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Old 05-30-2002, 10:03 PM   #1
muffinman
Dojo: UCR/Montissory
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Seiza

I have been in Aikido now for about 6 months. I have done other martial arts prior to Aikido, but i don't know how to correctly sit in seiza. My Sensei (spelling?) says proper seiza can be used to sit for long periods of time and that one is supposed to be relaxed. I have also heard that when meditating in seiza, it's important to have a straight back. When i try to sit relaxed in seiza, i slump forward. When i try to sit with a straight back, I strain my muscles and am always using them. If anyone could give me any sort of feedback, i would very much appreciate it. Thx!


Ciao-
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:13 PM   #2
fjcsuper
 
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Hi! I have also just started aikido and I also find sitting in seiza painful. I try to sit in the correct posture with my back straight, chin in, drop my shoulders but I can only last 5 mins before I usually need to relief myself from the pain. There was once in class we had to practice nikkyo in seiza! After practicing for quite sometime, and when we had to stand up, the knees feel like they are so weak, and I find it difficult to really straighten my legs.

I guess we must get used to it before we can sit in seiza for a long time.

It is inevitable.
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Old 05-30-2002, 10:42 PM   #3
guest1234
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Hi guys, for what it's worth, my seiza thoughts: I can go for about an hour, anything longer and my feet fall asleep. Over 90 minutes and I can't rise out of seiza anymore, but have to tip over onto my rear and then slowly move my legs...talk about funny looking...

I'm not sure why you tip forward when you relax, David, I pretty much stay upright but just more firmly planted over my ankles (of course, my bottom is heavier than my top ). Perhaps you subconsiously lean foward to take weight off your feet, some folks have a fair amount of pain until they get more used to the stretch, I think. I sat in seiza a fair amount in my mispent youth, so it wasn't so bad for me when I started Aikido. Maybe ask a senior student to look at you when you are in seiza, and he could tell you what needs to be tucked in or pushed out to get settled comfortably.
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Old 05-30-2002, 11:01 PM   #4
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
I can go for about an hour, anything longer and my feet fall asleep. Over 90 minutes and I can't rise out of seiza anymore, but have to tip over onto my rear and then slowly move my legs...
Exactly the same here
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Old 05-30-2002, 11:10 PM   #5
guest1234
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oh, come on, no picture of some dead rat or road kill, with stiff little legs stuck up in the air, or anything?
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Old 05-30-2002, 11:55 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
Hi guys, for what it's worth, my seiza thoughts: I can go for about an hour,
You Colleen are a goddess - no way can I get up to an hour. I once got into in seiza contest with Nakagawa (small problem with gaijin) sensei. No way was he going to move before me and no way was I going to move before him. Whether Shihan knew what was going down or not I don't know but he just kept talking and demonstrating, you are allowed to shift to cross-legged when you wish. About 40 minutes later both of us limped away. Let me be perfectly clear.

NAKAGAWA SENSEI MOVED FIRST.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-31-2002, 01:08 AM   #7
erikmenzel
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Re: Seiza

Quote:
Originally posted by muffinman
i don't know how to correctly sit in seiza. If anyone could give me any sort of feedback, i would very much appreciate it.
First of all, this question is best asked in the dojo where people willing to help you can see what you are doing.

Second, sitting in seiza improves with practise. Maybe it helps if you change your set of mind a bit. Dont think of seiza as this formal way of sitting in the dojo, just think of it as sitting relaxed. I learned to sit in seiza properly while entertaining and talking with Japanese guests. Relaxing and having a good time instead of being formal and muscles tensed.

Third, if you want to sit in seiza but cant anymore, there is a nice little trick. Ever noticed with some techniques some of the sempai are really really really interested and lean a bit forward to see better?? Well, they are not only interested, but have sore legs and are shifting there weight to the front to allow circulation of blood to the feet.

Fourth, dont torture yourself. If you cant do it for 5 minutes dont try to do it longer. Aikido with all its reigi is still supposed to be enjoyable. Have your own body and possibilities as a measure and not somebody elses. Sometimes beginners come into our dojo and think they immedeately have to be able to sit in seiza as some of our sempai, which includes Japanese people that sit in seiza almost always. I dont try to beat the Japanese, with my hummble 90 minutes in seiza I dont stand a chance.

Fifth, I have been told by Japanese people that it also varies among Japanese people. Japanese living the old way still can do seiza easily, but lots of Japanese are adapting to Western furniture and no longer can do seiza easily.

Last edited by erikmenzel : 05-31-2002 at 01:16 AM.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-31-2002, 02:21 AM   #8
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca
oh, come on, no picture of some dead rat or road kill, with stiff little legs stuck up in the air, or anything?
Well no, that's gross, but since you want a rat, here's one counting it's money.
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Last edited by shihonage : 05-31-2002 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 05-31-2002, 03:14 AM   #9
Duarh
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well, regarding seiza, it was very painful for me the first months (i even complained about it in the aikido-l mailing list), but suddenly, the pain just went away one day. Didn't even really notice. So take it easy 'til you get used to it is what I'd say

btw, that bit about leaning forward in great interest to relieve weight on legs is SOOO accurate
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:54 AM   #10
Ali B
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Hi, I was taught to do seiza by "keeping a light posture" Ki people will understand this but basically it means imagining a thin layer of air between you and the mat. Difficult, I know but it takes your mind away from the pain. The longer you practice the more your legs and feet will stretch out, making it easier. There are a few yoga postures which can also help.

Love and light
Ali
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