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Womb Squat Series Part 2: Squatting on the Pot

April 30th, 2013
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For those that want to take your health to the next level…
If you have any sort of digestive related disease, digestion issues or pelvic related issues listen up!
Squatting on the pot could dramatically improve your digestion and your health!  Yes…you heard me correctly.  This position is actually the most optimal anatomical position in which to defecate or go #2.  Most people in the world actually still eliminate like this (mostly in Asia, Africa and the Middle East).  Why is this important? Because NOT defecating in this position has negative effects on bowel health. I’ve written multiple entries mentioning the importance of optimizing digestion in order to stay healthy and have a healthy immune system. Optimizing digestion includes breaking down and assimilating food properly AND being able to eliminate waste from our bodies.
Hear me out…

Western countries have a much higher rate of colon and pelvic diseases than other countries. Inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Chron’s, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome affects approximately 2 million Americans.

Sitting on the modern toilet to poo is likely one of the main culprits.  When you sit on the toilet, the lower portion of the colon is folded which results in incomplete evacuation and fecal stagnation (left over poo).  Waste collects here, causing colonies of bacteria to develop and inflammation of the surrounding tissues (see diagram below).  This situation creates a prime breeding ground for bowel diseases and colon cancers.




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Sitting in this way, with the unnatural position of the lower bowels, also causes us to strain and apply excess downward force in order to poo. This strain can cause and exacerbate conditions such as hernias, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, pelvic organ prolapse and GERD. This sitting position causes the pelvic floor muscles to be unsupported and when straining to eliminate causes a repetitive downward force and stress on this area. The pudendal nerve which supplies the bladder and prostate exits the sacrum and is located in the pelvic floor.  Repetitive strain on this nerve can injure it causing pelvic floor dysfunction, prostate issues and incontinence. In the natural squatting position we don’t have to use the diaphragm to push downward to eliminate.  The thighs help to squeeze the colon on either side of the torso and the colon is now lined up with the rectum and anus and allows for a much easier and more complete evacuation of waste. It is nature’s perfect design to completely eliminate feces.  When we sit in a position contrary to the womb squat position we set ourselves up for bowel and pelvic dysfunction.


sitting vs squatting pooping posture

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If you have the strength, balance and flexibility you can climb up on the toilet (remove the toilet seat so you don’t break it) and perch there in the womb squat position.  This is what I do.  Use some flip-flops that are for the toilet only.  Honestly, I have never heard of this before until recently while becoming a certified Taoflow Yoga instructor.  Taoflow Yoga is a practice that emphasizes inner energy cultivation and self-healing and can have a profound   impact on improving digestion.  The womb squat is a key pose in this practice because of the many health/digestive benefits it offers (See Womb Squat Series: Part 1).  My teacher reiterated the importance of digestion in overall health and a strong immune system, and discussed the importance of squatting versus sitting on the toilet for digestive health.  I was blown away…in the past 4 years of my own digestive healing journey I had never heard this.  My teacher told us he climbs up on the toilet every day to poo! I laughed at first and then thought…I might as well try it.  I have to say, it has made a profound difference in my digestion and how I feel. I practice this daily and will not go back!!  I realize many people may not be able to climb up on the toilet safely (do so at your own risk!) so there are a couple of options. You can purchase the Nature’s Platform which provides a wider and safer platform to get into this position (see below).

front view

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For those not able to climb up on the platform there is an item called the Squatty Potty (see below) that involves sitting on the toilet, placing the feet on a stool and lifting the knees up to help improve the angle of the colon during elimination.  While this isn’t the exact ideal position of the womb squat, it is close and also beneficial in improving elimination and is good secondary option.



Squatting versus sitting can be helpful in the treatment and prevention of digestive symptoms and conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBS, Chron’s, ulcerative colitis), diverticulitis, hernias, pelvic conditions, constipation, and hemorrhoids.  Squatting on the pot is one more way you can improve the health of your digestive system and your body.   To read more in-depth research and health information regarding squatting versus sitting on the toilet and to purchase the Nature’s Platform go HERE.


By Brenda Walding, FDN, DPT 
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