Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sikh Wedding Ceremony - Sit Cross-Legged for over an Hour

Sikh Wedding Ceremony - How to Sit Cross-Legged for over an Hour

How to sit on the floor at a Sikh Wedding without killing your legs and back!

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Attending or participating in a Sikh Wedding ceremony can be a struggle if you are not used to sitting on the floor for a long period of time. Here is a brief guide to help you get though the Sikh Holy Matrimony Anand Karaj event and experience some bliss before your legs fall asleep and the lower back gives out.

Sikh Wedding Posture -Prolonged Sitting
Sikh Wedding Posture -Prolonged Sitting
When attending a Sikh marriage at a Sikh temple or an Indian Destination Wedding expect to sit on the floor for at least 1 – 2 hours. The legs must be kept bent and are NOT to point toward the altar for the entire duration. We suggest that you wear pants or slacks that cover your legs, and pants that are not too tight fitting. Wearing a Western dress will not be a great idea even if it is long and for formal wear. Try wearing an Indian Punjabi Suit or Kameez Salwar. Sitting with your knees raised is perfectly acceptable but this can get tiring and soon you will find yourself shuffling. The goal is to sit comfortably and peacefully for a long period of time.  Sitting in the cross-legged position is preferred while some people like to sit on their knees. It is advisable for the the bride and groom to build up their stamina for sitting up to an hour on the floor prior to their wedding day.
Sitting in temple, Knees elevated
Sitting in temple, Knees elevated
Here are a few Tips and Suggestions for sitting more easily on the floor:
If you choose to sit cross-legged, it is important to have your knees level with or below your hips. If you are having difficulty maintaining a straight spine while sitting cross-legged, begin by sitting on the edge of a cushion, zafu cushion, bolster, or rolled blanket. For additional support, place rolled blankets or bolsters under your knees. You may find that with the knees supported, the inner groins relax, and when you take the supports away, your knees drop further easily.
Difficulty Sitting Cross Legged Sikh Wedding
Difficulty Sitting Cross Legged Sikh Wedding
Tightness in the inner thighs and hips is often connected to tension in the deep muscles of the abdomen (like the psoas). You can begin to release your pelvis by practicing breathing deeply into your abdomen. Focus on the rise and fall of your belly as you inhale and exhale. In all of the poses that follow, imagine the exhalation releasing out of your pelvis and through your legs, helping the thighs to relax and let go.
Elevated Seating with Cushion Under Sit-Bones
Elevated Seating with Cushion Under Sit-Bones
One basic sitting position is called “Easy Seat,” or sitting cross legged. The sitting cross legged gives you the basic requisites for a comfortable sitting position after just a little bit of practice. The important points, no matter what sitting position you choose, is that your pelvis is neutral, your spine is naturally stacked preserving its natural curves and your head is balanced without requiring effort or tension in the neck, throat and shoulders. Your arms should rest effortlessly on your thighs when your in this sitting position.
Elevated Seating Front View, Knees drop
Elevated Seating Front View, Knees drop

If you are having an outside the Temple Sikh Wedding or a Destination Sikh Wedding and the Posture Police is not going to be around, it is highly advisable to bring a meditation chair, meditation cushion or meditation stool. All of these products are designed so you are NOT sitting higher then the Sikh scriptures or stage and are within the norms of the accepted tradition/protocol. Your ideal goal is to keep your knees lower then the hips and lower back, sitting pain free.
We wish you happy and peaceful sitting during the Sikh Wedding Ceremony. Remember to bring your own cushion or blanket (BYOB), you will thank us!
If you are wanting an outsider’s perspective of  Sikh Wedding experience: A must read blog.
Here are other options for sitting on the floor using various props, meditation chairs, blankets,  cushion, or meditation stool.  Always remember to keep the knees lower then the HIPS!

Folding Meditation Seat
Folding Meditation Seat

Meditation Chair for Floor
Meditation Chair for Floor
Kneeling Chair
Kneeling Chair


Meditation-Cushion
Meditation-Cushion








If you have any questions pertaining to a priest for a Sikh Wedding Ceremony, or protocol or traditions such as easy sitting during the wedding, the Palla Ceremony or Anand Kaaraj please contact us:
Telephone or Email NOW!
(604) 759 – 0989 
music@freedomandleela.com

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