Because it’s good for you!
Squatting is one of the most effective ways to improve flexibility of the ankles, knees, hips and low back – it also helps with digestion too and boosts the circulation.
Unfortunately though, many people have lost the ability to squat with insufficient joint range and a lack of soft tissue flexibility making it impossible to come anywhere close to getting their butt close to the floor without falling over.
This man can not get his heels to the floor so he his squatting asymmetrically and you may notice the increased curvature in the middle part of his back to compensate for the loss of range in his hips and lumbar region – if he didn’t hunch forward like this, he would topple over backwards. Compare his stance to the young boy who squats so naturally, with feet flat and length throughout his spine.
As long as you don’t suffer with joint pain it is not too late to get started with improving your ability to squat – spend a little time practicing each day and in no time you will start to notice the benefits, feeling more supple as you go about your usual activities and likely an ease in your walking – you may even find yourself running upstairs with unusual vigour!
The Buttafly can be used in two ways to help you on your way to achieving a satisfying squat. The techniques are different to focus on different aspects of the squat – as you will no doubt feel for yourself.
Start off in standing with a Standard Buttafly placed under your heels – the wedged shape makes this nice and comfortable. Then slowly bend the hips and knees coming into a squat, holding onto something in front of you if necessary. The support under the heels will take the stress off the tissues along the back line of the body. Let yourself sink gradually deeper into the fullness of range at the hips and knees. If you have any pain, stop, try again tomorrow and if you are still having problems consult with a physio or sports therapist.
The second way is use a Standard or Tall Buttafly for support under the bottom while squatting. Ideally you want your knees and feet to be in line with your hips, the toes pointing forwards and your feet flat. At this stage don’t worry about how close your feet are to your bottom – just bend the knees as much as you can while keeping the heels on the floor.
Bend the knees jsut as much as you can to achieve this. It is much easier to spend time here focusing your attention on the hips or the ankles to help settle deeper into the pose. It can be really useful to use a mirror to ensure that the mid back is not rounding too much – also make sure the gaze is kept down towards the floor helping to keep the back of the neck long.
I encourage everyone – Yogis and non-Yogis alike to take their morning cuppa squatting like this – in no time at all you will start feeling much more supple overall.