Yoga Poses to Help With Doing Zazen

Patrick of Yoga Garden in Yokohama drew me some of the various yoga poses he recommends for helping people get into full or half lotus posture. It’s right there below this article. After that I put some links to videos of the poses that I found on the Internet. I don’t have any connection with these yoga videos. I just looked for straightforward videos that showed the poses.

These postures have helped yoga people get into the lotus posture for a few thousand years. So maybe you can benefit from them.

Here those some videos I found on the Internets for these poses.

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36 Responses

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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 9:41 am |

    THanks! Could you post tips on how to make your back/spine stronger, so it doesn’t hurt in zazen?

  2. Blake
    Blake November 24, 2008 at 10:42 am |

    Anonymous, you need to focus on your core. Buy 8-minute Abs, Abs of Steel or Yoga for Abs (whichever has the host you are most attracted to).

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 11:16 am |

    @blake: so abdominals can help me? The pain is a little down the shoulders :/

  4. Severino42
    Severino42 November 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm |

    While many people report great results from these yoga exercises, I have tried them with pretty minimal results.

    However, I am surprised that I can now sit comfortably in lotus, after taking elementary ballet last spring and this autumn. I now do 2 consecutive 25 min sits in 1/2 lotus or one 25 min sit in full lotus with no pain, except when my feet fall asleep and I get up too quickly.

    I can not figure out why it works, as the ballet exercises are not similar to the recommended yoga. The ballet meets once a week for 90 min. This does not seem like enough to make a difference, but it does for me.

    Before the ballet I could get into 1/2 lotus, with immediate pain, and had not tried full lotus.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 1:10 pm |

    walking 1 hr per day is good for the back.

  6. Jinzang
    Jinzang November 24, 2008 at 4:50 pm |

    Could you post tips on how to make your back/spine stronger, so it doesn’t hurt in zazen?

    If your back hurts, your posture is wrong. In my experience the most common cause is the knees are higher than the butt. This causes you to lean forward to keep balance and after a while, your back starts hurting. The solutions is to use a higher, broader cushion to raise your butt. If necessary, use two cushions.

    It can also happen that half lotus unbalances your posture and you lean to the side to compensate. Try another posture if this is the case.

    But these are guesses. If you can, find someone experienced to check and correct your posture. You may find that you need repeated corrections as your bad posture has become habitual and you unconsciously revert to it.

  7. babbles
    babbles November 24, 2008 at 5:06 pm |

    I have been doing yoga for about 6 months and enjoy it. I got really bad hips – in fact looking at a hip replacement next summer – so full lotus is effectively impossible for me. However I still feel that yoga is a great exercise.

    I also enjoy listening to Gwen and Patrick’s Zen is Stupid podcast. I recommend checking it out.

  8. Jenny
    Jenny November 24, 2008 at 5:11 pm |

    Some pain in the back can also be from having poor posture when not sitting, especially if it is mid to upper back pain. If you normally have poor posture, it will take time to retrain the muscles the proper way they are supposed to work. Try being mindful of your posture through out the day, not only when sitting.

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm |

    “You’ve got the Republicans, and basically they want to live according to [the Bible]. But there’s the problem of interpretation, and you’ve got some churches, some people, basically doing things and saying it comes from here, but it doesn’t. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got blue, you’ve got the Democrats, and they’re, like, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ Gay marriage, whatever. But neither of them is right.” – Prince 2008

    At Daichu-ji in Tochigi Prefecture in October 1940,
    listening to his lecture “Fukan-zazen-gi,” for the first time. Master Kodo Sawaki proclaimed loadly that
    “The Right Wing is wrong, and the Left Wing is wrong!”
    Listening to such a very clear expression,
    I thought that this expression might be true.

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 8:52 pm |

    jinz sed: “If your back hurts, your posture is wrong.”

    Might be wrong..

    Back problems can be caused by all kinds of reasons. Age, Injury, disease, birth defects among other things.

  11. Al Coleman
    Al Coleman November 24, 2008 at 10:36 pm |

    Find a clinic near you that has a Med-X Lumbar extension machine. Perform one set to muscular failure at 10 sec up 10 sec down cadence. The set should last between one to two minutes. If two minutes is reached increase the load by 5%. Do this once per week or once every two weeks.

    Back pain is usually caused by weakening struts a.k.a.- lumbar muscles. These muscles and those of the cervical spine are more more prone to age related muscle loss than any other area of the body. Strenghtening them along with correct posture will fix any bad back pending genetics.

    For research on the subject got

    Hope this helps.


  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 25, 2008 at 7:07 am |

    When the pain in my knees
    becomes unbearable, I
    stop and read books
    recommended by
    Publishers Weekly.

  13. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 25, 2008 at 8:50 am |

    “But that’s my story, not yours.”

    IMHO those six words are the most valuable
    of the things Brad has to say.

    Thanks, Dude.

  14. Harry
    Harry November 25, 2008 at 9:55 am |

    These poses are what have worked best for me, I’ve tried several other things, but end up going back to these:

    Merci beaucoup, Michel!



