I have been practicing Hong-Sau for a year now, and I'm experiencing a problem I faced in the beginning - to sit upright without causing pain in the back! It's been a week now and I'm getting disappointed, as this spoils my meditations, which were so peaceful a week back. I tried to relax and check myself in the mirror to see if my posture went wrong, but it's not helping. I really need an answer.
—Truthseeker, Saudi Arabia
There are different things that you can try to remedy this situation. Please be patient and keep experimenting until you find the right position that will work for your body, when you sit to meditate.
1. Before you sit to meditate, practice the Energization Exercises. This will help loosen up the energy in the spine.
2. When you sit on the chair make sure that both of your feet are flat on the floor. If your feet do not touch the floor, get a shorter chair or place a pillow or two under your feet to raise them so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
If your back hurts, get a firm pillow of some sort and put it between your back and the back of the chair. The feeling you want is that of support, but not leaning into it. Move the pillow around until you achieve this feeling. If you want to place a pillow in the seat of the chair, to cushion a too hard surface, that is fine. Meditate for short periods of time in the beginning and work up to longer amounts of time. This way your back muscles will strengthen gradually. Yoga stretches and other such exercises also strengthen your back muscles with time and regular practice.
3. The pelvic tilt: Sometimes creating a slight lift to the tailbone tips the pelvis and makes it easier to sit upright. You can sit on the edge of a pillow, so the pillow lifts the tailbone slightly and helps to give a slight forward tip to the pelvis.
Keep experimenting with different sitting positions, until you find the right one for your body.