Author Topic: Sitting/Physical Problem  (Read 712 times)

Offline Louden Kliehr

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Sitting/Physical Problem
« on: June 12, 2016, 11:18:06 pm »
I've been a "Buddhist" since age 17. I'm 57 now. My sitting practice has been sporadic. As I'm trying to get it back to part of my daily routine I've run into a problem that I could use advice on.

I have peripheral neuropathy in both arms/hands/legs/feet due to having all of my lumbar discs removed and past diabetes. Trying to sit cross legged even in the simplest position is extremely challenging. My right foot is almost devoid of feeling and the left not a lot better. Just 3 years ago I could sit full lotus. Not for longer than 20 minutes but I could. Now my ankles spasm so badly I can barely stand after.

My question for some one is there a way to stretch not only the muscles/ligaments/tendons but the nerves. I've tried flexing and releasing. Heat and cold. Massage. Nothing seems to work. I'm thinking that there is a hatha yoga technique that may slowly allow me to release the structural problems.

Bowing and thanking any and all in advance.

Louden

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Sitting/Physical Problem
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 01:13:33 am »
Hi, Louden.

Have you tried inversion.  Don't know if this is possible with your surgical experience, but since you are looking for a stretch, then this is a possibility.  Suggest, if you decide to try it, that you do it with supervision at least in the beginning.  Someone with a chiropractic or physical rehabilitation background might be a good place with whom to start.

_/\_Ron

sites which may be of interest to you: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inversion_therapy

https://www.teetertv.com/?matchtype=e&keyword=inversion%20table&device=c&gclid=Cj0KEQjws_m6BRCv37WbtNmJs-IBEiQAWKKt0LR2CBYhWXgtd2tAVHKLoulFeuOz-uztD4icFDQdF6oaAnmg8P8HAQ

Inversion Table Reviews:  http://www.inversiontablelife.com/

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A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Sitting/Physical Problem
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 03:41:28 am »
What about meditating on a comfortable chair? My sitting position has had to change over the years to accommodate changing health. What do people here think?
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Sitting/Physical Problem
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 05:16:44 am »
The goal of all meditation postures is comfort and stability.  If sitting in a chair meets those needs then feel free to do so.

Also consider opportunistic meditation.  For example meditate whenever, and wherever you have the opportunity to do so.  You do not have to have scheduled times or places to meditate.  I enjoy meditating, or at least being mindful while standing in lines, or while waiting for traffic lights to change, or when riding any form of public transportation. :wink1:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Louden Kliehr

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Re: Sitting/Physical Problem
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 10:48:30 pm »
Thank you both for taking time to address my issue.

Inversion is an interesting solution. I've never tried it but I can see a modified version of the being helpful. By modified I mean that I couldn't do anything where my ankles are held and subjected to the full weight of my body. It would be excruciating.

I "sit" in a chair now, both formally and informally. I even do my chanting and "bowing" in this same chair. It is conducive to active mindfulness particularly chanting. I'm not sure if I'm attached to the sitting form as I am able to maintain a more even mindfulness for a greater duration sitting cross legged. 3/4 extension bowing ( from standing, hands in atmanjali position, down into prostration ) is another position that works well for my practice.

I appreciate your helpful suggestions.

Bowing,

Louden

P.S. The photo of me in full lotus was taken when I was able to sit for 30-40 minutes. A quarter or half lotus I could manage with ease then.


Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Sitting/Physical Problem
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 02:59:53 am »
Jealous. I could never do a full lotus. I think it was all those years of playing soccer: the short sprints I had to do build up the leg muscles in such a way that they get in the way rather, or press on nerves. The closest I got was a very high lotus, in that my backside was raised high on cushions, which allowed a kind of cross legged position where I could rest the front of the lower part of my legs on the floor. This reduced the problem with my muscles and let me meditate comfortably- until my neck started to play up in later years. Nowadays I just sit on a chair and concentrate on mudras- various hand positions which each have a unique effect on the meditation.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

 


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