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How I Learned To Enjoy Wild Squats

A warm welcome from a squatted perch overlooking the ocean.

Following on from last week’s appeal for healthy habitual alternatives to any form of knee-based self-care, I have started using a squatting desk.

Inspired by a 2017 article by physical therapist Carrie Williamson, this is an almost certainly marketable term for ‘swapping my chair for an upturned kettlebell’.

Since December 2019, I have recorded 772 at-home yoga sessions, at an average of 16 minutes per day (currently more like 8 minutes).

I’ve been amazed at what a difference this investment of 1 percent of my waking time has made to my flexibility.

The fact that I can get into the Asian squat position is a minor miracle considering that, three years ago, I couldn’t sit cross-legged on the floor.

But there is a gross story about why I started stretching on the daily — you want to hear it?

Thought so.

In summer 2019, I cycled with Thighs of Steel from Paris to Bordeaux and then from Ljubljana to Athens.

Every night for four weeks, we’d wild camp — along with everything that entails.

Sleeping under a scrap of canvas, washing in rivers or lakes, eating high-carb meals under the stars as the sun set and dawn rose.

And, of course, pooing into a freshly dug hole in the ground.

This isn’t where the story gets gross.

At first, the pooing was fine.

My flexibility wasn’t up to much, so I wasn’t able to position myself over my poo hole very comfortably, but that didn’t seem to matter so long as I dug the pit near a tree against which I could balance myself.

But then all that high-carb food caught up with me and I got a touch of constipation.

Constipation is uncomfortable enough, but, with a relaxing toilet seat unavailable and physically unable to squat, I found myself straining harder than I usually might.

And this is where the story gets gross.

One morning, after porridge at a beautiful riverside camp spot in Croatia, I strained so hard that I slightly tore my anus.

Ouch.

The discomfort stayed with me for the rest of the ride — and I can tell you that one thing you really don’t want while cycling for ten hours a day is even a slightly torn anus.

When I got home to the UK, I vowed that I would do something about my inability to defecate comfortably without a throne.

So began my daily yoga sessions — and now look at me. Not only can I take wildly adventurous poos, but I can even write gross stories to you while crouching in a kettlebell-supported squat.

Start from where you are, and start today.