Explore the Floor!
Quick test. How many of you can sit down on the floor and stand back up without using your hands? Try it. I’ll wait.
Interesting exercise, isn’t it? Even the most fit of us might struggle a bit with this. And yet it turns out this can be an excellent predictor of overall mortality. The sitting-rising test was developed in the 1990s. In this study, subjects between the ages of 51 and 80 who could not achieve sitting on the floor and rising back to standing without significant assistance were 5-6 times more likely to die within the 6-year study period.
It turns out, sitting on the ground is still important. The ability to sit down and stand up without any support takes a good deal of strength and flexibility. And one way to improve both of those is to spend time on the ground. Sitting on the floor for periods of time provides a host of benefits, including joint and soft tissue mobilization. The yogis have it right. Sitting on the ground in a variety of positions can help improve flexibility and strength in the hips, ankles, knees, spine, chest and legs. Ayurvedic medicine believes it helps with digestion and joint lubrication as well.
It couldn’t be easier to establish a floor-sitting practice into your daily routine – all you have to do is, well, start sitting! And the beauty is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Start by sitting on the floor after dinner, while you read or watch TV. Start in any position you find comfortable, and change positions whenever you feel like it. Over time, you will become reacquainted to floor sitting (remember as babies, we all started out spending a good deal of time on the ground). I know I did! Since Rose and Grace were born, I’ve spent a ton of time sitting, rolling, playing and lying on the floor. I can tell you first hand that my hips have never felt better.
Give it a try and sound off in the comments. Let me know how it goes for you!
P.S. If you want to supercharge your floor sitting, try hitting up yogi master Kate Eipl’s class on Sunday’s at 11:15!
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