your knees some and you'll probalby quickly realize that holding the stretch easily gets painful. The thing is that this is not all that pleasant and can take awhile to see much results...kind of like meditation eh?

dude_different
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Re: Biomechanics of Cross-legged sitting

Postby dude_different » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:12 pm

Hey, i have found the following very helpful in learning about the body: http://www.zygotebody.com/. You need a recent browser(i recommend chrome) and a decent computer to watch it properly. You can watch both female and male versions. You can see where the various nerves and veins/arteries goes. I know it's a bit strange perhaps, but it worked for me(well that and some heavy-duty thinking :P)


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