A habit for healthy body and mind.
By Arun Kumar Bharati
Eating at a table and chair is not healthy. But the age-old Indian trdition of sitting on the floor and eating is scientifically proved the right way to eat. When we sit on
floor to eat in India we generally sit cross-legged which is also a posture in yoga known as sukhasana or padmasana.
You don’t just sit on the floor, you do yoga
So when you sit in sukhasana and eat, not only are you eating but you are multi-tasking and doing yoga at the same time. The posture allows you to calm the mind and applies pressure to the lower spine which may facilitate relaxation.
Helps in digesting food
When you sit on the floor and bend forward to eat, you go back to your natural position to swallow. This back and forth movement helps muscles in the abdomen to secrete digestive juices and helps in digesting the food properly and quickly.
Helps in relaxing of muscles
When you squat or sit in padmasana, the muscles in your lower back, pelvis and around your stomach stretch reducing pain and uneasiness. The regular stretching of these vital muscles also helps to make you flexible and fit.
Helps in managing weight issues
Doing some sort of physical activity is advised by doctors, but when it’s time to eat, the best thing to do is to sit on the floor. This also involves body movement when you sit down and get up.
Improves family bonding
Eating in India is a family activity with everyone sitting together to eat. The ritual improves the bonding with the family. Also, the posture relaxes the body and is actually good to have a happy and relaxed family together.
Improves the body posture
This posture is good enough to stay healthy and fit. When we sit on the floor our body posture is automatically corrected with our back straight, expanding our spine and pushing our shoulders back, beating all the frequent pains and aches that are caused by bad posture.
Improves blood circulation and makes the heart stronger
Sitting cross-legged improves the blood circulation in our bodies as it relaxes the nerves and the pressure on it. One of digestion’s most important elements is good blood circulation. To keep up with this process, our heart tends to work overtime to help out our digestive system. Here is where sitting on the floor and eating can help out.
It makes you more humble
There is a reason monks meditate on the floor and not on chairs! According to many religious and spiritual beliefs, when you sit on the floor at the same level as children and animals, it is easier for you to connect with the spiritual side. If other reasons haven’t made you slide off your chair, then you might just consider this one!
Humans were not conditioned to sit on chairs
Sitting and eating is a recent phenomenon in India. Even maharajas used to sit on the floor and eat! In so many parts of India and Asia chairs are still not common. That humans can sit on the floor with such ease, is clear evidence that our bodies have been taking up these positions for a long time.
Relaxes the mind and calms the nerves
Sukhasana and padmasana postures calm the mind and relax tensed nerves. In ayurveda, eating with a calm and peaceful mind helps better digestion.