Can you do the Asian squat?

gray monk statue in between plant pots

Can you do the Asian squat? You know the one where your heels are touching the ground, and you can stay in that position basically forever.

I can.

After a few years of yoga though.

Finally.

Yamabushi training has reminded me exactly why hip mobility is so important. Having to sit on the floor for prolonged periods of time is one of the hardest parts about Yamabushi training.

Or at least it was.

Don’t get me wrong, I still am extremely stiff. However, I’m a lot less stiff than I was before. I can sit in Seiza (on your knees) for at least ten minutes now, and I can also sit with my knees almost touching the ground (if I give them a push, they can reach the ground).

Many people who come on our Yamabushi trainings are extremely fit, but when it comes to sitting on the floor, there’s a complete lack of flexibility.

These two things are at odds.

I’d much rather have a flexible body than a muscular one. Muscles you lose in your old age. It takes a lot to maintain them (which I intend on doing). But I also intend to be able to move around, on the floor at that.

Our modern lives have us sitting at desks a lot. Even standing desks don’t seem to be doing much to fix the problem. We need regular exercise to maintain our hip mobility, and for whatever reason, we just aren’t getting it.

Not only that, being able to do the squat helps with your bowel movements, and keeps a healthy gut.

If you can’t Asian squat, why not? And what would it take for you to be able to? Definitely give it a try.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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