Account Navigation

Account Navigation

Currency - All prices are in AUD

Currency - All prices are in AUD
 Loading... Please wait...
Sage Meditation


Knee and Hip Pain During Sitting Meditation

Posted by Jay Suthers on

I oftentimes hear from customers seeking a solution to knee and hip discomfort during sitting meditation. After making a brief disclaimer that I am not a medical professional, I most frequently begin a discussion on various ways to support the joints so as to relieve weight-bearing strain on them.

The knee is a compound joint that offers a large range of motion in bending the lower leg backward and limited range of motion in any other direction - forward, side-to-side, or twisting. In fact, the rotation of the leg to an outward position in the cross-legged or lotus sitting posture is accomplished by the hip joint and not the knee joint.

Meditation Knee PillowKnee discomfort generally arises from the joint being twisted as gravity pulls the leg down toward the ground. The discomfort may not be the joint itself so much as all the connective tissue and cartilage around the joint. Exercise and age can cause these components to become less flexible. It is also more likely that with age we may have experienced some trauma or injury to the knee joint that can induce more pain when it is stressed.

Likewise, hip discomfort can arise from the rotation and open position of the joint. For men especially, hamstring muscles on the back of the leg become “short” and make it difficult to get the knees down during sitting meditation. This tends to pull and strain the hip joint. Again, as we age, the joint can become less flexible due to calcification and reduced fluid production, oftentimes a result of osteoarthritis.

That is pretty much the limit of my medical knowledge on these joints of the body. The solution to discomfort during meditation is three fold: support the area of discomfort, increase flexibility in the legs through yoga, massage and stretching exercises, or sit in a different posture during meditation.

Cosmic Cushion Meditation CushionThe Cosmic Cushion is by far the most supportive meditation cushion. The round Zafu or a simple rectangular bolster generally provide lift under the sit bones and leave the entire leg hanging off a cliff, so to speak. The Cosmic Cushion provides support over a much broader area because one sits fully on top of this cushion.

Knee Pillows and the Kapok Support Cushion can be placed under the knees, thighs, or calves to keep the knee area raised up. This will reduce the twisting action on the knee joint and may even reduce some pressure on the ankles.

Sitting in a kneeling posture, also known as Seiza, greatly changes the dynamics of the hip and knee joints. There is no twisting action and gravity no longer pulls at the joints. Kneeling can be accomplished by straddling a Zafu or Yoga Bolster, but is best accomplished with a Meditation Bench.

Since most of the discomfort in the legs is caused by the connective tissues and muscles, improving flexibility will allow the joints to move more freely and with less discomfort. Many yoga poses are designed to stretch muscle tissues and “open” the joints. A massage therapist can soften muscle tissues and relax tendons and ligaments. Similar to yoga, many exercise trainers are knowledgable about stretching exercises that can reduce the possibility of injury during exercise. These practices can recondition the muscles and other tissues to improve joint flexibility.

Meditation is a practice of the mind and not the body. While a good sitting posture helps us to be active and mindful during meditation, any posture can be used during meditation. At some point we should achieve a level of awareness through meditation that excludes the body. Sitting in a chair or assuming shavasana (corpse or lying pose) for meditation should be no more or less effective for meditation. We should not feel as though we are failing in our meditation if we simply cannot get comfortable in the sitting posture and have to change to a more comfortable position.

Thank you for reading,


If you would like to comment on this blog or have any questions, please feel free to Contact Sage Meditation Customer Service.

  • knee pain
  • hip pain
  • knee discomfort
  • hip discomfort
  • cosmic cushion
  • zafu
  • support pillow
  • meditation cushion

Pi Family of Meditation Benches

The Pi Family of Meditation Benches feature hand-crafted, solid wood benches with a unique shape. The legs are in the middle, which creates more room for the legs and calves when kneeling over the bench in a seiza meditation posture. The Original Pi Meditation Bench has a fixed set of legs. It is lightweight yet solid [...]

Read More »

Meditation Cushions and Pillows - A Concise List

With so many meditation cushions available, making a choice can be overwhelming. This concise list of meditation cushions that we offer at Sage Meditation might help you to narrow down the choice. With each cushion we talk about Kapok and Buckwheat Hull Fill. To learn more about these two types of fill, please read our article [...]

Read More »

Tips for Managing Distress After Tragedy

In the aftermath of tragedy, people rightly become fearful about their own safety and well-being. With a little help from the  American Psychological Association, I would like to offer some tips for managing the distress associated with recent violent events. Release the Energy When we first hear of tragedies we begin to experience several emotions: shock, sorrow, hopelessness, [...]

Read More »

Reiki Pyramid Gong Timer Review

The Reiki Gong Timer has been around for several years and has recently been updated with new electronics, sounds, and capabilities. The new electronics is shared with all the gong timers and the only difference between this timer and the Meditation Pyramid Gong Timer is the Japanese Reiki Symbol engraving on one of the pyramid faces. [...]

Read More »

Meditation Gifts

Each year it seems that Holiday advertising comes earlier and earlier. At first we hate to think about it and we complain that it is just too soon to start shopping for the Holidays. However, time marches on quickly. We will soon be in October. Children will get excited about Halloween. And, as soon as [...]

Read More »

7 Tips for Beginning a Meditation Practice

Starting a meditation practice is like exploring uncharted territory. We try to prepare for the adventure, but we never really know exactly where we are heading or how best to proceed. Thankfully, there is no right or wrong way to begin a meditation practice. As long as your intention is to learn meditation, you are [...]

Read More »

Using a BackJack Chair for Floor Sitting Meditation

Meditating on the floor has many challenges.  Meditation cushions offer support and comfort for cross-legged meditation, Seiza or kneeling meditation, and Shivasana or lying meditation. For many, some discomfort can occur during a meditation session. Some people experience leg numbness, joint pain, or back and neck pain. As we age, these discomforts can become more problematic. However, getting [...]

Read More »

Create a Custom Meditation Garden Stone

It's the time of year, in the Northern Hemisphere, when the cold winter has subsided and we begin to focus on outdoor activities. This oftentimes includes planting flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other plants. Getting our hands into the soil, cleaning up the dead debris of winter, and filling spaces with blooming flowers renews our spirit [...]

Read More »

Meditation Timer Review

A daily meditation practice is essential to receiving the benefits of meditation. It isn't always easy to find the time to take in a meditation session and, when we do find the time, we generally have to limit the length of the session. A countdown timer is a helpful tool, but the ending signal of [...]

Read More »