Squatting. Is that like…mmmmh…. a bad word?!
Remember that song that goes “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s — gone”?
Heartache aside, you don’t know the range of joint mobility you’ve got ’til it’s — gone.
Every(human)body should be able to squat. Comfortably squat.
Feet flat on the ground, let your bottom fall by gravity and there you go. Your entire spine, neck-to-coccyx, relaxes.
It is a resting position. It is a working position. It is a multipurpose movement. It is the most natural way a kid would bend down to get something off of the floor.
Still thinking it is weird?
“Weirdness” and its opposite “normality” are byproducts of society and culture. What you consider to be weird other people would consider to be ordinary. It is a matter of society unwritten rules. Habits. Fashion. Coolness.
Now I ask you to zoom out a bit and to think globally. We, the ‘Westerners’ (1,3 bln), are the only society on the Planet to set a norm that is ‘uncool’ to squat in public. Which is namely to take a resting position natural to the human body, without the need of any external prop like a chair.
Africans (1,111 bln), they do it. Indians (1,252 bln), they do it. Chinese (1,357 bln), they do it.
1,3 bln not squatting people VS. 3,7 bln squatting people (times 3!)
What’s wrong with all these billions of squatting people? Nothing is wrong. If simple math talks to you, it is natural. Just natural.
Having said so, I understand if you don’t want to go against society rules for the sake of bon-ton. So practice squatting when nobody sees you…
Practice it in the shower, at lunch time in the office, on a desert island, on a solo ride in the elevator, when you are chatting with your mobile…
Learn how to squat in a safe way
Squatting is the movement of bending your knees at various degrees, so that you can rest your body comfortably, or you can absorb shocks through your legs, or you can prepare for a strength explosion, or… a lot of other things.
You can start by helping support your weight and balance leaning on a chair, wall, door, tree.
If you practice a few minutes of squatting every day slowly your body will get used to it (used to it again, since no doubt you were doing it when you were a kid).
Ideally, you want to aim at touching the ground with both of your heels (flat feet on the ground) and hang out squatting for several minutes in a raw. You can use the squatting position while you are reading a book, waiting for a friend, working with the computer, watching videos, hanging out at the beach, etc.
To learn why you should start practicing squatting right now read my thoughts about it in the Natural Lifestyle Titbits Series.
I’d like to share with you here some of the wise words about squatting from my inspirational teacher of biomechanics and movement Katy Bowman.
An amazing thing happened today: I didn't choose a squat, a squat chose me. I started squatting almost 10 years ago because I figured out that I needed to. I understood the benefits, and would choose to squat, but it wasn't reflexive like it is for my kids or others who know only squats. I often think "I need to squat" and then get into the position. It's an exercise for me–a movement that I select because of the benefits I'd like to reap. But this morning I was working on the floor and then at some point moved into a squat …and I have no recollection of getting there. It wasn't an exercise, it was reflexive. Things are changing. Not just my hips, but my BRAIN. And that's very exciting. #deculture #rewild #MoveYourDNA #nutritiousmovement
SHELTER. Just finished reading Hatchet (great kids book on survival and living in nature), which has prompted kiddos to spend a couple days creating their own shelter out of the nature in our yard. Also, check out the #squat in motion. I recommend a "form" for a squat so you can measure how you're body is moving–where it is and where it isn't. But there is no right or wrong way to squat because squatting isn't a position, it's a movement. Expanded upon in #MoveYourDNA, working in a squat means your squat needs to take on many different forms. Use an initial form to take stock and plan your "transitioning to a squat-capable body" program, but don't mistake that one squat position for "all squats possible" or "the only squat that's of benefit." #thinkdynamic #lesspositionmoremovement #backyardrewild #gooutside #happysaturday
I got these pictures from Katy Bowman’s public Instragram profile @NutritiousMovement. Head over to Nutritious Movement to learn A LOT about how to re-introduce healthy movements in your day-to-day life.