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theprosperone

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Reply with quote  #16 
Something I've seen friends use to rest the toomba on is a tabla ring. It seems to work great and they will sit with their legs out in front of them or both legs crossed. I've tried sitting like that just to check it out and I can keep just about the same position as when I sit normally. Hope that helps a little. The only problem I'm running in to is my poor circulation! ops: My feet fall asleep so fast and I feel like I move around too much. It takes just the right spot to sit and not cut off any bloodflow. lol
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financier

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Reply with quote  #17 
fbidris,,,,

actually the stretch is more intended for the lower back,,,but it stretchs the hamstrings also,,,,

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cheesemaster

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Reply with quote  #18 
actually the cobra is the one the gives immd relief, i actually do a complete set of back excercises in the morning. if you are interested here is the link


He does a lot of talking initially, the excercises for the back start at around 28 minutes. My only suggestion here is to do it in the morning before breakfast. Make sure your stomach is empty (don't ask me why....i did what i was told and it worked).
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #19 
Evening Fellow Forumites,

I have been following this thread with great interrest since it falls so close to home. I have experienced sever back pain for a number of years now, and it finally got so bad last year I sought help from an Orthopedic Surgeon of my aquaintance. Upon test's MRI'S - X-rays etc. we have found I have 2 discs bulging right, one disc bulging into the spinal sheath, the fissete joint around the sacral nerve is collapsing from age & mileage (did much heavy work for a number of years) and throw in arthritis in my right hip just to add a little spice to the mix. What doeas all this mean - PAIN - Unfixable pain.
I have waited till now to comment because I had a proceedure coming up.
Two days ago I underwent injections to my spine - joints etc - HOPEFULLY this will give some extended relief (feels pretty good right now & that twilight stuff they give you before the proceedure was GREAT )
There are other proceedures to help manage the pain - but there really isn't much that will FIX these problems.
Now how does this affect my sitar playing posture - Can't do it - no how - no way. When I showed my physical therapist the proper position (after much pulling streatching & painful manipulations) she was brutally honest in saying I will NEVER be able to sit in that (as she termed it) torturous position EVER.
to quote:
If I had started playing younger than 50 - If my back had been in good shape when I started - If I had been carrying a little less tonnage ops: - Then I could probably do it - but now - in my condition - NEVER.
I am doing numerous extensions (many yoga based) - excercises - even traction
(THE RACK :twisted: ) in my PT routine.
Heat - Cold - Manipulation - Tens therapy - and while it will help me manage pain after I work in the garden or play the sitar - again it will never FIX the problem
SO - What to do ?
For the last few years I practice on the couch (not the best) with the tumba resting in a ring that I covered with that foamy shelf paper. This works very well & holds the instrument quite securely either on the couch or on the floor. Biggest problem is sitting on the floor - Within 5 minutes I start getting stabbing pain & everything from the waist down goes numb - Within 20 minutes my legs - hips etc are burning. To this point I sit on a yoga cusion and it does raise my hips & tilts the pelvis just enough to allow me to sit for longer periods and with my home cooked ring the sitar sits in almost an ideal position. BUT it still isn't ideal.
This topic came up a couple years ago with many opinions etc. One person put a linc up for a Salubrion seat. This looked great but when I went to order one it was discontinued. I have looked at many yoga devices over the years inclluding the wedge Povster mentioned. I have looked into a custom seat (VERY SALTY PRICES).
The Koa seat referenced above seemes promising but a starting price of $150. (I would probably need the EXTRA large & who knows how much that is).
At this point in my learning as a hobbyist this is not a concern I can still enjoy the Sitar - I can enjoy the commraderie of my fellow students, I will always remain the sound engineer for our Cultural Center and the Indian Community and indulge my passion for Indian Music and culture (and food don't forget the food ).
BUT as I will be retiring from my full time position in the next 5 to 6 years I thought it would be enjoyable to start performing for friends and family. This is pretty realistic as at that point I would have 10 years under my belt and even tho I will NEVER be a professional (Don't practice hard enough ops: AND I would NEVER profess to be a professional sitarist only an amatuer) my goal is to be able to perform as an amatuer without disgracing myself - the instrument or the music and just enjoy the instrument and playing for the joy of it (and it beats handing out carts at Wal Mart). I have already been asked to perform a few times but other than one very special occasion (and just a short performance that - among friends) or noodling with my fellow students when we get together. I have just not felt ready to do the instrument and music justice. Then there is back to the whole sitting for an extended period thing.
SO IF anyone can come up with a solution to a real problem myself and many of my aging friends here and obviously on the Forum are having - I can only speak for myself when I say I will try pretty much anything.
Right now for my fellows of the bad back - Try the yoga pillows/seats in an easy semi crossed position (My therapist I have been looking for one with a cutout or divit where the tail bone sits to reduce spinal pressure and give more hip support) - get or make a tabla type ring then get some of that foamy shelf/drawer liner and cover the ring. I used Japanese black waxed twine to hold it in place & this adds an extra measure of holding power and will not mar the tumba as the wax polishes right off, and holds very secure.
ANY BETTER IDEAS OUT THERE :?:

