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ABC of sattva-guna

Some remarks about sitting:

It is a good idea to keep the sitting bones at the level of the knees or higher. For most people, sitting cross-legged without support results in having knees higher. Consequently, it won’t be possible to relax the abdomen and keep spine straight at the same time. Either elevate the sitting-bones with a support or lean your lower back against the wall. Then lift the spine and sternum up.

Of course, there are postures where this won’t apply, like kneeling or lotus-posture (this requires quite some flexibility in the hips, otherwise it may result in a knee- or ancle-injury). While sitting cross-legged, the comments above may be helpful.

For anyone coming from a sitting-on-a-chair-culture, sometimes it is more practical to sit on a chair, than try to learn to sit on a floor. The chair should be straight, yet a slight forward-tilting is acceptable.

In order to maintain a good posture, it is helpful to sit closer to the front-edge of the chair, otherwise the lower spine tends to collapse. The heels should be firm on the ground and directly underneath the knees. Before starting the japa, you can separate the sitting-bones with your hand. Move them to the side and back a little, this helps to elevate the spine.

While lifting the sternum and opening the chest (rolling the shoulders back), there are two challenges:

1. Some people are able to roll the shoulders too much back (then the shoulder-blades tend to draw nearer towards each other). This will nicely open the front side, yet close the back-side. Clavicles should move away from the middle-line. Shoulders move to the sidea and down, slightly back. Upper back should be kept broad as well. This guarantees optimal intake of breath.

2. while doing 1., don’t let your abdomen fall forward. Opening the chest brings a slight backward-bending impulse to the spine. This fine for the sternum-area, which is very stiff. However, it may increase the natural curve on the lumbar area. In the long run, too much lordosis in the lower back is not healthy. Don’t let the abdomen fall down. Try to lift it up, without straining the abdominal muscles. They should be relaxed. You can achieve this by observing the front-side of the pelvis. Keep it lifted, and direct your coccyx downwards.

Comment Posted By kontala On 30.01.2007 @ 18:53

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