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dead legs cure?


14 May 2003
Any suggestions on how to survive sitting seiza style for long periods? I go to a study group once a week and we sit seiza - legs tucked under or if you're brave, to one side - either way my legs die after about 10 minutes and by 55 minutes I am too busy wishing the clock to go faster than to pay attention..... it hurts a lot!!!
maybe.... it is extra uncomfortable for me as I used to have problems with wandering knee caps.... but I have heard a lot of gaijin have problems in the beginning. I would really like to find a way to sit this way comfortably as I'm thinking of taking some classes in traditional Japanese activities (Ikebana, Shodo or Japanese dance.... haven't decided...) and I guess I'll have to sit like that during those classes too.

Any suggestions welcome ;)


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Find a study group that doesn't involve torture! I can't believe you do that for a full hour. I admire your masochistic tendencies. ;-)
Sensei tells us the proper way to sit is to leave about a fist's space between your knees (guys a little more) and to cross the flats of your feet.
When your legs go to sleep, try sitting up on your toes (bottoms of toes flat on the ground). This lifts you up enough for the circulation to start working again.
If your sensei allows, get a koshikake, a little stool you can sit on during seiza. this helps a lot.
If only there was a good solution to ankle pain and the knee wobblies when you stood up, now!
In my experience, dance wasn't so bad with the sitting. We almost never sat, except to eat, but I studied Katsura style, and in the US.
Good luck with your studies, do as much as you can while you have the opportunity!
Thanks so much for your advice ! ^ ^
I'll try out your suggestions at my next class, and hopefully learn to sit comfortably before I take on any more!
was thinking about taking a Japanese dance class..... sounds fun... !
Gotta work those legs! The other folks had good suggestions, and I would add doing some training at home. Sit 10 minutes a day in seiza on a cushioned floor (carpet etc) and slowly work up the time and then start sitting on a hard floor (wood, tile). Take some time before and after working over the tendons and muscles in your legs (massage). Don't just dive into seiza nor jump up from it. You are asking your legs to do some really wierd stuff at first.

Everyone has their own method, but here is mine...Keep those toes crossed (I find crossing the flats of my feet to be amazingly painful) and work on getting the heels out and the shins on the floor. The more weight you can move off your knees and the very tops of your feet the better off you will be. Also make sure you aren't leaning back and putting too much weight on your feet.

Still, it is going to take a lot of work to get you comfortable (and as you mentioned your knees might cause you problems). Now, after years, I can do about 30 minutes on tatami (longer with a cusion) and about 20 on wood. After that and enduring about 5 minutes of great pain, my legs go to sleep. Not good for you, but the pain goes away :) Oh, and training for full lotus will help with seiza (cross training). You will need a cusion for lotus.
This was torture on me at first as well. I distinctly remember my Kendo Sensei smirking at me the first time I had trouble standing up straight without stretching my legs and bending my knees repeatedly after being forced to sit like this for an hour straight... I guess it just takes practice and inuring yourself to the pain. Getting a good 10-15 minute stretch beforehand can do wonders as well if you know you're going to be sitting for extended periods of time (just don't let your Japanese friends see you do it heh).
Thanks for the great advice mandylion!!! I'll start trying it at home.... I guess I can't expect instant results, but to be able to survive longer than 5-10 minutes would be great! (I remember by 55 minutes I wasn't listening just saying "please finish oh please finish" in my head hehe ooh the pain)
and thanks Iron Chef!:) I will do some stretching now - I'm off to my group and we're making mochi 窶堙?窶堋ソ窶堙や?堋ォ and I can guess we'll be sitting around the table - on the floor of course. We're making different kinds of mochi, but I think I'll pass on the natto mochi.....
Here's a photo of me and my mochi. My friend took this photo cos I worked so hard on it but it was still not very good hehe it was my first time. Fun, but still painful sitting seiza for more than 10 minutes and I ate too many mochi oooooh heavy....
Go easy on the mochi!!! LOL

What is wrong with natto mochi??? Well, other than the smell, taste, and texture...LOL
Yay!!!! Beautiful mochi, nzueda! 😄 I have yet to make mochi. I'm very intimidated by it. I have no problem making anman or something like that, but when it comes to mochi, I start to get nervous... :eek:

I just stocked up on daifuku Saturday. I got some natto, too, but I won't be the one eating it...hehe
you sound so clever with cooking k-n-m! I wish I could try making anman or anpan (I loooove anko!!) but I don't have an oven at the moment...... and I probably wouldn't be any good :p

We used a machine to make the mochi into one big lump and then we shaped the mochi balls ourselves. Last year they made the mochi by hand but said it was sooooo exhausting.

My last attempt at eating natto I could only eat one bean..... this time I managed two so I guess I'm improving!:p It's not horrible just so unusual..
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