In Buddhist tradition a bench or a pillow is often used to create a kneeling-like position that can be maintained for extended periods of Zen meditation discipline. The weight of the torso is lifted off the ankles and the forward tilting seat opens up the angle between trunk and thighs, putting the back into its natural S-shaped alignment." Three Norwegian designers Oddvin Rykken, Peter Opsvik and Prof. Svein Gusrud developed saddle chairs and stools based on this principle. This way of sitting became known in countries all over the world. One chair in particular sold in high volumes in Europe, USA and Japan; the Balans Variable, designed by Opsvik.