For this Toastmasters speech, I needed to entertain my audience.
As you read this, picture me sitting on my haunches, atop a conference table.
My goal? To demonstrate:
a) The benefits of squatting.
b) The cultural politics of squatting.
My investigation into it began three years ago. During that time, I was having work done on my home. For several weeks, a small crew of men gathered each morning, under my my back yard gazebo. Their ages ranged from early twenties to early eighties. All were Cambodian.
One by one they arrived, each waiting for the rest in a squat, as I’m doing. Rather than squirming with pain as I’m doing, they squatting with Olympian ease. Relaxed in the posture, they sipped coffee, munched pastries, chatted, and smoked. Once assembled, they stood without groaning the way I do, and set to work.
At lunchtime, they reconvened in the same manner. After ladling of freshly steamed rice from their rice cooker onto their plates, topped it with fragrant grilled meat and veggies from their toaster oven, they squatted to eat. Afterwards, they remained squatting, for a final chat, a sweet, and a smoke.
A yoga teacher mentioned that, thanks to squatting, people in India don’t suffer from knee and back problems the way Americans do.
Voila! It helped my knee, the one I broke twice last year!
The Internet confirms it.
In the Bathroom, squatting helps:
- Hemorrhoids, diverticulosis, and hernias. European suffer 10 times more colon cancer!
- No bathroom straining prevents heart attacks that be caused by it.
- It alleviates incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and helps pregnancy,
- It guards reproductive organs, including the prostate. USA Today, January 5, 2000: African Americans have the world’s highest rate of prostate cancer. Africans have extremely low rates. Overall, Westerners endure prostate cancer 30 to 50 more than Asians.
The way it aligns muscles and organs helps everything from the feet on up through the torso to the shoulders.
So why don’t we, unlike the ancient Romans, do it? I don’t own a squat toilet. Instead, I do deep squats throughout the day.
Do friends and family I’ve encouraged do it? No way. Not even those who grew up where squat toilets were de rigueur.
If you don’t already, would you consider squatting? Can you squat?