Seiza (literally “proper sitting”) is the traditional way of sitting in Japan. Adults and children
alike assume the seiza kneeling position when sitting on the floor
. Many wonder whether the feet get sore
from sitting seiza-style. Others are confused about the logic behind it. After all, sitting cross-legged seems like a much more comfortable alternative.
It’s formal etiquette
In ancient Japan, people didn’t have chairs, so they could only sit on tatami. To maintain good posture on formal occasions
, people secured their hips on their feet
, straightened their upper body, and put their hands on their knees
. This way of sitting upright later became known as seiza.
To avoid physical contact
Japanese people respect physical boundaries. In a crowded room, sitting cross-legged can lead to knees bumping one another. Sitting seiza-style is an effective solution to avoid knee contact.
To get a good sitting posture
In a seiza sitting position, the heels prop up the pelvis, prompting the spine to extend long and the posture to become upright
. Not only that, sitting seiza-style can train the abdominal muscles and alleviate back pain.
Is the mat a seiza essential?
Japanese people treat their belongings with care. Naturally, the mat on which they kneel is among their treasured possessions.
It’s almost blasphemy to move, flip or step on the mat.
Therefore, to sit on the mat, the first step isn’t to get on the mat. Instead, we must stand behind the mat before kneeling down onto it in a seiza sitting position.
A good sitting posture can have significant impact on the body and health.
Are you curious about the perks of sitting seiza-style? Or, are you looking help your baby develop good sitting posture?
The Momomi Soft Touch Tatami Mat, with the soft texture of tatami, can offer you and your child the best support and a pleasant sitting experience!