By sitting with crossed legs the hip muscles gain strength and eases the hip joints. Unlike sitting crammed in a chair when sitting erect with crossed legs there is a stability imparted to our body.
There are varied names in Tamil for sitting with crossed legs with regional variations. It is also called as Sukhasana. This posture strengthens the body and thereby protecting us from diseases. Let us learn more about the advantages of sitting with crossed legs.
With this consumeristic culture, our homes are crammed with various products. As they are usually kept slightly above the ground level as are habituated to crawl down, lean or lie down, or sit down to reach out to the items we want to use. We are habituated to run all the time restlessly with no time to sit, relax and even have food patiently. Even if we wish to relax for sometime our mind tries to go and sit on a chair or couch.
Those soft cushions, sofas, couches, dining tables, cosy cots have separated us from the floor and made us float comfortably. We prefer to continue our life with lots of comfort as we have become affluent. Along those comforts we contract new types of diseases too. As there is no chance for us to lean down and do our household work the hip regions gather so much of fat creating many fleshy flaps. We have lost the ease naturally gained out of sitting on the floor with crossed legs, chatting and having food or for any other household activities.
Wherever we go, be it a hotel, marriage hall or public places we have accustomed to table culture. This is become our habit at home as well. This is an evolutionary process that has occurred since the last twenty years. It is time now to bring back the culture of sitting on the floor with crossed legs, at least at home, if not in the outdoors and public places.
Today, it is considered a great achievement if someone gets up after sitting with crossed legs on the floor. Just like any other exercises youngsters consider it as a punishment. This notion should be changed to look at it positively. They need to be informed about the innumerable benefits of sitting on the floor with crossed legs and having food.
The best way to ensure that the food we consume get digested properly is to have it with crossed legs. When we sit on the floor with crossed legs, we need to bend down to have our food, thereby providing considerable stretching to the muscles of the abdomen. The compression created due to that will facilitate gastric secretion. This will further facilitate timely prompting of the brain through enzymes when hunger is satiated. If we have food on tables, the prompting will take more time to inform the brain which in turn make us consume more amount of food by the time. This will add more calories to our body leading to obesity. Hence those who intend to reduce body weight should practise sitting on the floor with crossed legs, having food.
It's very natural to have appetite when we begin to sit with crossed legs. But, there arises more problems as we forego the habit of sitting with crossed legs, and finally go in search of synthetic drugs to induce appetite. Half the benefits that we could garnered from ‘Padmasana’ posture by keeping the legs on both the thighs can be gained through ‘Sukhasana’, by sitting on the floor with crossed legs. Further, medical research shows that it helps strengthening the body and prevents joint pain and arthritis. Those who are not able to sit on Padmasana posture are advised simply to have crossed legs, at least, by some posture related records.
By sitting with crossed legs the hip muscles gain strength and eases the hip joints. Unlike sitting crammed in a chair when sitting erect with crossed legs there is a stability imparted to our body. Folding the legs facilitate tiredness to disappear and so the body begins to function briskly. Blood flow on the upper portion of the body improves. It also helps blood to circulate rapidly, thereby preventing us from many diseases. crossed legs help in calming the mind and also facilitate concentration.
A research finding confirms that sitting with crossed legs daily increases longevity. There is a custom of determining once lifespan based on the ability to stand up without the support of hands from the sitting position. What it means is that if you are able to stand up without any kind of tiredness after a brief period of sitting, your lifespan is longer. Research shows that the chances of getting disorders related to equilibrium is lesser for a person who has been following this practice of sitting with crossed legs since childhood.
Have we ever thought about the duration of our contact with the floor in a day? There are so many who don’t even have a shortest time of contact with the floor. It’s presumed that only for the past twenty years or so that we have detached ourselves from the floor contact and not sitting on the floor. We are losing the precious habit of sitting on the floor that was ingrained in our genetic material, generation after generation. If we don’t teach our children to sit on the floor at least now, we might have to send them for special classes to do so in the future. In order to protect the health of our family members, it is high time to remove the dining tables at our homes and enjoy sitting on the floor together.
It is in our hands to revive the practice of sitting on the floor with crossed legs on a pithy mat or a bed sheet, huddle together with our close relatives and other family members, sharing the stories of the past, trying to recreate the lost world of our past.
(This article written in Tamil by Dr V Vikaramkumar, MD(S) has been reproduced in English by VAmalan Stanley)