In my minimalist practice, I’m always looking for ways to ground myself more; to be more present and to be at one with my body. After reading and learning more about human nature and natural, healthy resting positions (such as squatting and sitting cross legged) and foot shaped footwear, while I enjoy good furniture, both for the aesthetics and the comfort they provide, I’ve come to look at things a bit differently. What kind of downfalls is there to a comfortable, padded sofa, for instance?
It’s a reason the sofa is so very comfortable; it supports and relaxes our bodies as we sit down on it, giving us a stable body hug, as it were. In my self-care and mindful routine, I have begun gravitating towards a more natural state – what is natural to us as humans? What kind of comforts have we grown accustomed to, and what have these comforts done for (or rather to) us? Most of the time, I’ve found that many of the things we surround ourselves with and consume are stuff that feel good but might leave us in a state of disengaged comfort.
By this I mean that we stay in a state of comfort that isn’t necessarily the best for our souls and bodies. Our bodies, in its natural state, with its natural human resting positions, are constantly challenging itself and activating muscle groups and keep our joints healthy. The modern comforts of furniture such as sofas and chairs have removed us from the natural use of our bodies.
If it was because if this or not, Chris and I have talked about sitting on the floor for some time. And it’s not that we haven’t been sitting on the floor before, because we do from time to time, but this time we finally decided to do something about it. I must admit that even though I enjoy the more grounding feeling sitting on the floor, the years of living with padded furniture has made me prone to craving comfort. And so, a couple of weeks ago, with a determination to be more floor bound at home, we bought two floor pillows at Home & Cottage to take our floor sitting practice a bit further.
I must say that buying these pillows has been a game changer in this regard. It makes the whole experience of floor sitting that more manageable due to added comfort. And, it has kind of enforced it as a routine. Because as practicing minimalists, after all, we don’t really believe in holding on to or bringing into our lives items that we’re not using. Therefore, to justify our purchase, getting into the habit of using them has been essential.
To be fair, one of the reasons that floor sitting even came up on our radar in the first place was probably not the desire to foster healthy resting positions. As much else in our minimalist journey, this habit too has been inspired by our fur babies (our free range recue bunnies), Kira and Petrus.
Since we are very serious in our keeping of our two furry, four legged roommates, we never hold them in our laps and always interact with them on their terms, on the floor. This, of course, means that in order to interact with and be close to them, the floor is a natural residence. Residing in a sofa, very much above floor height, will naturally separate us from them (for some reason, they do not use the sofa or any other furniture as places to rest, even if we would have loved them to). Thus, our idea of sitting on the floor has in reality more to do with them than it has to do with fostering nourishing body movement.
Yet, as I have come to realize on my minimalist journey, is that an idea coming from one particular place often has a way of opening us up to new perspectives and giving us even more reasons to embrace this particular idea or habit.
So, yes, sitting on the floor has become a new, cherished habit in our house. One that already fostered a whole Sunday spent sitting on the floor with our new pillows, reading, talking, coloring our coloring books and writing creative entries in our notebooks. It’s been too long since a Sunday has ever felt so long, productive and utterly relaxing as it did then.
When I say ‘productive’ here, I mean doing stuff that nourishes the soul instead of wasting our time mindlessly with drowsy activities such as scrolling on our phones or watching episodes on episodes of TV series, just because we can’t be bothered to engage in anything else.
Should you consider sitting more on the floor, too? Why, yes, I think you should! After all, chair and sofa sitting encourages the body to sit in the same position for quite some time. Floor sitting, on the other hand, encourages us quite naturally to change our positions every once in a while, and each position engages our joints and muscles in a whole other way than static sitting on chairs.
Static positions, as you know, can lead to a whole range of alignments all of its own. Thus, I find that intentional floor sitting is a great addition to a mindful and minimalist practice with the intent of becoming healthier and more in tune with ourselves, both physically and mentally. It allows us to engage in active and healthy bodily positions that we otherwise might have neglected in your comfortable, modern lifes.
What’s your latest mindful habits? Could you picture floor sitting being one of them? Tell me in the comments!