Kipling famously said that the, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. Nowhere is it more evident than in the notion of rest. In most parts of the developed world, resting is synonymous with sitting. Not so in the East where they have been comfortably squatting –for millennia.
But the million dollar question here is what is better from a health point of view. It seems that eastern wisdom trumps western wisdom here. Like an instructor at an east London yoga class said, “A guru once told me that the problem with the West is that they don’t squat.”
This is of course true with most of us in the West sitting in desk chairs, eating from dining chairs, commuting seated in cars or trains and the get comfortable on a couch watching television. Large parts of the rest of the planet prefer to squat while resting, praying, eating, or using a toilet.
No squatting and too much sitting is apparently not good for us in bio mechanical and psychological terms. Humans it seems are meant to squat, not sit. Squatting is a grounding force that has been doing humans a world of good since the times of our hominid ancestors. We in the West lost the art of squatting on account of our toilet design of all reasons!
It seems that the move away from squatting wasn’t really all that good for us after all. There is a world of scientific and medical evidence that would tell you that not squatting is quite detrimental to the human body.