Yours in Numbness
Hamletsghost 8)

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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #20 
Hey all,
Just an update.
When I posted about this originally I did not know why I was having a problem.
Turns out I have two degraded discs in my lower back which are compressed and letting the vertebrates pinch and inflame the sciatic nerve. The pain was truly excruciating at times. For several months I was unable to put in regular riyaz because after ten minute of playing I would be almost crippled with pain.

I ended up going to a local chiropractor who also does acupuncture and holistic medicine.
I went three times a week for about six weeks. (Sound like a lot but I was in so much pain I was useless so I would have done anything to get better.)
I did various therapies and he did adjustments.
He did not do the traditional cracking of the back.
He does the same thing with a new electrical system.
It is pretty cool.
To make a long story short, eventually the pain decreased and I have been feeling pretty normal.
If I did not find a solution to the problem of playing the sitar I was going to go crazy.

I had to find a way to play the sitar that did not aggravate the lower back.
I tried everything. Every kind of pillow.
I tried to get a keyboard bench so that I could play in the way Raviji does onstage.
But that did not work al well as I would like.
It was hard to feel you had control of the instrument without having the foot on one side of the tabli and your arm on the other. You can feel that you have the instrument stable.

I bought a triangular foam leg wedge from the Chiropractor.
It is made to put under your knees in bed to take the pressure off your lower back.
It looks like this one but this one is not the actual one I bought:
http://foamsupport.com/LegWedge/Picture/TriangleWedge.JPG

I turn it over and sit on the longest side.
It allows you to use more or less cushion by moving back on the pillow.
You can sit close to the floor, but your butt is cushioned and the upward angle of the back of the wedge makes you keep your lower back straight and upright.

This week I took four, two hour lessons from Partha Chatterjee and I did the whole thing sitting in traditional posture. I told him about the back and he told me to take as many breaks as I needed to be comfortable.
He is awesome and kind.
Every twenty minutes or so when my back started to twinge I would excuse myself and go over to the side and do yoga stretches for my back to reset myself.
Parthada gave me some pointers to my yoga and corrected my breathing.
Then I would just come back and start playing.

So I would suggest to anyone who plays the sitar that this leg wedge thingy is awesome.
You dont have to have a back problem to want to be as comfortable as possible when practicing.
It is sitting in traditional posture, but in a very comfortable comfortable.

Just thought I would update the posting.
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redtape

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Reply with quote  #21 
Upoading a Video by a very Good Back Specialist with Shilpa Shetty (hot Hindi Film Industry Lady) showing the poses ~ she is perfect at them and they are easy enough ~ and really focus on the back. It can be watched and done in 30 mins everyday ~ i cut the part out lest I get hammered for going "off topic" Pranayam. I will post the link soon

Anand

http://www.anandvyas.org
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ragamala

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Hamletsghost"
SO IF anyone can come up with a solution to a real problem myself and many of my aging friends here and obviously on the Forum are having - I can only speak for myself when I say I will try pretty much anything. .........
Yours in Numbness
Hamletsghost 8)
Sorry to hear about all the problems folks are having - my back problems, which were pretty frequent through my 30s went the opposite way from expected in terms of getting much better to the point of disappearing with age. My medical advice was that this was quite common with back problems. So there is hope for you youngsters yet, I think!

