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Learning how to sit and stay

Sunday, January 06, 2013

A couple of you may have caught my earlier blog on the art of rising off the floor... no hands, Ma!

Something that sounds so ridiculously easy to do, but is not an easy feat for those who have spent a lifetime seated in a chair... rather than on the floor... and to whom the term "squatting" means something done in a gym with weights.

My own inability to rise from the floor without the help of my hands, complicated by my scoliosis (twisted spine) and increasingly frozen hips, was a real wake up call.

Here I was spending countless hours in the gym, doing step aerobix, Zumba, weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, walking... but when it came to rising from the floor without using my hand... or even sitting on the floor comfortably in anything other than the staff pose... I couldn't do it. There was something really wrong with that. So I decided to do something about it.

That something started yesterday, when I ditched my computer chair and dragged my coffee table over to the computer in its place.

Turns out it was the perfect height... all it needed was some cushioning so that my bones weren't grinding into the wood. I used the existing chair cushion, and an unused throw from the couch.

Eventually, I'll be making a pillow the size of the coffee table top, which is a comfortable 32 inches square... allowing me to get into a variety of seated positions without hanging over the sides... or falling off!

Sitting here, with my feet and legs about me, rather than dangling beneath me, is without a doubt, one of the biggest physical challenges of my day.

Its kinda frightening how uncomfortable, how out of alignment and tight, my lower body is.

My feet fall asleep. My lower spine aches. I'm made aware I have tendons... in of all places my bottom! My IT band screams. My hips ache. My shins and ankle bones protest. I get up off my table like a cripple.

But I know from yin yoga classes, holding these positions on my table as I type, will eventually allow my tendons to relax, opening up the tight spots. My spine to relearn the flexibility it needs, allowing my body to achieve balance it can, despite my scoliosis. It will also get me up and moving, as you're supposed to do, every 20 minutes or so.

So in this new year of 2013, year of the Water Snake, my challenge to Self is going to learn how to sit and stay.
Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?

Here's to identifying and overcoming your own challenges!
: )

Here's a link to "what is yin yoga"? As well as a youtube.

Update 1/30/13
Still sitting on my coffee table chair! Have played around with various padding but haven't come up with a comfortable cushion quite yet. I have found some loosening of my joints allowing me to achieve greater flexibility in yoga classes. I also have less stiffness in my joints for everyday moving around and functioning.

Don't get me wrong... its NOT comfortable sitting here!
Which means I now take frequent breaks from the computer... which just happens to be another Good Thing.

Here's to Good Things in your own life and living your intentions...
: )

UPDATE 3/31/13
Thought I'd have made more progress with this, but its still uncomfortable sitting here in on the coffee table. I found that a small persian rug was the most comfortable thing to sit on. I also sit on a yoga block and a low pillow to change things up. The upside is that since its uncomfortable to sit here, I'm taking more computer breaks which is better for the eyes.

I have noticed in yoga that I require only a rolled blank support in the "pigeon" pose under my bent leg... I used to have to use a yoga block... and figure my sitting here must be partially responsible.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    I sit cross legged, in hero (the name of that one always makes me laugh), in butterfly, in mermaid, and one I call puppy pose, which is kinda a collapsed hero pose in that my ankles are out at the sides of my thigh and my bottom is on a low cushion on the table.

    I've also figured out a way to sit in staff (legs out straight) by turning my table so that a corner of it goes under my desk and supports my legs.

    I use a foam block and a cushion under one hip or the other, to help keep me straight in some positions, in others, I just sit on the quilt.

    The main point being, I'm not sitting in a typical chair situation.

    I am planning on taking a pic of the set up, but this requires I do it during a sunny day when my house and desk is tidy.

    Which is why there's been no photo for over a week!


    Have a merry day
    : )
    1891 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/13/2013 2:50:01 PM
    MzzChief, could you post a pic of you sitting the way you describe? Thanks. emoticon
    1891 days ago
    Hey Sparkers!
    Thx for your comments!
    I used a 70 inch pilates ball... went thru two of them... they both sprung leaks!
    They ARE a lot of fun, though... the next time I see them on sale I may go for pilates ball #3.

    : )
    1893 days ago
    I'm using my yoga ball as a chair in my office

    1893 days ago
    I'm glad the coffee table is a good height for you. Good luck with your flexibility project!
    1895 days ago
    I really enjoy reading your blog!

    I just switched out my office chair a few months ago for a large 70" pillates ball. It keeps my spine alighned and without knowing it, my balance is so improved as well as it is fun to bounce on occaisionally.. If the table doesn't work out, or you want to try something different - this is cheap and fun.

    It is my intention in 2013 to be less reactive.. I am a sassy, comical girl but my quick wit and reactiveness often goes hand and hand with knee jerk responses when someone hits a nerve. This quick reaction is often words (that we all know, you can't get back) and or jumping into unhealthy food choices to pacify myself.. I have promised my inner self that I will breath for 15 seconds when something feels unhealthy and hits that nerve to let me brain catch up with my tongue or food craving.. Successfully did it already today - YAY!

    Good luck with your intention for 2013 and have a great day!

    1895 days ago
    I'm trying to increase my flexibility. I am surprised that I can do more than I think I can.
    1895 days ago
    I do yin yoga dvds which really help my flexibility. emoticon
    1896 days ago
    Good for you Mzzz
    1897 days ago
    Thanks to all that read and commented!
    By last nite my whole lower right waist line was pretty tender from being stretched and the left side was mildly sore. Still have some ache in the right side but its minimal, the left side is fine.

    It may just be "placebo" effect, but I'm finding as I walk around now, that my hips feel mmm, "looser", not as achey or congested feeling... smoother ...perhaps because my legs can more more freely in their hip sockets since the ligments and tendons that hold them there are stretched?

    This morning sitting/getting up off the table is a lot easier.
    Bones aren't pressing so hard into the table's surface because the joint is more open.

    YAY. It would be fabulous if this helped my hips, back and overall posture!

    : )
    1898 days ago
    You are good Mzz. emoticon
    I enjoyed the video. emoticon
    1898 days ago
    Good for you!
    1898 days ago
    You are an inspiration!
    1898 days ago
    Great Blog! I have 2 knee replacements so I don't know how I'd get up off the floor without using my hands. Very thought provoking!
    1898 days ago
    Your dedication is admirable. I'm sure you will see progress.
    1898 days ago
  • CHRIS3874
    Yeah I know what you mean about the getting up deal. I have been tempted to make a chair with a seat I can gradually lower and "trick" my legs ,body whatever it is that is not working into lifting me up from a lower perch. Good luck!! emoticon
    1898 days ago
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