  15. Harry
    Harry November 25, 2008 at 9:58 am |


    I’m not a rubberman yogi like in the pics; for the forward bends in particular I sit on a cusion to raise my sitting bones and use a strap to ‘catch’ my foot and relax into a slight bend.



  16. PhilBob-SquareHead
    PhilBob-SquareHead November 25, 2008 at 10:33 am |

    You can practice yoga if your a muslim.
    You can practice yoga if your in Malaysia.
    But you can’t practice yoga if you’re a muslim in Malaysia. siapcf/11/22/ p/index.html

  17. Mettai Cherry
    Mettai Cherry November 25, 2008 at 12:18 pm |

    The poses that Harry suggests (three comments back) are quite wonderful and much more doable for people with limited flexibility. My favorite for working toward lotus is #4 (through the hole). This one is also good for sciatica.

    It’s very important to remember that the twisting motion in lotus comes in your hips, not your knees. If you feel any twist in your knees, sit some other way or you’ll end up a mess.


  18. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 25, 2008 at 1:28 pm |

    “Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness” by Erich Schiffmann has a great section on stretches to prepare for lotus.

  19. Jordan
    Jordan November 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm |

    Funny, I thought it said “Yoda” poses. Where did I put those eye glasses?

  20. Rick
    Rick November 25, 2008 at 6:42 pm |

    I have a lot of connective tissue. I’ve tried stretching for many years and never accomplished anything. Now I am studying Taijiquan, and find I am loosening up quite nicely without doing any stretching exercises. I’m relaxing instead.

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 2:05 am |

    body and mind…. get your body in the proper posture to help get your mind in the proper posture. after all, they're totally connected. take martial arts for example, it's not so much about being able to kick somebody's ass, as its about self-Discipline and awareness of the quote unquote Here&Now;(TM). Discipline, willpower, passion. when these things are in harmony, anything is possible. But it is very difficult (to me) to constantly maintain this harmony. something tells me that true harmony is effortless, not to sound all cliche or clever or whatever, bit the task is easier said than done (or so it would seem)

    …meditate on images of surfers, and waves….

  22. post-onymous
    post-onymous November 26, 2008 at 2:11 am |

    …autonomic nervous system…..yes..

  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 2:12 am |


  24. SWANS
    SWANS November 26, 2008 at 2:13 am |

    mind body light sound

  25. post-onymous
    post-onymous November 26, 2008 at 2:14 am |


  26. oNymous(E)???
    oNymous(E)??? November 26, 2008 at 2:18 am |

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    Understand what side effects to expect as normal for your medication and the differance between a serious unexpected side effect and something that will go away after a period of use and the body adapts.

    Ask your physician about making a change in the dosage to minimize the side effects. Minimizing medication side effects can be done by using the lowest effective dose and avoiding interactions between one medicine and another. Always have medication changes prescribed by your doctor. You do not have the knowledge to do this on your own and may cause yourself serious harm.

    Know that there are many medications with differant levels of side effects that can be switched by your doctor and only switched by your doctor as more serious problems can occur.

    Ask your doctor if there are any methods to cope with the specific side effects of a new medication. For example; should it be taken with food, late at night?

    Ask your pharmacist to check for drug interactions every time you get a prescription filled. Tell your pharmacist if you are taking any non-prescription or herbal treatments. Some herbals can interact with your prescription. Ask and be safe!

    Be informed! The best ways to deal with medication side effects is to ask questions, learn the information, and to keep your doctor updated and informed. By keeping the lines of communication open, your doctor will be able to make your use of a new medication as side effect free as possible.

  27. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 2:19 am |

    happy holidays, shitheads.

  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 2:52 am |

    Thanks Brad! This is really great! Now I can get enlightened!

  29. Jinzang
    Jinzang November 26, 2008 at 5:16 am |

    Don’t fear Godzilla. Fear Toho’s lawyers.

  30. Mumon
    Mumon November 26, 2008 at 6:33 am |

    This is actually very good.

    What really impresses me though is that an economic crisis rivaling the Great Depression’s going on, but I guess it’s up to me to get the Buddhist angle on that…but geez, man, you’re not much younger than me.

  31. andro
    andro November 26, 2008 at 12:20 pm |

    This has not begun to rival the great depression yet. This is a five hour flight and we are only ten minutes into it. The bad news is the middle class is completely screwed. The good news is that things won’t be much different for the very lowest and upper classes.

  32. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 26, 2008 at 12:51 pm |

    A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts.

    Professor Igor Panarin said in an interview with the respected daily IZVESTIA published on Monday: “The dollar is not secured by anything. The country’s foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse.”

  33. Mysterion
    Mysterion November 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm |

    So I haven’t posted, but I am still around.

    If it hurts, don’t do it (that way).

    Rocket science.

  34. Anonymous
    Anonymous November 27, 2008 at 10:03 am |

    so happy anniversary for those who celebrate such things
    Wink wink nudge nudge know what I mean, say no more, say no more

    And also 11th Annual Three Stooges Big Screen Event
    on Sat 11/29/08 Glendale Alex Theatre
    go to

  35. The Lone Ranger
    The Lone Ranger November 28, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  36. muebles madrid
    muebles madrid March 15, 2012 at 1:24 am |

    Very helpful info, much thanks for your post.

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