We start every class and practice with the squat sequence, whether the student is a beginner or advanced. This sequence was designed by master teacher Nicky Knoff, who originally created it for pregnant women before realising that we all need to be doing this!
Firstly, it is a gentle way to ease into the practice and do some pranayama (breathing exercises), and/or meditation here.
Anatomically speaking, we effectively warm up and stretch the lower limbs and spine during this sequence which prepares us for the more rigorous parts of the practice.
In the East people are so used to squatting: when they cook, go to the toilet, eat, or just hang out! In the West we live the privileged life and part of being privileged is being able to sit in chairs. So we have a sort of "chair culture" which ironically is depleting our health. Due to prolonged periods everyday spent in chairs, most people experience one or more of the following: exaggerated curves in the spine, short and tight hip flexors, shoulders and neck forward and tight, stomach muscles which leads to inhibition of the diaphragm muscle which is our main muscle of breathing leading to unhealthy breathing, and organs and glands unable to move around and be massaged by movement.
This is why we practice the squat sequence and why we will always encourage you to spend more time on the floor!