Positioning your body (cont.)
There are several variations of kneeling
(or seiza) postures which are often
less stressful on your knees and ankles than the sitting
positions. In the seize postures you sill maintain
the tripod position which is formed by the knees roughly
shoulder-width apart and and the buttocks and ankles
which which form the apex of the triangle.
You can simply sit on your heels, which act as your
cushion and distribute your weight between the knees
You can kneel on a cushion or pillow, which takes
the weight off your feet.
You may find it helpful to place a
Or you can use a seiza bench, which strattles the
ankles and bears the weight of the body.
You can experiment to find what’s most comfortable
Sitting on a chair
Finally, sitting in a chair is not less authentic
or proper than sitting with legs crossed on the floor.
If your age, physique, or condition require it, you
can sit quite well in a chair. But you do have to be
aware of the tendency to slump or lean against the
chair back when chair-sitting. Think of sitting on the
chair not in it.
As in other positions, you want your posture perpendicular
to the floor with a straight spine. Place a zafu or
cushion on the seat of a chair or bench and sit on
the forward third, with your feet flat on the floor,
about the same distance apart as your shoulders. Your
back should not touch chair, although for some, especially
older meditators, a small firm cushion no higher than
the small of the back may helpo with proper alignment
of the pelvis. Make sure your hips are higher than
your knees; this allows your lower belly to expand
and contract freely.