I remember a my husband’s first nature poo. I was 27, he 28, camping in Northern Queensland, Australia. I could not believe he’d never taken a dump in the woods! We had both been bicycle racers, long before we met. Racing, and the rural training for racing, often necessitates taking care of nature’s calls wherever you may be. I would carry a bit of toilet paper in a plastic bag on the longer rides, just in case (being a girl and all, you know). He survived the experience and learned how refreshing a good squat can be and that squatting was more than a way to build your quads via weightlifting.
Dr. Mercola published a great article that will go a long way towards improving the bowel movements of America: Want Better Bowel Movements? Squat, Don’t Sit! I can vouch for what he says. Personally, we have a couple of Rubbermaid step stools in the bathrooms; it’s not perfect, but it works. The article also includes a helpful description of the types of stools; health, unhealthy and appearance of stools.
During a trip to India in 2013, I was one of the few retreat participants at the Oneness University who would use the “Indian toilets”, we called them; there was never a line for those! Usually they were a square porcelain ‘bowl’ in the floor that you squat over it and the floor was tiled and there was a bucket with water to aid with flushing and cleaning off, sometimes there was a hose also. The only awkwardness involved was tucking your clothes in such a way as so they didn’t get wet on the floor or via a ‘mistaken aim’ (even for girls!). This is a photo of an all-in-one squat-or-sit toilet I experienced in India.
6 Tips for Squatting for Health
- Drink Lots of Water. Start the day with 2-4 big glasses of water and take a BM before you eat. Choose fresh spring water or Natural Action Technologies Structured Water®. Drink more water or structured fluids, like fresh juices or smoothies or raw soups.
- Include probiotics and fermented foods in your diet.
- Use a step stool or a Squatty Potty to emulate a squat, leaning forward helps. If using a step stool, you may find you need a taller stool if you have an tall or ADA (handicap) toilet.
- Do not put up the toilet seat and climb up there and squat, as some hard-core guys in the comments of the Mercola article do, it’s dangerous as you can slip and the toilet was made to handle the weight distributed around the rim of the bowl, not concentrated on the sides.
- Take a portable stool with you on road trips, or keep one in a car. Once you figure out what size works best at home, you might need a taller stool since most of public bathrooms these days use the ADA toilets.
- Squat more! Squat when gardening, squat while reading, squat when hanging out and talking to people. Find a way to squat for a while right before you go to the bathroom without a stool, this can be handy at rest stops as it can help relax the muscle, before heading in.
As Dr. Mercola points out in his article, the biggest reason to squat is that when we stand and sit, our bodies naturally tighten up the muscle that we need to release, to well, poo. Squatting naturally releases this and you shouldn’t need to strain at all when eating well and if you’re hydrated. So give your colon a break and see how you can incorporate squatting into your daily routine.