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Permanent physical limitations for posture

Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

I have kyphosis, which is a fancy word for hunchback. It can be managed but never cured, as it was diagnosed after I was fully grown. So I'll never have a straight back for the correct meditation posture.

Tried a few things. So far a chair has been okay. Perhaps this is superficial of me, but the chair lacks the gravitas of sitting cross-legged on a cushion. But the pain of doing so quickly becomes a huge distraction.

Anyone else had to deal with alternate positions for meditation? Anything in particular work for you?



  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran

    Frankly, my meditation time has really gone out the window for a couple years now. Sciatica and arthritis are my own Achille's heel.

    A chair seems OK, but I think I'm going to try to find a Seiza bench.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    The Buddha suggested four postures for meditation.
    Walking, laying down, standing and sitting.
    Perhaps you can alternate?

  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    @Walker said:

    A chair seems OK, but I think I'm going to try to find a Seiza bench.

    I saw one of those at a meditation center but it was just wood, no cushion, so I chickened out and took the chair that was offered. =)

  • @Ren_in_black said:
    … alternate positions for meditation?

    Strangely enough, yes something does work. Just finished an hour of subtle internal movement.

    First the problem:

    • Notice how stiff you are after sitting in a stiffened posture?
    • Notice how your body wants to fidget whilst sustaining stiffness?
    • Pain is distracting. Notice that?

    Now @Ren_in_black you have the added difficulty of kyphosis.

    Potential solution:
    Movement and relaxation. This is the basis of what I tried. Some may not apply. Basically keeping the body subtly moving or reacting to pain and relaxing from and into/away from pains. Examples might be rocking backward and forward. Circling from the hip. Massaging the body joints, tightened muscles. Clenching and releasing. Raising the hands to mudras such as the namaste, prayer position. Rubbing pain areas.

    Maybe prostrations would suit?

  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    Thanks everyone! I am feeling more positive about what's possible.

  • @Ren_in_black said:
    Thanks everyone! I am feeling more positive about what's possible.

    Another satisfied meditator … now I can return to my favourite meditation and mudra, 'the deckchair chill' …
    Notice the hands opening the chest, the gentle sun day waving visualisation … Easy …

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    I sit half lotus on cushion but if physical limitations make that painful or impossible, I would aim for any position with a good comfort to attentiveness ratio. Not so comfy that I could fall asleep but not so rigid that I could not relax. I guess that would be a trial and error kind of process.

    As long as I could feel my connection with the Earth and properly visualize Touching the Earth I would be ok so I have to imagine you will be too.

  • AngusAngus Vietnam Explorer

    For people who find it difficult sitting due to physical limitations or whatever why not try yoga or Tai chi both of which can be practiced with mindfulness.

  • @Ren_in_black
    I have no recommendations. You utilize what works for you. That is enough, that is proper.

    Peace to you
    Peace to all

  • I'd suggest just choosing whatever physical posture simply allows you some balance between the polarities of a stupor inducing relaxation and a myopically focused pain fest.

    Nothing focusses the mind like pain. So do nothing … [oops]

    meanwhile …

    … the chair lacks the gravitas of sitting cross-legged on a cushion …

    mmm …

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