benefits of sitting on the floor and eating: Sitting on the floor, cross-legged, has a positive impact on your entire system. We rush madly against time for everything we need in life and thus neglect the basic rules and order of our daily routine. The food that we savor and the sitting position had changed with time. The ideal posture or asana while eating is an age-old traditional method of sitting on the floor. The majority of the people in and around East Asian countries still enjoy their meals squatting on the floor. Sukhasana, sitting down on the floor cross-legged is the simplest posture in Yoga and it implies a state of comfort and joy.
The dining habits across the globe have changed, with times and impacted our regular digestive process, severely. This neglect has also become the cause of many health issues. Usually, we tend to ease on a couch or a sofa or even on a chair while eating; unaware of the effect it has on our overall health. However, Sitting on the floor is a lot more beneficial, when compared to the other sitting habits. Let us, rediscover some of the health benefits from sitting on the floor while eating.
benefits of sitting on the floor and eating
1. Digestion and Yoga:
When you sit on the floor to eat, you got to bend down forward to gulp in the nibbles and back to your straight posture to chew and swallow the morsel. This movement of bending forward and straightening your back (spine), acts as a simulator for digestion. It activates your abdominal muscles thereby increasing the secretion of the digestive juices essential for breaking down the food. Also, the pressure applied to the lower part of your spine (tail-bone), makes you feel relaxed. All these actions occur simultaneously, even without you knowing the secrets of digestion.
The pose in Yoga is also termed as Swastikasana, Siddhasana, or Sukhasana. In brief, you are doing two healthy acts at the same time – eating and practicing yoga. This posture might be difficult, to begin with, but once you start trying, I’m sure it will be a lot easier and enjoyable. A special bond is also created among the family members as all are seated on the same level.
2. Strengthens Knee and Hip Joints:
Sitting on the floor and eating brings about a back and forth movement, which, in turn, makes your knees, hip, and ankle, joints to move constantly. The rocking motion of the mid-upper body makes the joints more flexible. This posture will help lubricate your joints making them healthy and also reduces the risk of chronic backache.
According to the author PS Venkateshwara, in his book called “Yoga for Healing”, Sukhasana and Padmasana are incredible yoga poses that have multiple benefits on one’s body. It helps the digestive system to function properly and also ensure that the joints are flexible and supple. synovial fluid is already present in the joint of healthy knees but is found in lower concentrations in joints affected by osteoarthritis. However, Sukhasana will help you, lower the wear and tear of muscles and also keeps such common degenerative diseases (Arthritis and Osteoporosis) at bay. The overall effect is to have a more flexible body that helps us easier to sit on the floor.
3. Blood Circulation-Heart:
At times, while sitting on the floor and eating you feel warm and even sweaty. Because our stomach starts working and needs more energy to digest the food that we intake. Our hearts pump out more blood in order to meet the requirement of the stomach, thereby assisting our digestive system. However, when you sit on a chair, the blood flow is towards the legs, and further delays the process of digestion.
But, when you sit on the floor and eat, your heart enjoys supplying more blood to the digestive organs. The heart gets the benefit of circulation as the blood is easily pumped through, to all the organs engaged indigestion. Therefore, sitting on the floor and eating helps you have a better heart circulation and better functioning of your digestive system.
4. Controls Weight Check:
It’s a proven scientific fact that sitting on the floor and eating can help you lose weight. When you sit on the floor with your legs crossed, your brain naturally calms down. In turn, you tend to focus on the quality of food; the taste and the quantity until you feel satiated. So, when you eat less, you will not add those extra fats.
The reason people overeat is that they aren’t aware when they are full. Usually, the nerve called “vagus” transmits signals between the brain and the stomach. This nerve sends cognate signals to the brain, whether you are hungry or content with the food you intake. But, when you sit on the floor and eat, this nerve performs better and transmits signals efficiently. This position also makes you eat slower than one would usually do while eating on a table, further preventing overeating and bingeing.
5. Improves Body Posture:
Posture is the most vital factor when it comes to being healthy. Good posture not only helps prevent injuries but also reduces undue strain on certain muscles and joints. Improper posture can lead to fatigue, wear, and tear of muscles and ligaments. It can also lead to unusual bend or curve in the spine leading to permanent disability.
When you sit and eat on the floor you are seated in a yoga pose, Sukhasana. This yoga pose relaxes and calms your mind and body as meditation does. The process of breathing slows down, muscles relax and the blood pressure levels come down to normal. As most of us spend hours sitting before computers or slumping on the couch, we are prone to develop structural problems. A calmer mind and relaxed muscles are always the keys to a better body and health.
However, sitting on the floor keeps your spine straight and your shoulders relaxed. It will naturally correct the poor posture as you relish your meal.
6. Helps You Live A Little Longer:
Well, it’s true, that sitting on the floor and eating can add those extra years to your well-being. It not only helps in digestion but also strengthens your lower body muscles. A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology stated that people who could get up without any support are likely to live longer. It also claims that those who could not get up from this posture on their own, without any support are less likely to live longer.
Thus, the amount of flexibility and the lower body strength can be enhanced by sitting on the floor in Sukhasana or Padmasana for a longer and healthy life.
7. Strengthens Family Bonding:
The practice of sitting on the floor and eating is still a family activity in most of the Asian countries. This time is most valuable for every member to share and care for each other. When you are on the floor, you are at the same level with the kids, making it easier to connect and understand their emotions. Same time, it also reduces stress levels to a great extent. One of the main aspects of sitting on the floor is a calm and peaceful mind –that helping you listen more intently without being arrogant.
This is the best way to bond with your family members in the present scenario, wherein everyone is hooked up to their smartphones.
8. Humbleness and Well-Being:
When you sit on the floor, your shoulders are relaxed, spine straight and your body pushed back. They say a good posture has a soothing impact on your overall well-being, so, brings in a refreshing spirit to your healthy well-being.
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The great Sage and Monks meditate by sitting on the floor with legs crossed. Many spiritual and religious beliefs have proved that when you sit on the floor, you are at the same level as kids, animals, and other living beings. So, spiritually, you connect with Nature, elevating yourself above the highs & lows, the rich or poor, the ugly or the beautiful. This practice teaches you to be more humble and respectful towards fellow beings.
The best way to relish your food with great health benefits i.e better digestion, joints and muscle flexibility, healthier heart, controlled weight and above all a beautiful mind. What more can you ask for? Keep trying for better health benefits.
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