The White Belt

Struggling To Keep Back Straight..

18 posts in this topic

..during seated meditation. 

I prop a folded towel beneath the back half of my zafu to help keep my back straight.

My back is nice and straight for about the first 5-10 minutes of my meditation and then after that it feels like my back is completed hunched over.

I reajust and then after another 5-10 minutes it's hunched again.

I have to constantly keep re-ajusting.

I sometimes let my back my hunched for a longer period but then it starts to ache.

I stretch my back and legs before I meditate also.

What should I do?


“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” 
― Shunryu Suzuki

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I have had this problem myself for quite a while, still kind of do but its no longer an issue for me. You are in the process of learning to know yourself (your body in this case) so some "struggle" is normal. Just keep trying and see what suits you the best.

In my experience i find the bare floor to to be the best surface (but for long periods i get a sore rump). i always meditate in a half lotus, making sure i have a certain distance between feet and pelvic. If i "crumple" my feet into my pelvic too much i lean backwards (and if i let go completely i fall on my head). If i elevate my rump too high using a pillow i lean forward. looking at how i have placed my legs is what helped me. Also look at the hight "ratio" between the legs and rump. it is all about balance.

Edited by Jacobsen

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I had the same problem for a very long time. I solved it using a meditation cushion! I only found out a such thing exists when I went on a retreat xD and when I came back I immediately bought one online. It's perfect, I love it. makes meditation a lot simpler and more enjoyable. It even improved my posture. :) yoga is helpful too

Edited by phoenix666

whatever arises, love that

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test your back with MRI and ct scan maybe you have herniated disc ,and buy an orthopedic seat cushion, also hit the gym and reinforce your abs and back muscles and keep doing stretch every day 

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Check with a doctor, but it doesn't really matter if your back is straight or not, you can even meditate lay down on your bed.

Having your back straight is important IF you're tired though.


There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled
There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled

You feel it, don't you ? - Rumi

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@The White Belt you gotta sit on the tip of the zafu with your sacrum. your hip should lean forward, making your spine line up more easily.


unborn Truth

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I bought a posture correcting shirt at the recommendation of my chiropractor. It literally pulls your shoulders back and keeps you from slouching. It is a compression shirt, so not the most comfortable... I wear it at work to keep my back from hurting, but even when I don't wear it, I can tell the muscle memory is happening. I see no reason why you couldn't wear it while meditating as well. 

The link is for what they have on sale, which is still kind of expensive, but definitely worth it if you are interested in correcting your posture. 

https://www.intelliskin.net/collections/mens-sale


 

 

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@Jacobsen Thank you.

@phoenix666 Thank you. 

@shahryar Thank you. I will look into something like an MRI or X-Ray

@Shin Thank you.

@ajasatya Thank you. I will see what adjustments I can make to my posture.

@starsofclay Thank you. I will look into these shirts, failing other methods. 

@Arman Thank you. What kinds of specific back supports do you recommend?


“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” 
― Shunryu Suzuki

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14 minutes ago, The White Belt said:

 

@Arman Thank you. What kinds of specific back supports do you recommend?

A wall! :D Or anything straight. Try propping a pillow against your lower back and a wall while sitting on the ground or on your bed. 

In my experience even with back support, you will gain strength over time. 

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@Maxx I'll try it, thank you.

@Afonso Thank you for your suggestion.


“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” 
― Shunryu Suzuki

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Gym + laying down meditation (I usually lie down to relax more). 

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On 16/08/2017 at 8:32 AM, The White Belt said:

..during seated meditation. 

I prop a folded towel beneath the back half of my zafu to help keep my back straight.

My back is nice and straight for about the first 5-10 minutes of my meditation and then after that it feels like my back is completed hunched over.

I reajust and then after another 5-10 minutes it's hunched again.

I have to constantly keep re-ajusting.

I sometimes let my back my hunched for a longer period but then it starts to ache.

I stretch my back and legs before I meditate also.

What should I do?

It's been said above, but yeah, for me a cushion works.

 

Now if you want to be sure you remain with a straight back, just meditate next to the wall and put a cushion between your back and the wall and then lean back. :) 

But also I think this problem is similar to the one where people start thinking during meditation and completely stop being present because they go on many tangents.. Then they must notice this and return to breath or other thing that centers them in the now. Gently and lovingly so.  SO do the same with your back.

You may try to not lose awareness of your back during meditation and use that posture as the thing that centers you to this moment. That way if you slouch without noticing, you will know that you've become distracted. 

It's just something your body is used to and the more you get it out of that conditioned pattern the better. 

Edited by Dodo

Not Even One
The devil is in the detail
Our true North is Love

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On 8/16/2017 at 3:32 AM, The White Belt said:

..during seated meditation. 

I prop a folded towel beneath the back half of my zafu to help keep my back straight.

My back is nice and straight for about the first 5-10 minutes of my meditation and then after that it feels like my back is completed hunched over.

I reajust and then after another 5-10 minutes it's hunched again.

I have to constantly keep re-ajusting.

I sometimes let my back my hunched for a longer period but then it starts to ache.

I stretch my back and legs before I meditate also.

What should I do?

Just mediate in a inclined position of about 130 degree's give or take, and make sure your decently comfortable.  This is a ideal angle to distribute weight in such a way that its not coming straight down.  As you feel more empowered, centered, strong, flexible and resilient try meditating in this way if you choose, otherwise it may just be more distracting and not great on your body until so.

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My Imagination is a Monastery and I am its Monk- John Keats

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On 16/08/2017 at 9:35 AM, ajasatya said:

@The White Belt you gotta sit on the tip of the zafu with your sacrum. your hip should lean forward, making your spine line up more easily.

This. Also, stretch daily with a hatha yoga practice. It does wonders for helping open my hips... you wont get a straight back unless your hips are flexible.

Also, get a proper cushion. I find that going on a meditstion retreat helps me get soooo much insight for how to sit properly from the teachers.


Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of – and how judiciously they judge themselves.

- Marcus Aurelius

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