Why do yogis squat?
Why do yogis squat?
As you might very well know, ancient and modern yogis alike squat a lot. There are many reasons for this – one of them being that squatting is a highly grounding posture. It connects us to the earth and grounds us on an energetic level – meaning, we feel more grounded in our own bodies and minds when we practice squatting. (Learn all about Getting Grounded: What It Means and How to Get It.) In times when you need to muster up a state of calm, bringing yourself into grounding poses can be highly beneficial.
The yogi’s squatting pose is called malasana, or garland pose in English. It works on the lower body in rather amazing ways – toning the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, buttocks, lower back and core muscles.
The ancient yogis, and also modern people in the East, squat all the time as they cook food, hang out with friends and family, or wait for the bus. This seems strange to us Westerners who sit in chairs, on couches or drive around in cars all day. But the truth is, we need to follow the lead of these squatting cultures in order to preserve our bodies. Squatting helps counteract the weakening that occurs when we sit for long periods of time.
Yogis believe that squatting helps the digestive process and also aids in elimination. Squatting helps move things downward, toward the earth, which is also said to help the mind become clearer. In terms of health, squatting makes way more sense than sitting in a desk chair in front of a computer all day long. It has really positive effects on the body as opposed to the slumping down we do when sitting on the couch in front of the television for hours on end.
Practice malasana every single day to strengthen and tone the abdomen and all parts of the lower body – and get a clear, calm mind in the process. (Read on about Mind-Body Health and Happiness.)
Have a question? Ask us here.
Written by Aimee Hughes
Aimee is a yogi and writer who's been practicing yoga daily for more than 21 years. Since a journey to India when she was 20, the practice has been her constant companion. She loves exploring the vast and seemingly endless worlds of yoga. Aimee has also written a book titled, "The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex."Full Bio