Sunday, 20 August 2017

Floor sitting – Change your environment (slowly)


We’ve all heard the line ‘sitting is the new smoking’ and all the hyperbole that goes with it. I’m not here to talk about how good or bad sitting is because Netflix is amazing and I’m not going to watch it standing, or in a squat position. I’m also not about to get rid of my couches and go furniture free (As Katy Bowman does). So the best option as I see it is floor sitting.

Sitting on the floor is something natural to humans; Stone Age people weren’t building chairs. The issue is that modern life and all its sitting has left us unable to sit comfortable on the floor for any length of time. It was one of the hardest things about camping on the North-South track, to find somewhere to sit comfortably to relax and eat. So we have to ease into it in a productive manner.

No a lot of seats around

My floor at home is rather hard lino over wood, so it’s extremely uncomfortable to sit on without padding. My first thought was to go out and buy some big cushions to sit on when I realised I already had a bunch, on my couch. So pull one off the couch, throw it on the floor and sit down.

No need to buy an extra cushion

Now I wanted to sit in a productive way, working on mobility in good positions, so I didn’t want any leaning on my hands, against a wall, or in internal rotation. So my main sitting position is cross legged. The first goal was to collect 15 total minutes per night. To start with this was 5 minutes until my legs got pins and needles, then stand up, move around, take a break on the couch, then collect another 5 minutes. After a few weeks of this every other night or every couple of nights per week I was able to go a full 15 minutes without a break. The next step was the same, but collecting several 15 minute blocks (2-3 per night).

Just collect time in that position

I’m currently at the point where I do 15 minutes cross legged, then 15 minutes of various stretching positions, then another 15 minutes cross legged. The point is I didn’t throw away my couch; I made simple changes to my daily life, which required no extra time. I was already sitting, I didn’t add a mobility practice, my sitting is becoming my mobility practice.

Some mobility work while watching tv.

Try it out for yourself: Take a cushion off your couch put in on the floor and sit cross legged until it gets too uncomfortable to stay there (not painful, if it’s painful you have other things to work on first). Repeat daily until sitting on the floor becomes a normal part of your routine.You can shape your environment.

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