The forgotten art of squatting is a revelation for bodies ruined by sitting. In most developed countries of the world such as UK, France, US and other first world resting is a synonym for sitting. Squatting is completely forgotten. Chairs, benches, sofas are arranged for proper sitting, and the automobiles too are not made for squatting. There is a complete cessation of squatting. In some cultures in countries such as Nigeria, squatting is considered more as a traditional way of greeting another person – not a position one is expected to stay for long.
Our failure to squat has biochemical and physiological implications but it also points to something bigger. In a world where we spend so much time in our heads, in the cloud, on our phones, the absence of squatting has dire consequences. However, if what we want is to be well, we might need to get a little lower and closer to the floor.
While most Western countries have ignored this posture, a large swathe of the planet’s population still practices it. Whether to eat, to dialogue or to pray, squatting has become the daily habit of some people. For example, in Northern Nigeria, most Hausa people squat to take their food, not that sitting is not practised as well but squatting is not considered as strange as well. In Asia and Africa, a large number of ethnic groups squat in easing themselves.
So why is squatting good for us?
Every joint in our body has synovial fluid in it. This is oil in our body that provides nutrition to the cartilage. Two things are required to produce the fluid: movement and compression. This is what squatting entails. In the end, we should behave like our ancestors hominids, and squat, because squatting that is where we came from.