But of course now I have arthritis in both knees, not helpful at all for a playing or sitting cross-legged position. We westerners can't win, maybe, we just didn't start sitting on the floor young enough. Or, bearing in mind babies can't do much else, maybe we stood up too soon....
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povster

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
This week I took four, two hour lessons from Partha Chatterjee and I did the whole thing sitting in traditional posture. I told him about the back and he told me to take as many breaks as I needed to be comfortable.
He is awesome and kind.
Every twenty minutes or so when my back started to twinge I would excuse myself and go over to the side and do yoga stretches for my back to reset myself.
Parthada gave me some pointers to my yoga and corrected my breathing.
Then I would just come back and start playing.
Hey CW! I am really glad to hear your back issues are being addressed so successfully! I agree about Partha Chattehjee. He is a wonderful guy and has a very good sense of humor. I'll be seeing him play this coming Saturday in San Jose. Looking forward to it! Last year he put on an all day event in the Bay Area and a dozen or more of his students played short pieces throughout the day, on stage. Some were quite well along and some were near beginners but all had equal time and all were appreciated. Really hoping he does that again this year. It was the most fun I've ever had at an ICM event since the 70's in Boston when I would go to weekly mehfils hosted by Benares tabla player Shashi Bushan Nayak (he was a disciple of Samta Prasad and a really wonderful musician). He died some years ago, far too young. Both placers had a real sense of being welcoming and very down to earth and homey.

But I reminisce too much. Great to hear your back is back!

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mhamlin

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
This week I took four, two hour lessons from Partha Chatterjee and I did the whole thing sitting in traditional posture. I told him about the back and he told me to take as many breaks as I needed to be comfortable.
He is awesome and kind.
Every twenty minutes or so when my back started to twinge I would excuse myself and go over to the side and do yoga stretches for my back to reset myself.
Parthada gave me some pointers to my yoga and corrected my breathing.
Then I would just come back and start playing.
Hey CW! I am really glad to hear your back issues are being addressed so successfully! I agree about Partha Chattehjee. He is a wonderful guy and has a very good sense of humor. I'll be seeing him play this coming Saturday in San Jose. Looking forward to it! Last year he put on an all day event in the Bay Area and a dozen or more of his students played short pieces throughout the day, on stage. Some were quite well along and some were near beginners but all had equal time and all were appreciated. Really hoping he does that again this year. It was the most fun I've ever had at an ICM event since the 70's in Boston when I would go to weekly mehfils hosted by Benares tabla player Shashi Bushan Nayak (he was a disciple of Samta Prasad and a really wonderful musician). He died some years ago, far too young. Both placers had a real sense of being welcoming and very down to earth and homey.

But I reminisce too much. Great to hear your back is back!
Povster,

It looks like that WILL be happening again this year, on July 31 I believe. Like Carleton, I have been taking lessons from Parthada while he is in LA. I'm going to try and get up to the San Jose area around that time for some additional lessons, maybe I'll see you there!
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povster

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "mhamlin"


It looks like that WILL be happening again this year, on July 31 I believe. Like Carleton, I have been taking lessons from Parthada while he is in LA. I'm going to try and get up to the San Jose area around that time for some additional lessons, maybe I'll see you there!
mhamlin, that is excellent news! I greatly look forward to attending again. If you go do PM me and we can figure how to hook up.

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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redtape

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Reply with quote  #26 
Here is the video ~ http://www.anandvyas.org/YogaforBack.html ~ it is also on You Tube. it is under 20 ins and amazing.
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redtape

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Reply with quote  #27 
Here is part 2 of three ~ this part is laying on the stomach. The last will be on knees ~ then if wanted standing for part 4

http://www.anandvyas.org/yogapart2.html
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #28 
Anand,

Thanks so much for the videos of Yoga for the back.
I found Yoga essential for regaining my ability to play in traditional siting style.
I also found a Yoga app for the iPhone on iTunes that is useful.
It was made by Deepak Chopra.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/authentic-yoga-deepak-chopra/id356907242?mt=8

Thanks again,

Carleton
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redtape

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Reply with quote  #29 
Carleton Bhai ~ brother I have the same issue so it is my honor and privilege to be a part of a special group of people on this planet that have found the "Music of the Gods" and are pursuing it ~ but getting to them is painful no :?: :!: :x :wink:

Here is part three ~
~
there is one more but what has been uploaded thus far should be about 22 minutes, three parts. I will upload more. This particular series is Amazingly efficient in time and energy = RESULTS.
About the iPhone App ~will it run on my Mac as I do not have an iPhone? I love Apple but I have my reasons with the iPhone
Thanks for that link brother
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neela sangeeta

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Reply with quote  #30 
I swear by the salubrian seat, originally designed for meditation sitting.

http://www.salubrion.com/products/l-100-seat.php

Very similar to the wedge shaped pillow others have recommended here. These product (or the edge of a pillow or folded blanket) cause the pelvis to rotate forward which engages your lower back. More than making you sit straight, it actually helps you to do the work from there, saving your hands and shoulders...

Neel
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