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Several months ago I began integrating mobility practice into my life, and one thing that I started with is doing the “Asian squat”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out this hilarious video (duration: 5 minutes). Basically it’s an arse-to-grass full squat with heels firmly on the ground.
Contrary to what some believe, the asian squat is not particular to asians, nor are asians the only race who can do them. In fact, squatting is the human’s natural rest (and defecation) position and it comes naturally to kids. I have observed many times how easily my little nephews plonk down into a squat when they want to examine something on the ground, but western adults lose the flexibility to squat properly because they do so much sitting in chairs and on western toilets (yep, another example of how chairs have ruined us). Wearing shoes with raised heels has also impaired our ankle flexibility, making it difficult to squat without raising our heels.
Fortunately it is something which we can fix with a little practice. So now when I’m waiting to cross the road, down I go into squat. Ditto with waiting for a train, bus, doctor’s waiting room, whatever. I feel a little weird, especially when there are perfectly good chairs going vacant, but hey, who’s watching anyway. How about this for a challenge: when I am watching Masterchef, I have to go into a squat every time a contestant says the word “gutted” and can’t get up until someone says the words “plate up”. Until my ankles become flexible enough to allow my body weight to shift backwards, it is a bit of a pain and definitely not a position I could sustain for a long period of time at the moment, but is a technique which could well come handy in the right time, right place, off the beaten track.
How to Squat Properly – Mark’s Daily Apple
Ido Portal’s 30 min/day Squat Challenge
Easystool Win-win, practice your squats while taking a dump. Quickly transforms your western toilet into a squat loo.