Yes and no.
No, because it puts quite a strain on my knees, ankles and lower back. I have gone beyond what my body can comfortably do, for now.
Yes, because it informs me what areas I need to work on to sit like this with more ease - to poke the fire or to tie up my child's shoe laces, and maybe my grandchildren's one day!
What does your deep squat look like? Look in the mirror and see. Or get someone to take a picture.
What's so good about squatting anyway? Well, it gives you strong glutes and legs (you need them to get in and out of this position!), it elongates the spine and helps digestion and elimination. It allows you to have a rest and admire the view on your travels without getting your bum wet. Best to try on a downward slope or with your feet elevated by a log, for example.
Note that if your pelvis is not in the right place, squatting will be difficult and potentially detrimental.
First, align your pelvis: back up your hips so the weight of your body is in your heels and see if your pubic bone is roughly on the same vertical line as your hip bones - that's your neutral pelvic alignment, designed for the muscles to work efficiently. Check in the mirror!
Keeping the ribs down towards your public bone (rather than flared), try and move back towards your feet without tucking in. Stop as soon as it does. This point marks the limit of your hip's current range of motion.
This tucked position is linked to shortened hamstrings (set of three muscles at the back of your thighs) and a shortened psoas major (which attaches from the lumbar vertebrae to the top of the femur) due to one or more reasons:
1. You sit (too) many hours a day. Solution: sit less, move more.
2. You tuck your pelvis because you have been told to do so or because you think you should. Easy : stop right now. Be mindful of your lifelong habits. Learn to "untuck".
3. You wear shoes with a heel (defined as any height under your heel, however small!) which causes your knees to bend or pelvis to tuck to balance your body's geometry, causing the hamstrings to shorten. Solution: reduce the height of your heels progressively over weeks, months until you wear totally flat shoes.
5. You don’t have a natural gait pattern (and not many people do these days, to be fair) so your hamstrings and glutes are fairly weak due to underuse. Solution: focus on the posterior push-off, land on straight leg when walking on level ground, bent leg when walking uphill, keeping the shin of the front leg vertical (as pictured).
Walking uphill is a natural way to lengthen the calf muscles. Keep your heel down for as long as you can and push off from the heel.
You will almost certainly need to work on restoring length in your calves (ball of foot on top of rolled blanket or towel, heel down, weight in heel, other leg forward if you can without straining) when standing at the computer or in the kitchen. Keeping the heel down as you walk can only happen with wearing totally flat shoes, such as the comfortable Vivobarefoot shoes or the beautiful, custom-made Ruth Emily Davey shoes. Keep in mind that transitioning to barefoot shoes should be done over time, to give all the tissues involved time to adjust.
Getting into a deep squat may well take a while, so don't despair. Slow progress is still progress!