I have been moving on a daily basis now for quite a few months. It seems that once you clear your calendar of worry, those muscles need a little stretching out, so that’s what I’ve been doing.
I added this one move to my workout that used to scare the living crap out of me. It was in one of my beginner yoga books as part of a warm up stretch. It’s called the flat footed squat. Squats of any kind always frightened me because I never knew if once I’m down there, I’m going to be able to stand back up, or have to roll over on the floor and then try to stand from a lying down position. That last part would look totally awkward and be incredibly discouraging, by the way.
I’ve read all kinds of ways this particular squat benefits the human body, but now I actually get to experience those myself.
I start by throwing my arms back and leaning back as far as I safely can to stretch my midsection. Then I slowly lean forward and drop at the waist to stretch my lower back muscles. I hold this stretch for a few minutes. It’s unbelievable how good it feels to release all of that tension! Then I slowly start to drop my bottom down until I am fully resting on both feet, flat on the ground, in the same squat you see in this picture.
One of the benefits of a flat footed squat are better ankle mobility. I used to hear my ankles pop in protest when I first started doing the squat, but they don’t pop anymore. It also strengthens the hip muscles and moves your bowels so you eliminate waste on a more regular basis. It corrects your posture and relieves all of your lower back pain and strain.
The first time I cautiously lowered myself into my first flat footed squat I sat in that moment for a long time. I sat there like that, not because I couldn’t stand back up, but because it felt so good! I was able to stand with absolutely no strain too. Now that I’ve done them so often, I look forward to having time to do them and I get stronger with each squat I make.
So get out there and get squatting!