Posture Exercises Method - ad - Fruitarian Store
A woman sits in a cross-legged meditation pose

A Look at the Meditation Position with Egoscue Method Eyes

Fruitarian Store - content ad - Fruit-Powered

Daily Green Boost - ad - Fruit-Powered
Censorship Is Making It Harder Than Ever to Find Natural Health Content. Help Your Family and Friends Plus Fruit-Powered by Sharing!
💛 Complete the Circle of Giving by Supporting This Content! 💛

Story by Brian Rossiter - Fruit-Powered

Coming into my 10-day Vipassana Meditation course in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, I had little meditation experience but wished to go all in to learn and practice. My body fought the seated cross-legged position, however—so much so I stood to get little out of my course. I wound up getting a chair to start Day 7 and couldn’t help but think throughout my time at the retreat what my two Egoscue Method trainers, who provided me with menus of E-cises, or stretches and light exercises, to help me improve my posture and reverse a decade’s worth of chronic pain, would say about this position and what it does to one’s posture. It surely negatively affected me.

Photographed is Mike Kenny of the Egoscue Method
Mike Kenny has helped hundreds reverse pain and improve posture through the Egoscue Method.

I contacted them and received e-mailed responses from my first Egoscue Method exercise therapist, Mike Kenny, who works in the Egoscue Method’s Westchester, New York, office, located in Purchase, New York. Since 2005, he has helped hundreds of clients learn to reverse and prevent pain and correct posture by practicing E-cises. Mike showed me E-cises to do during visits from spring 2010 to summer 2012.

Mike said that the seated cross-legged position isn’t poor for posture but that this position might cause torquing in parts of the body.

“It does promote external femur [thigh bone] rotation, so that may lead to the knees and feet everting and pointing outward if counter-balance exercises are not done,” he said.

I wanted to know how sitting in a chair compares with sitting cross-legged for extended time periods. Mike said that with a chair, you have help to keep your body in an upright position with the chair’s 90-degree angle. (My chair had no back, but I built lumbar support by stacking two foam pads.) With sitting on a floor, Mike said, the body has no help and must work to keep an upright position.

“If the body is functional, it will be able to handle that load,” he said. “Now, an excessive amount of time of four to eight hours is going to be difficult if the body has not been trained to do that in the same way that you would be challenged to run 6 miles after only usually running 1 mile every day.”

Explore the Posture Exercises Method and Experience Pain Relief and Peak Performance

Posture Exercises Method - Pain Relief and Peak Performance - Fruit-Powered

Furthermore, Mike wrote: “If you bring a functional body to the crossed-legged position, it should not have a negative effect [on the body]. But if you bring a very dysfunctional and misaligned body to an extended seated cross-legged position, it may be difficult for the body.”

For most people, though, this position might cause stress in the body. During a couple of my visits every two to three months with Mike over a two-plus-year period, he remarked and I agreed that well more than 90 percent of people would enhance their well-being by completing E-cises, which even pro athletes such as legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus used to raise his level of play. Junior Seau utilized the Egoscue Method to enable him to play as an NFL linebacker at 40 years old.

Once I was seated during my meditation retreat, I had no intention of returning to the seated cross-legged position when I would practice beyond my Vipassana course. I asked Mike what would be an Egoscue Method-recommended position.

Mike recommends Progressive Supine Groin, which promotes an elongation of the hip and groin muscles, creating a chain reaction of muscular response in the upper body. This is among the hallmark E-cises among a canon of more than 600 of them. In this position, Egoscue Method practitioners spend as long as 60 to 120 minutes.

Joan Adams performs Progressive Supine Groin while Mike Kenny oversees
Joan Adams demonstrates Progressive Supine Groin, with Mike Kenny looking on. Both are Egoscue Method exercise therapists, with Joan based out of Greater Philadelphia and Mike working in Greater New York City.

Are foam pads and pillows recommended for those who want to sit in a cross-legged position?

“Your body works as a unit, and when your legs are crossed, your spine muscles and hip muscles need the ability to keep you upright if they are not working together—that is, if one is working more than the other,” Mike said. “The excessive sitting can become difficult. But nothing is wrong with using a pad or mat. We do this all the time with Egoscue E-cises.

I told Mike I noticed women fidgeted less while in the seated position. I wondered whether women, who have wider hips compared with men, are better suited for a seated cross-legged position for longer time periods.

Mike wrote: “Was it the wider hips or just the overall function of some of the women doing the meditation that allowed them to sit in that specific position? Form follows function! I would bet the functionality of these women is better than some of the men that have issues with the sitting. Remember, it is the body we bring to the activity. The human body has the perfect design. It is our job, right and responsibility to use it and keep it that way.”

Silhouette of a man meditating beneath a full moon

Check out my story, “At Vipassana Meditation, Losing My Head and Finding Peace in the Moment,” on my Vipassana Meditation retreat experience.

Egoscue Method showing lower-back pain

Learn about the Egoscue Method and how it can reverse and prevent pain and injuries and restore the body’s proper postural alignment.

More with Brian Rossiter

About Fruit-Powered - About Brian Rossiter - Holistic Health Coach - Standing in Woods - Closeup

Explore the Fruit-Powered Life Force Center's Natural Health Services

Fruit-Powered Life Force Center - Diet and Exercise Natural Health Services - Fruit-Powered

More with Brian Rossiter in Fruit-Powered Magazine

Insight From Natural Health Headers - Raw Food and Health by Brian Rossiter - Fruit-Powered

Shop Brian Rossiter Products in the Fruit-Powered Store

Enjoy This Illuminating and Inspiring Content? Show Your Love by Sharing!
💛 Complete the Circle of Giving by Supporting This Content! 💛

2 thoughts on “A Look at the Meditation Position with Egoscue Method Eyes”

  1. If I may, I’ll comment here on the question of meditation posture and Egoscue postural alignment as I have quite a bit of experience with both. The meditation method I practice is that of Dr Ainslie Meares – a really simple deep mental relaxation in which the minds slows and stills. Dr Meares was an eminent psychiatrist and medical hypnotist who developed his style of meditation in Australia around 60 years ago. He is the original user of the term stillness and various other terms which are now in common use. Stillness meditation is characterised by an effortless bodily relaxation that spreads throughout the mind in circumstances of slight discomfort. Various postures can be used for meditation and Dr Meares outlined a sequence from easy to “harder” which is provided in a book “Ainslie Meares on Meditation”. Anyway, I find that the Egoscue posture static back is the best one for people to start off with in meditation. After they have learnt how to meditate, later on, they can try supine groin as it is more difficult challenge due to its assymetrical nature. For those who are time pressed 10 minutes meditation in static back is a good idea.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Fruit-Powered Magazine - Natural Health a Raw Vegan Lifestyle - evergreen cover - sidebar
Scroll to Top
error: Alert: Content is protected.
Send this to a friend