While sitting in seiza is still challenging enough, I at least learned the proper way to stand up as part of my training in Japanese manner for the kimono competition. Kimono-sensei’s method was to slide one foot into a perched position first, and then used it to push yourself straight up, with the other foot naturally sliding to join it. Sitting down into seiza is similar in that one foot slides behind you as you lower yourself to the tatami mats.

However, Tea-sensei has since instructed me that in the omotesenke school of tea ceremony, the feet stay together. In order to pull this off gracefully, it requires a little more leaning and lifting from the balls of your feet, your knees, back, and… shoulders? I can’t say I have it down to a graceful-looking science yet, though I’ve more or less picked it up well enough that I don’t always feel I’m going to topple over. Toppling over would be a bad thing in pretty much any setting, but even worse when you’re carrying antique tea tools. Thankfully I do not (yet) have any horror stories to report!

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