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feet falling asleep

edited May 2009 in Meditation
I had less trouble with this than expected during sesshin this weekend, but fairly consistently have trouble with feet (the right in particular) falling asleep during extended periods of seiza (far and away my preferred posture).

I actually nearly stumbled after a 25-minute sit in the dojo this afternoon, despite having performed my usual cursory check to make sure everything seemed to be working right.

So this evening I pulled the trigger on a Sky Bench from Carolina Morning Designs, so I won't be putting my full weight on my lower legs and feet. (I went with this one instead of a standard-issue seiza bench because I'm a big feller.)

I'm don't see myself completely abandoning the zafu any time soon, but one guy has already broken his foot in the dojo recently due to what I understand was sleepyfoot (pardon the medical terminology), so I prefer to learn from his lesson than be next. :eek:


  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited May 2009
    I think the bench will help a lot, but I'd also suggest interspersing some walking meditation along with the sitting meditation just to get the circulation going.

  • edited May 2009
    Yes, at the dojo we do kinhin (walking) and sampai (three full prostrations), and most zazen sessions are about 25 minutes each.

    I've started changing my at-home routine to follow this pattern, which is greatly facilitated by the larger space in the house I bought last week. My "quiet room" was originally built to be a living room, so I finally have plenty of space. :)

    I guess it wouldn't kill me to start working on a few other postures so I can change up during more intensive practice periods.
  • Floating_AbuFloating_Abu Veteran
    edited May 2009
    padre :)

    I have been known to join kinhin one cycle late as I sat there massaging my foot back into circulation !

  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit Moderator
    edited May 2009
    This happens to me all the time sitting cross-legged. I can usually make it to about 15 minutes before it starts.

    Personally, I've come to believe it's related to tensing the muscles in my knees. As my back gets tired, it starts to bend a bit, and my knees tense to try and keep myself upright. I find it very difficult to voluntarily relax those muscles, but sometimes find that clenching then releasing does the trick. Also, I don't cross my legs tightly - they're slightly away from me to allow better circulation.

    None of this works 100% but I feel I've been getting better and staving off numbness for longer over time.
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