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Positioning your body (cont.)

Kneeling postures

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 and heels.

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 for you.

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.