The Asian Squat for the West of the World

If you’re a Westerner who’s traveled to Asia, you’ve probably marveled at the locals’ ability to relax in their preferred alternative to just standing around—the Asian squat. You’ve also probably brought back stories (and photos) of “squatty potties,” and you understand why the bathrooms in international airports have signs that read, “No Standing on the Toilet.”

But if all this is new to you and you see the need for more information, or if you’d like help in pulling off the squat yourself, I refer you to Daniel Hsia’s mockumentary, How to Do the Asian Squat. Watch it because you want to know the history behind the Asian squat. Watch it because you want to know the physics behind the Asian squat. Or watch it simply because “Each and every day, more and more tired-legged, stiff-backed Americans are discovering a new and exciting way to squat!”

And if you really want to get on board (pun intended), take a look at “Nature’s Platform” for how you can convert a Western toilet into your very own squatty potty. The site is complete with testimonials from physicians, anthropologists, and yoga instructors. Unfortunately, it looks as if the company is not accepting new orders at this time. But don’t be disheartened, you can go here for their instructions on how to create your own conversion kit from concrete blocks and plywood. Or as an alternative, you can visit Lillipad of New Zealand, where their trendy (?) looking “squatting platform” is on sale . . . and available. They sell plans for building your own, too. (But hurry, the plans are 50% off till the end of July.)

[photo: “Old Man Squatting on Steps,” by Lon&Queta, used under a Creative Commons license]