Humans are meant to sit on the ground! Our evolved anatomy is for sitting, not lounging. While chairs and couches are comfy, they disrupt our natural posture. Let’s start with 5 of the many reasons to return to the practice of sitting on the floor! Plus, learn how meditation cushions like melloBe make this a lot easier :)
Reason #1 - Chairs are bad for you!
Regular, all-day use of chairs is a relatively new practice for humans. For most of our existence, we’ve sat on the ground. Now, the 40-60 hour work-week puts us in chairs for most of our waking hours. We slouch and slump and fall into couches! This practice weakens our cores, leading to pain in the lower/upper back, shoulders, and neck. We now slouch both when we sit and when we stand, perpetuating the weakening of muscles in the torso that contribute to chronic pain. But meditation cushions are good for you, because they do return us to a more natural position!
Reason #2 - Improve your posture!
Sitting on the floor naturally engages your core and back, strengthening your muscles. While uncomfortable at first, this will over time build your stamina and improve your posture. You’ll find yourself standing taller, slouching less, and experiencing less pain. People will definitely notice your new posture. Side note: it's a lot easier to build this posture when you feel comfortable, so try focusing on your posture while sitting on a meditation cushion.
Reason #3 - Build strength and flexibility!
Sitting on the floor also engages your abdominal muscles and hip joints, which can greatly improve your flexibility. It’s like getting a small workout each time you sit down! Enjoy a tighter core, looser hips, and a stronger back just from your daily dose of sitting. Ever notice that people who practice yoga also often meditate and vice versa? Try a meditation cushion, even if you're not using it for meditation, to build your flexibility!
Reason #4 - Improve your longevity!
Being able to get up and down from the floor without using you hands has been shown to correlate with longevity. If you can do this, you most likely have strong and flexible legs, a healthy core, and good balance. As you age, you’ll avoid falls and strains, which are common reasons for hospitalization and decreased quality of life. Of course sitting on the floor alone won’t make you live longer, but it’s a simple test to check your strength and flexibility and an easy adjustment to make to improve your health.
Reason #5 - Connect your mind and body!
Because sitting on the floor engages your muscles, it also brings awareness to your mind and body. This position automatically sets the nervous system to a calm, self-aware mode. There’s a reason most meditators sit on the floor or on meditation cushions! This position even puts you closer to children, animals, and nature :) Your best bet is to actually spend some time practicing mindfulness using a meditation cushion. But sitting on the floor or cushion, regardless, is a great step!
Sitting on the floor may take some getting used to! You are using new muscles, so if you find it difficult, give yourself time! Begin by sitting on a meditation cushion for a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase as your strength and flexibility grow. You’ll eventually find that sitting on the floor (especially with a meditation cushion) with your chest our and shoulders back is naturally a more comfortable position.
If you want an extra boost to your comfort and posture, check out a melloBe meditation cushion! Designed to straighten your back, open your hips, and relax your knees, they’ll do wonders for your floor-sitting journey!