is a human position
in which the weight is distributed on the knees
on a surface close to horizontal.
The position of kneeling may be assumed for practical reasons and for reasons of social or religious custom
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
, 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
, 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
are equipped with kneelers
in front of the seating bench so members of the... Read More