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When one thinks of the lessons they could learn from a samurai, usually something involving swords comes to mind. But knowing how to use a sword means nothing if you’re caught off-guard or in a, uh, compromising position when someone tries to attack.
Say, for example, you’re in the bathroom. On the toilet, specifically. Dropping the kids off at the pool, taking a deposit to the bank. You get it.
How on earth are you supposed fight off an attacker when you’re a bit busy with the porcelain throne? Well, it’s all in the way you do your business, my friends.
In an essay for The Art of Manliness, writer Will Black describes a book he read as a teenager. In the book, titled “Autumn Lightning: The Education of an American Samurai,” author David Lowry says his master never stopped training—even if he had to use the bathroom. The bathroom habits his master taught him were passed down from generations, and they actually make quite a bit of sense.
First up, once in the bathroom, remove your right leg fully from your clothes. This gives you full mobility in case of, obviously, an attack. It would probably be a bit cumbersome to be wielding a sword while on the toilet, but it’d be even harder if your feet were tangled in your pants.
Second, sit squarely on the toilet seat and cross your leg so your right ankle is resting on your left knee. Your left foot will remain on the ground. Place a hand on each knee, then straighten your back. (This apparently helps align the bowels to prevent straining.)
Don’t think attackers will be a problem when it’s time for the potty? No problem. This method also, simply put, helps you cleanse properly.
“If you have ever felt like there is a plumbing issue when you sit down, then pay attention,” Black writes. “Take your time, have some patience, and you will get the yoga version of Draino on your system that has been passed down from samurai warlords of old.”
None of this of course replaces the fact that you need a good diet with fiber and water to have healthy bowel movements, but making the process smoother is never a bad thing.