Excerpt – An Alexander Technique Approach to Meditation (Sitting)(Meditating)(Posture)(Pain)(Strain)(Injuries)(Albuquerque)

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Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

If you are to have the full range of motion in this meditating posture, you want to be able to sit fully upright effortlessly on the floor with your legs folded. It is not the hamstrings that prevent meditators from being able to do this. The limitation in this movement is the musculature that rotates the ball in the hip joint. In this posture with the knees bent, the hamstrings are not the musculature keeping you from sitting fully upright on the floor.

If you can bend your knee bringing the lower leg into the body, and rotate the leg in the hip joint beyond where it needs to go in a full lotus, then you can do this posture effortlessly. Lie on your back, and bend your right leg. Hold your foot with your left hand and place the right hand on the side of the knee. You want to draw the foot towards you and push the knee downwards. Do this with the awareness of where the leg is in the lotus, so that the upper leg will be coming out of the torso at less than a 90 degree angle.

Take your mind all the way into the hip joint, to the ball and socket. Order the ball to turn in a free socket, and use an order of release on the musculature around the ball and socket to lengthen as the ball turns. Trust that the musculature will release more and more, as you order it to do so over and over.

When you order the musculature to lengthen you are being gentle with it. If you approach the spiraling of the musculature around the ball and socket as an intense stretch, then the very nature of your thoughts is telling the musculature to shorten (that it is short), and you’re going to make it stretch to where you want you it, no matter what it thinks.

You sit on your sit bones in a full lotus, and the hip joints are higher up the pelvis than the sit bones are. If you approach this posture from the perspective that all you need to do is order the musculature to lengthen, and that you sit on your sit bones and not on your legs, then you won’t ask the legs to stabilize you on the floor. In other words, if you don’t tell your legs to meet the floor, then you can fully order them to spiral in the hip sockets.

In the full lotus your sit bones are your feet. Balance on them with your head directing (head leading upwards away from the sit bones). Sit on your sit bones as if you didn’t have legs, as if you were a penguin. Let the pelvic floor be level, and you won’t arch your back. From the top of the head to the sit bones, let the pelvis support a gently curving spine upwards, with all of the curves on top of each other.

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An Alexander Technique Approach to Meditation (Sitting or Meditating)

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Ethan Kind

AUTHOR, TRAINER "When you change old habitual movement patterns with the Alexander Technique, whether in playing a musical instrument, running, weightlifting, walking, or typing at a computer, you create an ease of body use that moves you consistently into the zone." - Ethan Kind Ethan Kind writes and is published extensively on all of the above activities. He teaches musicians, athletes, and computer operators how to stop hurting themselves, by showing them how to use their bodies with ease and coordination. He brings a unique perspective to his work, having been a musician and athlete all of his life. After training for three years at the American Center for the Alexander Technique (New York, NY), Ethan received Professional Certification credentials.

2 Comments

  1. Gordon Hallberg on April 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    I have this book of yours (and several others) and got a lot out of it–thanks!
    Question: Do you suggest the Lotus position be done without cushion?
    Thanks in advance

    • ethankind on April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Yes, when gaining the full flexibility of releasing the musculature around the hip joints, so that you can sit fully upright in a lotus position. But I would suggest sitting on a cushion when meditating. When I work with performing musicians who sit for hours, I suggest they sit on a flat padded seat, so that the sit bones don’t begin to hurt. This pain can compromise the performer’s posture and performance.
      It’s the same in meditation. If you’re sitting fully upright on a hard surface, you may arch your back or slump to stop hurting. Pain will compromise your back, posture, and the quality of your meditating.
      Ethan

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