katrinasadventures' Travel Journals


  • From Massachusetts, United States
  • Currently in Jakarta, Indonesia

Auroville: A journey down South

After a relaxing family vaca through the Golden Triangle and down in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Katrina begins her spring semester at the international community of Auroville.

Its Squattin Time

India Auroville, India  |  May 02, 2010
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 Squatters are a blessing. 

I will admit that I have been out of the loop on the health care bill that is sweeping the USA, but I propose a remedy for many of the problems that face the nation: squatter toilets. Squatting toilets are a solution for the future because they are a form of preventative medicine that is easy on the pockets. They are an ancient form of medicine that we as a culture have strayed away from. They allow faster cleanse of your digestive system because you are relieving yourself in a position that is much more natural for your body. I personally feel a huge difference in my experience when I sit on a Western toilet and when I squat. Things flow so much more fluidly and with ease when I am crouched down above a squatter toilet. The Nature's Platform remarks that squatters "make elimination faster, easier and more complete" and I whole heartedly agree.

Squatters teach you about yourself and your daily patterns. You pay so much more attention to your intakes and outtakes when you are that much closer to what is coming out of you. Since being in India I have noted much more of how often I go to the bathroom and what texture is coming out of me when I crouch down. It makes me think more about what foods are better for my body and my digestive system (which apparently takes 90% of your energy). Out bodies spend most of their time digesting food and so when I use a squatter I realize how much kinder I should treat my body with the food I eat. I want my intestines to feel freer and not blocked up. When I use a Western toilets I don't pay attention to any of these thoughts. Furthermore, the squatting position has really helped with my flexibility. When I need to get into the crouched position and I feel that my hips or thighs are uncomfortably tight, then I know it is time to stretch. Unlike the sitting position, I am reminded each time I need to use the toilet that my muscles need to be taken care of and stretched.

India has taught me the valuable use of squatters since these guys can be found in most places; however, at the same time I can see a transition occurring in the bathrooms. Many more restaurants, hotels and homes are installing Western toilets. It saddens me to see this. Even most of the trains have one squatting toilet and one Western toilet. This movement towards a Western toilet reflects a greater change around the world.

Nature's Platform states that "Many residents of the developing world, not wanting to appear "backward", feel obliged to adopt western toilets. This trend is causing health problems that were previously unknown among squatting populations. Appendicitis is one example, as reported by webhealthcentre.com, a health care portal based in India: 'The Indian type of toilet is more conducive to complete evacuation than the Western toilet. With the western style closets becoming popular in India, there is a risk of increased incidence of appendicitis'." India is a country made up of such ancient cultures and practices and so it disappoints me to see change like this occurring. The squatters are more than a hole in the ground- they are a form of health care. India needs to realize the benefits that squatters provide its population and be proud of this ancient form of going to the bathroom!

Overall, Squatters are a tool that reconnects you to your body, your diet and your flexibility. Squatter toilets are the future! (We will also need to work on waste flow... if only we used our waste for composting and regenerating the soil...). Squatters are a form of preventative medicine that need to be reinstalled in order to create a healthier and more "freed up" nation. For more interesting information: http://www.naturesplatform.com/health_benefits.html

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