Full lotus and lower back pain, a survey

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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Full lotus and lower back pain, a survey

Post by MrTanqueray » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:41 pm

Hello everybody,

I'd like to get an idea about how many people experience back complications from sitting in full lotus for 1 hour plus on a regular basis. The internet is full of articles about how full lotus is great for your back/joints/credit but I suspect many of the people writing those articles don't actually sit in full lotus regularly and for long periods. So, of those of you who sit in full lotus for an hour plus a day, any chronic tightness or other maladies of note in the lower back?

A little bit of background behind this survey. I started sitting about 7 years ago, and have sat for a couple of hours daily until this February. During that time my back was constantly tight, I didn't attribute it to meditation at the time but when I stopped sitting regularly I noticed my back slowly corrected itself. I should pre-empt some comments about posture, my posture is good, and so is my cushion. In my case I think it has to do with scar tissue in my back from a fall when I was young but it could be more widespread, which is what I'm trying to find out. Your reports are greatly appreciated!

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Re: Full lotus and lower back pain, a survey

Post by Bakmoon » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:52 pm

It sounds to me like for you the full lotus position is aggravating the scar tissue.

I personally can't sit in full lotus just because my thighs are too fat to move everything in place, so I sit in half lotus, but I've never sat for an hour, so I personally can't help you.
The non-doing of any evil,
The performance of what's skillful,
The cleansing of one's own mind:
This is the Buddhas' teaching.

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Re: Full lotus and lower back pain, a survey

Post by PsychedelicSunSet » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:08 pm

I have scoliosis, which causes me lower back pain on a regular basis. I typically sit full lotus, and it causes less back discomfort than burmese or criss-cross-applesauce. I've been meditating for less than a year however, so I can't speak on any long term affects. I hope this helps.


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Re: Full lotus and lower back pain, a survey

Post by Viscid » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:20 pm

I sit full lotus for an hour, and yeah, I get lower back pain.. I think from too much flexion. During the meditation a little pain makes a decent meditation object.. but it's a bit worrying as I am not sure whether this could lead to persistent back problems in the future.. but I'm an idiot and do it anyway.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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purple planet
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Re: Full lotus and lower back pain, a survey

Post by purple planet » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:27 pm

Hi - i cant sit full lotus - just wanted to say that to help the back you can add walking meditation - usually you should do it before the sitting the same amount of time as the sitting and the walking meditation is worth just as much as the sitting maybe even more - just saying in case you didnt hear about this

and you can always sit in other positions - but it is very intersting question and i would like to hear views just thrown my tip to reduce back pain so :focus:
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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