It is quite amazing how, after I embarked on my yoga journey, that I started to learn more about my culture and traditions. Some might say why I didn’t already know these(??!!). I recently watched a documentary that talked about traditional and modern bodies.
For example, many Indians find it very easy to sit in Lotus Pose without having ever done any kind of yoga! How come? For eons Indians sat on the floor, for all of their meals, stooping as they ate from their banana leaf or plate. This act kept their hips open. Sadly this isn’t the case anymore with middle to upper class folks all having dining tables. Thus, modern bodies.
Now-a-days many of us are unable to physically do what our grandparents (traditional bodies) could, cause instead of sitting for 30 – 40 mins a day and walking to most places we are, walking for 30-40 mins and sitting most of the time!
Innovations that came about to make our life more “convenient” is debilitating our physical body. Even when sitting on chairs most of us are either hunching, leaning far back, and/or have our legs tucked under the seat, resulting in not just poor posture but also poor blood circulation.
Another damaging act is how we carry things. Indian, South-East Asian, and African women, who live in villages, always carry heavy items on their heads. Sometimes the items weighs as much as them. I remember seeing women and men, who worked in construction, carry 4x4x7 (sometimes more!!) layers of bricks on their heads and walk to and from the truck to the place the bricks were needed. Us women are guilty of carrying bags that contain everything but the kitchen sink on one shoulder (!!!) which causes us to become misaligned. The latest backpack trend, in a way, isn’t a bad thing after all ;)
I in particular am a little saddened that I have actually harmed my body by having adopted many of those conveniences. Here I am trying to undo all that I have done :) So now, when I am cleaning the floors in the house, I skip using the mop and get into a very low squat position with a damp cloth (bucket on the side and plastic gloves are on, of course) and work my way around. Yes, your thighs will ache but with us women being such multi-taskers why not squeeze in a stretching and strengthening exercise while getting a chore accomplished?!
There are many other examples I could give and shall :) in future posts.