Kneeling

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Description:
Kneeling is a human position in which the weight is distributed on the knees and feet on a surface close to horizontal.

The position of kneeling may be assumed for practical reasons and for reasons of social or religious custom.

Practical reasons

Kneeling makes it easier to reach the ground. For example, during gardening, kneeling gives less strain to one's back than bending. Various knee pads and knee mats are sold to make kneeling during gardening more comfortable.

A kneeled person is less visible from the distance. For example, in an ambush, one may go from kneeling to sitting in a kind of seiza and back, e.g., to peek out.

Kneeling position also provides more stability due to lower center of gravity.

Social and religious customs

Socially, kneeling, similarly to bowing, is associated with reverence, submission and obeisance, particularly if one kneels before a person who is standing or sitting: the kneeling position renders a person defenseless and unable to flee. For this reason, in some religions, in particular by Christians and Muslims, kneeling is used as a position for prayer, as a position of submission to God. In north Indian Hindu temples, many Hindus kneel before the icon after saying a short personal prayer, and usually touch the ground with their forehead. (This is a contrast to south Indian temples, where most people prostrate completely before the icon).

In many church, pews are equipped with kneelers in front of the seating bench so members of the...
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