I’ve started to meditate a lot, but my legs keep falling asleep. Any advice?
There’s no magical solution to this very common problem, but here are a few tips that may help:
1. Stretch before meditation. Basic yoga or a few good stretching exercises can be a big help. Just because you’re sitting on your butt doesn’t mean meditation isn’t physical; a warm up is a good idea.
2. Try a different cushion; if you aren’t using a cushion, get one. People who meditate for long periods of time often use a cushion called a ‚Äúzafu.‚Äù It’s a small cushion that raises your butt and back off the ground by about four to six inches, while your legs stay at floor level. Imagine your body as the hands of a clock: If your legs and butt are flat on the floor and your back is straight, that is ‚Äú3:00.‚Äù By elevating your body with a zafu, you sit in the ‚Äú4:00 position‚Äù instead of the ‚Äú3:00‚Äù position.
3. Straighten up your posture if you find yourself slouching. Using the clock metaphor again, if you’re sitting at 3:05, that’s putting extra pressure on your legs.
I’m also assuming you are running into this problem after just a few minutes. If you are sitting for an hour or more, then your legs falling asleep would be perfectly normal. Get up and do some walking meditation for a while, and alternate between the two every so often. Naturally, if the problem is severe, or you just cannot work around it, talk to your doctor and see if there is any medical solution.