What are the benefits of eating on all fours?
Today, most people crave their food behind the table, while the best position for the human gastrointestinal tract when eating is to sit on the floor on all fours and enjoy your food. Moving back and forth as a result of bending over to eat and return to normal sitting position helps the abdominal muscles to secrete digestive juices, which are needed for fast and proper digestion.
The use of chairs has become a part of people’s daily lives in different parts of the world. Not only at work, but people today are accustomed to sitting around a table or even on a bench for other tasks such as eating.
In the past, people used to sit on the floor while eating. Although we no longer see such scenes in most Western countries, we still see them continuing in some cultures. This ancient tradition is rooted in yoga and Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, and also has health benefits with scientific support.
If you are not comfortable sitting on a hard floor, you can use a rug, pillow or cushion to make it easier to sit on the floor. Here are some health benefits of sitting on the floor while eating.
Provide the benefits of yoga sitting postures
When you sit on the floor and eat your food, you are actually doing some kind of yoga. This may be Sukhasana, Swastikasana or Siddhasana. Although these sitting postures may seem simple and comfortable, practicing them for a specific purpose offers many health benefits.
In Sukhasana (four-legged position), you sit on the floor with your legs relaxed, with your spine straight and your chest open. The legs are almost parallel and the lower legs are below the opposite knee. This is a stable position for doing upper body tasks such as shoulder rotation and neck stretching.
In fact, a well-balanced Sukhasana posture provides good conditions for a relaxing yet alert state for body and mind. Also, this sitting position helps to reduce muscle tension and open the chakra (energy center).
In short, when you sit and eat in the Sukhasana state, you both crave your meal and do yoga at the same time.
Sitting on the floor on all fours and eating is good for the human digestive system. Moving back and forth as a result of bending over to eat and return to normal sitting position helps the abdominal muscles to secrete digestive juices, which are needed for fast and proper digestion.
In addition, this sitting position allows the mind to relax and put pressure on the lower part of the spine, which facilitates a relaxed body. Also, muscle tension improves and blood pressure drops.
According to Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, all of these things work together to ensure proper digestion of the food consumed. Optimal digestion of food is a key factor for a healthy body.
Regular standing from a sitting position on the ground without the need for help can help shape a longer life. A study published in 2012 in the journal European Journal of Preventive Cardiology Released, showed that the ability to get up from a sitting position on the ground without any support is associated with increased lifespan.
According to this study, getting up from a sitting position requires considerable flexibility and physical strength, which are needed to avoid common accidents, injuries and falls.
Improved strength and flexibility
Sitting on the floor on all fours makes the body stronger and more flexible. This sitting position stretches the buttocks, knees and ankles. It also increases flexibility in the spine, shoulders and chest, and thus, improves overall flexibility and increases the ability to repel certain diseases.
More strength and flexibility allow you to stand straight without difficulty and lift heavy objects without injuring your back.
On the other hand, sitting in a chair for a long time leads to the formation of weakness and pain in the lower back, weak abdominal muscles and stiff and inflexible buttocks.
Supports proper posture
A good posture is important to reduce pressure on some muscles and joints, especially in the lower back and neck. Sitting on all fours on the floor to eat allows you to automatically adjust your posture.
When sitting on the floor in a sokhasana position, you should keep your back straight, extend your spine, and pull your shoulders back. This helps prevent various types of pain that are caused by poor posture.
In contrast, sitting for a long time on a chair or bench and squatting on a desk or computer can lead to a weak posture and weakness in the lower back.
Improve blood circulation
Sitting on the floor on all fours to eat is also good for the human circulatory system. When you sit on the floor, it is easier for blood to be pumped through the heart to other parts of the body. Sitting on the floor also contributes to heart health because it reduces the extra pressure on this organ when eating.
Good blood circulation ensures that all organs of the body receive enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly. For people with circulatory problems, sitting on the floor while eating is recommended.
Help to lose weight
These conditions have a calming effect on your mind and body when you sit on the floor and eat. A relaxed body can better focus on the food it consumes, which in turn prevents overeating.
This is because the vagus nerve performs better and transmits signals more efficiently in a sitting position. The vagus nerve transmits signals from the stomach to the brain when eating and tells the brain whether you are full or not.
In addition, this sitting position allows you to eat more slowly. Accordingly, the stomach and brain have enough time to determine when you are full.
Also, sitting and standing on the ground is a good exercise. All of these things together help with weight management.
Promoting family ties
Sitting on the floor while eating with your family can be a new way to connect with family members. When you sit on the floor and are on the same level with your children, it is easier to communicate with them and understand how they feel.
Eating while sitting on the floor can help improve family bonds, and proper posture can help calm the mind and body, leading to a stress-free life.
Source: The Age of Iran