We Tried The Internet's DIY Squatty Potty To Poop Instantly. Here's How It Went

I first heard about using a Squatty Potty back in 2012 during a strange dinner conversation. Rather than buy a Squatty Potty, my friend said he used some of his young daughter's blocks to prop up his feet while sitting on the toilet. He told me how it worked, and I shook my head in disbelief.

Cut to two years later, when I was taking Percocet after my back surgery. As you might have experienced yourself, taking prescription opioids can make bathroom time rather, um, slow. I had been stopped up for a few days. I remembered that dinner conversation while straining to go. Because I didn't have any children's blocks nearby, I was able to pull my body into a yoga squat by putting my heels on the toilet seat. Constipation relieved.

As I've gotten older, it's sometimes hard for me to put my heels on the toilet. Instead of purchasing a Squatty Potty, I turned to the internet and found that you can make one at home using some yoga blocks. Sure, if you have children, you can use some of their play blocks as well. Did it work as well as my yoga squat?

Sizing out the yoga blocks

The Squatty Potty and its imitators found out something that proctologists, gastroenterologists, and human physiologists already knew–that the toilet isn't great for your bowel health. When you're standing, there's a 90-degree bend between your rectum and your anus that keeps in your poop. When you sit down, this angle increases to 100 degrees, making it somewhat easier to poop. Squatting straightens out that angle even more to 126 degrees, so the more you can raise your feet from the floor, the better the poop.

The original Squatty Potty raises your feet 7 inches from your bathroom floor. A standard yoga block's shortest, most stable height is 3.5 inches. Not quite high enough. The medium height is 5.5 inches, but there's less surface area for your feet, so you'd have to get the angle of the blocks correctly in line with your feet. Sure, you can use the tallest setting of your yoga block to raise your feet 8.5 inches, but that only gives you 5.5 inches of room for your feet to rest.

Because I didn't want the yoga blocks falling over, I settled for the medium height of the blocks, giving me not as much height as the Squatty Potty, but at least it was better than the original sitting position.

Yoga blocks work okay

Using yoga blocks as a DIY Squatty Potty can work somewhat in reducing any strain, but I found it difficult to keep my feet on the blocks. I considered stacking two blocks, but I feared one stack flopping over (fear is not optimal during bathroom time). I would imagine a taller footstool (or an actual Squatty Potty) might have been a little more sturdy.

However, nothing really beats the yoga squat itself when it comes to bathroom time. Some bodies might find it hard to get into this position on the toilet, but you can somewhat mimic this position if you can get a feel for how your lower body is positioned in the squat. Try practicing a yoga squat while lying on your back. This is called apanasana, and it's a gentle yoga pose to relieve constipation. On an exhale, draw your knees into your abdomen and hold the backs of your thighs. Hold for a few breaths, then release on another exhale. Repeat a few more times. Eventually, you can try this position on your feet (shown above) to really feel the relaxing of the muscles that keep your rectum closed. Relaxing is what you want to do on the toilet anyway.