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Old 06-11-2003, 09:50 PM   #1
Thor's Hammer
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 51
Seiza weirdness

This may seem like a weird question but-
When I sit in seiza my ankles hurt, not my knees. Does anyone else experience this?
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Old 06-11-2003, 10:57 PM   #2
John Boswell
John Boswell's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland, Texas
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 597
Do you sit up on your toes? or is all your weight coming down on your ankles... which are going off to the sides?

I have bad knees, but that's me. I'd ask your intructor how to sit in Seiza or do a search on this sight for similar threads/questions. There are pictures out there that demonstrate how to sit in Seiza.

Its amazing how something so simple can be rather complex. I don't have pain in my ankles, but again... others may and this topic has been discussed. Search around.

Click this to search: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/search.php?s=

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Old 06-12-2003, 03:32 AM   #3
batemanb's Avatar
Dojo: Seibukan Aikido UK
Location: body in UK, heart still in Japan
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,031
When I sit in seiza for long periods (very frequently in Japan ), I find that the front of my ankles is where the pain gets worst.

It's all well and good ensuring that you are sitting correctly, however, we all have different bodies, and no matter what I try, my backside is always located above the ankles, consequently my body weight is projected right through the ankles.

love, light, joy and laughter


A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-12-2003, 09:44 AM   #4
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
I always had that, and sometimes still do when I'm tired. The problem you're having is probably that you're sitting with all your weight back and on your heels. Sitting in seiza isn't like sitting in an easy chair (this is what it feels like I'm doing when I shift my weight back), and when you just flop down, it puts a lot of stress on your ankles. Some say that you should never even let your butt touch your heels, firing your quads to keep enough space to slide a sheet of paper between. Personally, though, I can't isometrically contract my quads for a long period in this position, which doesn't exactly help with long sits. I started to play with the way I was shifting my weight, and it has really helped.

Try sitting seiza. You'll probably notice that all your weight is back on your ankles, and your knees may even float a little bit off the floor. Now start to shift your weight forward by tilting your torso slowly. Get the feel for what it feels like to have your weight completely forward, almost no pressure on your ankles, mostly on the shins. Then move back to the way you normally sit seiza, and shift your weight slowly until you feel a happy medium where your weight is balanced. You shouldn't look tilted forward or be off balance. Your torso will probably only move a couple inches before your weight is balanced. It does take some small effort to keep this up, but it shouldn't be hard work. I feel the same effort exerted in a backless chair. Try it out. Hope it helps.


Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 06-12-2003, 09:50 AM   #5
Dojo: Aikido of Norwalk
Location: CT
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 205
I didn't want to add this before, because I thought it might be confusing, but it too was helpful for me. If you don't get what I'm talking about, don't worry about it.

If you're sitting with your weight back, you are also probably posteriorly tilting the pelvis. I found that anteriorly tilting the pelvis slightly (emphasize slightly) helped me shift my weight forward comfortably and helped me with my posture in seiza.

Sarah, reminding that the above is no big deal, but thought that she should include it

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:23 PM   #6
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
Ankles for me as well.......like stretching out your toes in a "downward" position to an excess.

Thanks for your tips Sarah.


Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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