Serious back pain when 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.

Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Sadge » Mon May 06, 2013 3:10 pm

I find it so uncomfortable to sit in half lotus or just crossed legged, I want too, but it hurts and I find it difficult to get a full breath. I just sit in a chair or lean against something normally so it's fine, but I wonder if I'm sitting wrong!? Sit up straight it's so much effort and I can't breathe well, slouch and I can breathe better but still hurts. Any ideas?
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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Virgo » Mon May 06, 2013 3:26 pm

Yeah, this: :)



Note: in the next video in the playlist, the bhikkhu goes on to show more exercises for breathing.

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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Virgo » Mon May 06, 2013 3:29 pm

This is the next one (concerning postures to help breath):



And this is a video on posture:



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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Sadge » Mon May 06, 2013 4:03 pm

Thanks, I'm starting yoga classes next month, maybe that will help.
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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Mojo » Mon May 06, 2013 4:40 pm

Many people believe the next Buddha will come to enlightenment while sitting in a chair.

My understanding is that cross legged postures are for stability - some say so you don't fall over if you fall asleep in meditation.

I try to sit in a way that that is comfortable (for me this means not on the floor - I'm shaped like the Laughing Buddha) and meditate in a way that doesn't promote drowsiness - Ardent, Alert, and Mindful.
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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Mon May 06, 2013 9:06 pm

Thank you Kevin for those videos. I have some back troubles as well so they will definitely benefit me as well :anjali: I am currently also working on sitting cross legged while still having a straight spine (can't do that yet).

Sadge, have you tried a meditation bench? Or a cusion? You don't have to sit cross legged that way.
There's no technical reason why a chair would not be a good idea, although it may depend on your mind's associations with chairs. If your mind goes instinctively into relaxation mode, it may be a difficult 'environment' to meditate in (not 'bad', just a higher difficulty level). And, as I have been taught, whenever it is physically possible for you to do so, support your own spine. Do not lean back. This helps your alertness etc, which is also touched on in those videos.
Either way, good luck finding a comfortable posture :smile:
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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby marc108 » Mon May 06, 2013 11:18 pm

lotus posture is entirely a cultural thing, and it makes no difference if you sit lotus or in a chair as long as your spine is straight and your breathing is unimpeded. just find a comfortable position, with unimpeded breathing & a relatively straights pine, & don't bother putting the effort into training your body into lotus. :shrug:
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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Re: Serious back pain when sitting

Postby Dennenappelmoes » Mon May 06, 2013 11:30 pm

marc108 wrote: don't bother putting the effort into training your body into lotus. :shrug:


In my case it's just because I plan to ordain and so it'll be useful to be able to sit without any aids :P Otherwise I wouldn't have bothered :thumbsup:
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