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Long Vipassana Meditation sittings intervene with results

 
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christodoulou_george



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Athens, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: Long Vipassana Meditation sittings intervene with results Reply with quote

Hello,

There is also another question that is lingering in our mind that comes from observation.
We do Vippassana sittings for 45-60 minutes daily.
We noticed that the spine becomes more stiff after the sitting.
Doing now Yin Yoga this became more clear.
In your book you say that Caterpillar pose helps the meditation because it balances the chi flow. We have not tried yet but we believe it makes sense.
But what after meditation? How to bring the spine in suppleness?
I have noticed that people who are doing long sittings generally speaking are stiff. This is not desirable at all in the long run because you get the blessings of the meditation practice but you lose the body. This is the reason why I came to Yin Yoga.

Looking forward to hearing from you

George and Magdalena
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1005
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:52 am    Post subject: After sitting --- move! Reply with quote

Vipassana or any sitting meditation is very yin-like: long held, motionless posture. After yin, we need some yang! Dr Motoyama (Paul Grilley's teacher) was a Shinto priest as well as a yoga adept. He often had monks coming to him with various complaints. Motoyama believed their problems arose from long periods of immobility and suggested they move. One of his recommendations were the Pawanmuktasanas. They are nice gentle movements that anyone can do, even people with arthritis. Healthier people may want to do a more full yang yoga practice.

Considering the spine specifically, the Cat's Breath and Spinal Flossing can be quite helpful. (Read about this in my article on Sciatica.) Basically, to balance the yin of meditation, you need the yang of movement. To prepare for the yin of meditation, you need the yin of yoga, especially targeting the hips.

Cheers
Bernie
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christodoulou_george



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Athens, Greece

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:20 am    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

Very good food for thought and practice!
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christodoulou_george



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Athens, Greece

PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Doing long sittings Reply with quote

Dear Bernie,

I paid some thoughts to your suggestions ... and I did some reflection ..
I remember for years, that I was keeping my body to some shape doing quite a bit Yang Yoga (Hatha Vinyasa mainly) in order to counterbalance the stiffness that mediation was creating in my body. Some times if I was doing a bit of walking meditation, the stiffness got worse.
So I was wondering for a long time how to reverse the meditation effects .... particular the spine ... strong but stiff.
I have been also to Thailand to monasteries doing long reteatres (40 days my max) and I noticed that even the monks are quite stiff.
So then few years ago I found through you, Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers the Yin Yoga. That was I think back to 2013.
My body was very stiff at that time ... so the practice of Yin Yoga and my understanding ... but most my feeling, was limited.

Now I have deepened in understanding and feeling.
I studied and I paid attention to your guidance in your videos and also to Paul's and Sarah's.

I can say that my exersice is much more effective and my ego does not get into the way ... very seldom.

But when I meditate ... I feel that as long I am in Siddhasana my body prolongs to the sky. I feel that my spine is extended. It is different feeling of what you say.
By the end of my sitting usually my spine feels soft like after 5 mins in a pose ... but after some hours ... I feel that stiffens ..... if I do not do any yoga for some days then it is very clear the stiffness.
In the past I was doing afterwards some Yang Yoga (few Sun salutations and some standing postures .. ) the deep stiffeness was not going away.

So I feel that there must be some postures that take this stiffness out ...

I invite you (because I have a sense that you meditate) to answer me through your feeling .... through your own experience, through your own body.

I appeciate your time, your help and looking forward to hearing from you

George, Athens, Greece
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1005
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Getting rid of after meditating stiffness Reply with quote

Hi George

It sounds like your problem arises due to sitting for very long times: my meditation practice is down to ~20 minutes at a time, once or twice a day, so I don't think I am in the same place as you. But, even when I did sit longer, I didn't get the same degree of stiffness you are reporting. Perhaps this is because I also did more yang yoga practices and other sports. Sitting is yin/to balance that we need enough yang to loosen up what we have stiffened.

Sitting stiffness generally builds in the hips and spine, and those are the areas we need to mobilize the most. You could use yin postures, as long as they are taking these joints into directions they don't get to while sitting: twists for the spine and backbends, and internal rotations, adduction and extensions of the hips. Examples might be Sphinx, Seal, Reclining Twisted Roots, and Saddle. But, if you do use yin postures, don't do so at the cost of skipping the yang movements. For the spine, even several minutes of Cat/Cow will be helpful. Walking can be good, but it doesn't really take the hips into those other directions. Sun Salutes, with lingering in the backbends can be good, but again, don't move the spine and hips into all the other directions. Check out this preview of the Dragon Dance: it move the spine in lots of directions while also affecting the hips.

Motion is the lotion of life, so i encourage you to keep moving to balance the physical stillness. You can still make this into a part of your meditation practice! Moving mindfully is great.

good luck
Bernie
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christodoulou_george



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Athens, Greece

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:32 am    Post subject: Long meditation sittings Reply with quote

Hi Bernie,

Thank you soooooooooooo much for your reply.
It is really very helpful to me.
Now regarding the Dragon Dance ... is beautiful. My partner showed me
on Gaia ... I am subscriber in Gaia and I watch you from there too Very Happy

With Gratitude

George

PS. I would like to be listed as a Yin Yoga teacher (I will follow your directions)
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1005
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good to me!
Cheers
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