Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

aikido articles


dojo search
image gallery
links directory

book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews


rss feeds

Follow us on

Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Thread Tools
Old 11-14-2008, 05:18 PM   #1
Dojo: The aikido centre nsw
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
Blush! sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

Can anyone give me some advice what stretches or remedies they have on overcomming this? I am new to Aikido, up to my sixth lesson and on the last lesson I could not sit in the seiza position at all, I had to sit cross legged. I just cramp up and my feet / ankles are very sore for days after the lesson and have been getting worst.

Please any help would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by fnlstg : 11-14-2008 at 05:23 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 06:56 PM   #2
Dojo: Aikido Institute - Oakland
Location: Oakland
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 80
Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

this is very common--happened to me.
I would assume that--like a lot of folks, your feet/ankles will get used to it. I even experienced the chain from unusual sensation-to pain- to normal-- and then to a stage i didnt expect: that of my feet/ankles actually craving the posture.

Only 6 sessions in; you should give it more time before coming to any conclusions.

(PS, wait till you experience nikkyo for the 300th time!)

-good luck
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
Voitokas's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 377
Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

You could look at how other people do it too - sometimes just little things like scootching your heels a little more in under your butt (rather than letting your butt sink too far between your feet) can take a lot of pressure off your knees. Sometimes if my feet are uncomfortable, I'll also just rise to live toes for a second and set back down, and my feet seem to arrange themselves more comfortably. As Dave9 said, it takes some getting used to; however, being 'very sore for days' after might make me nervous - where on your feet is it sore, and what kind of pain?

I am not an expert
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2008, 05:06 AM   #4
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,224
Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

Onegaishimasu. Learning to sit in seiza takes time. In my experience, sitting cross-legged only aggravates the knees. You would do well to check out a study Janet Rosen did on aikiweb on "Knees and Aikido." Good luck.

In gassho,


- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2008, 10:49 AM   #5
CarrieP's Avatar
Location: Michigan
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 100
Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

It's definitely something you should talk to your instructor about if it is getting worse. You shouldn't feel like you have to sit that way to the point you are uncomfortable for days afterward. You should be able to sit comfortably.

Some questions about your situation: How long are you sitting in seiza in any gtiven class? Have you been sitting in sieza longer in subsequent classes? Or are you still sitting in seiza the same amount of time? It could be that because you are sitting in seiza for longer periods of time in class, it hurts more simply because you are sitting that way more.

I can't sit in seiza much past 10 minutes at a time at this point, even though I'm very flexible and have been training a year. But we're up off the mat so frequently in my dojo that there are few times in class where I'm in seiza more than 5 minutes at a time.

Stretching my calves and hamstrings helps me. Your instructor may have some suggestions for stretches.

Also, just sitting that way for a few minutes here and there outside of class to get used to the feeling has helped me. But only to the point where it just becomes uncomfortable, and certainly not to the point where it is painful.

Also, the first few months of aikido are painful. Especially if you are new to exercise, but even if you already have a good level of fitness, you will be working muscles you didn't know you have. This could just be some "delayed onset muscle soreness." Which can be as painful as anything.

Something else that may help you is to try to be observant of your body when you sit that way to try to find out "why" it hurts. Other than the obvious "I'm putting all the weight of my upper body on my feet and ankles."

For example, My husband, who trains with me, has huge difficulties sitting in seiza because of flexiblity issues and previous muscle development (was a fencer, has huuuge calves.

He pretty much balances his entire weight on his shins, and is unable to actually sit down. The fact that he's able to last as long as he does in that position is stunnig to me. If I had to sit like he does I could probably last 2, 3 minutes, tops.

Last edited by CarrieP : 11-20-2008 at 10:57 AM. Reason: responds better to original post
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2008, 12:30 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,340
Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. Learning to sit in seiza takes time. In my experience, sitting cross-legged only aggravates the knees. You would do well to check out a study Janet Rosen did on aikiweb on "Knees and Aikido." Good luck.
Mark, thanks for the plug.
My post-surgery, highly arthritic knee that I won't go into seiza with is actually pretty happy sitting cross-legged for the 5 to 10 minute lengths of time it takes to bow in, do some breathing exercises, or to sit and watch the instructor demo technique.

The cross-legged pose I've had orthopedic folks give me anecdotal stories of injury on is the lotus position with the legs really torqued to cradle each other, and that was a couple of examples of torn meniscus. Same way some very unlucky folks will tear a meniscus just getting up off the floor.

I think that for most people within the normal spectrum of health and flexibility, when it is a new position for them there is discomfort with seiza in various parts of the foot/ankle/knee/leg. This should feel like the discomfort accompanying ANY new body use/movement, and I advocate small slow incremental increases in time spent so the body can accomodate, rather than trying to tough out long sessions that can lead to chronic pains.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2008, 02:40 PM   #7
Sam Turnage
Sam Turnage's Avatar
Dojo: Grass Valley Aikiki
Location: Grass Valley, CA
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 53
Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

I have the same problem and it is not time or not being flexible. ankles hirt bad. Just mix up your sitting and keep training.

don't agravate it.

"If we are wise, let us perpare for the worst."

George Washington
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2008, 06:28 PM   #8
Dojo: The aikido centre nsw
Location: Sydney
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3
Question Re: sore feet / ankles when sitting in seiza

Thanks for all the info, it is the top of my feet that hurt, there must be a muscle there or something. It even hurts when I stand on one foot and bend my leg back to my butt and hold my foot by my toes, as if you are sitting in seiza. The same section on my foot hurts
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sitting in Seiza.... Painfull Maichel General 17 05-11-2007 10:59 AM
Sore Ankles Stethomas General 6 09-30-2005 06:29 AM
Training from seiza vs sitting MM Training 3 02-06-2005 12:00 AM
Sitting seiza p00kiethebear General 14 12-16-2003 02:00 PM
Seiza muffinman Techniques 9 05-31-2002 06:54 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:22 AM.

vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2019 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
Copyright 1997-2019 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate