Monday, January 19, 2015

Sitting on the Floor

Sitting still on the floor comfortably takes practice
I'm a fan of capturing small moments throughout the day for a little bit of movement and mobility training. I live is a city so I default to walking as much as possible. I take the stairs when possible. Another easy example of this would be to sit on the floor as much as you can.

Floor sitting is incredibly simple yet particularly difficult for many of us due to modern life. Sitting comfortably in a cross-legged requires hip girdle and leg flexibility along with low back and neck strength. You engage your core in a way that builds in intensity rather quickly if you aren't practiced at floor sitting. Chair sitting, as we normally sit, works at odds to all of the components that go into floor sitting.

Practicing yoga asana (postures) was originally focused on making the body more comfortable in a seated position for meditation. Sitting quietly on the floor is literally grounding--you become directly connected to the ground which has calming mental benefits.
Kids can do it and so can you
Sitting on the floor also connects you to children better because you meet them on their terms. You can participate in their play and learning more directly. Kids love it when adults get "silly" by getting down on the floor with them.

There are many examples of different ways to sit on the floor. Mix it up. Sit with your knees tucked under you. Sit wide legged. Sit with one knee tucked back and the other crossed in front. Sit with the soles of your feet together. Variation will allow you to go longer stretches of time without having to get up. Holding a deep stationary squat is also a great way to open your hips to allow for a more comfortable seated position.

Start by sitting a few minutes at a time while watching TV; maybe just during the commercials at first. Your knees, low back and neck may become sore but consistent practice will minimize this with time.

- Master the basics before charging ahead to advanced exercise and there's not much more basic than sitting quietly on the floor.
MovNat has a number of great ideas for helping you to sit better

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