What is the standard kneeling Seiza
Currently, the Seiza type of sitting kneeling has been officially recognized by Japan as the standard way of sitting in Japan. This type of sitting has very clear rules about the sitting position and instructions on how to sit properly:
The big toes of the legs are overlapping, the distance between the knees is 10 to 15cm for men, for women it is possible to close together, straight back, hands on thighs, head straight, mouth closed, eyes looking forward.
When doing the Seiza sitting style, first you need to kneel down first then adjust the two big toes on top of each other, then lower the center of the body (you can use your hands to support the balance ) to adjust the knee to the standard. For men, the knee regulation is 10-15 cm apart, but in reality this distance is not measured, they only estimate it, just practice it a few times, you will know how to adjust the distance for fit. For women who don’t require distance and it’s best to keep your knees close to each other. After the legs have adjusted properly, you only need to sit up straight, your hands on your thighs, for women with your hands on top of each other, for men with your hands on your thighs, hands stretched or maybe grasp.
When sitting correctly in this posture, you will definitely feel constricted, aching joints, knees and sitting for a long time will numb the leg. To be able to sit for a long time in this kneeling position, you need to be persistent and a tip is not to think about your feet, so calm and relax as much as possible. When you have numb feet, standing up improperly is also very dangerous. A lot of friends after practicing sitting up Seiza fell quite painful, although not heavy but sometimes very dangerous so you pay attention when standing up can use your hand to stand and stand up straight and fast.
What kind of sitting Seiza means
When I tried to practice sitting in the Seiza style, I have consulted the meaning of this sitting style on many documents and I find the most profound and logical is probably this sentence:
For people, having to respectfully respect others is self-inhibiting behavior
Traditional kneeling is essentially a combination of meditation and adoration from the Edo period, which both shows respect for others and creates inhibition for oneself while the pose must remain the same. and still keep calm. This type of sitting implies that a person should be polite and restrain himself in all situations.
Today the traditional way of kneeling in Japan is maintained in many families. In some high-ranking ceremonies in Japan, the Japanese prime minister also frequently sits in the Seiza style to perform the ritual that proves the importance of Seiza in the hearts of the Japanese. Nowadays, many families in Japan have adopted a Western lifestyle and gradually abandoned traditional concepts, but I still hope that the art of sitting in Japan will not fade away over time because it is not just a way to sit. It is also an art only in Japan.