free your feet
They take us into the forest, they flutter as we swim, one at a time we balance in standing poses, they connect us to the earth. I like to visualize the bottom of my feet expelling roots, shooting deep down fearlessly to the core of earth. If I didn’t have this daily visualization, my curly mane would be wilder than it already is, and my thoughts would be untamed too!
Our feet are generous, unconditional loving and forgiving when we walk about barefoot on hot sand, or sharp rocks, when we cram them into shoes too small just because we love the style, when they swell all day in our steel towed work boots, when we peel off sweat soaked socks. Why is it that we ignore things in our body until there’s pain or discomfort? This goes especially for our feet. I just paid attention recently because a blister from new shoes called me in with a throb. It’s now more than ever when I begin my daily yoga practice that I wiggle my tootsies, thank my ankles and massage my arch with intention to connect to my root spreading hooves that gallop with my love bearing weight in life.
In a Yoga Journal article, Robert Kornfeld, a Holistic Podiatrist says: “When you treat foot problems with yoga, you end up treating back pain, hip pain, all kinds of structural problems. Not only does it stretch out the muscles and lead to a greater range of motion, but it helps heal the root issue of inflammation as well.” Rodney Yee, a Yoga Teacher shares, “you couldn’t ask for a better set of tools to reawaken the feet,”
free to be healthy feet tips:
Begin from standing:
- Pay attention to the spread of your weight. Aim for a balanced, even distribution across all four corners of the feet. Investigate by standing in Tadasana (mountain pose) with eyes close and your awareness in your feet. Can you feel your weight bearing more on one foot. Is the weight more on your toes or on your heels. Make shifts in your weight to create equality in both feet. Practice this. Additionally pretend, imagine or actually do practice lifting your arches, as if pulling the ball of your foot and heel towards each other without scrunching your toes.
- Lift your toes and hold them up. Stay here or focus on spreading the toes, creating space between each one. Place your toes back down, press your feet into the ground, sensing that you have activated muscular energy in your legs simultaneously.
- Keep step two and now with a micro-bend in your knees softly rotate or press your chins and knees in the direction of your pinky toes. Do your best to keep stability in your thighs. Sense a shift in sensation to the sides the your legs. Keep this, and if you your holding your breath…let it fall out of your mouth and anchor your attention to your inhales and exhales. Keep the integrity in the upper body: 1. drawing the navel in. 2. lift the chest to stand tall. 3. lengthen the spine up through your neck; slightly draw your chin in. 4. shoulders lightly press onto the back 5. stack your head so you can visualize a triangle from the top of your head, ears and shoulders.
- Relax the feet and legs, come up onto your toes. Try to maintain even pressure where the bottom of your toes meet your feet. The heels will lift up towards the torso the more you press into the ground.
- Shift your weight onto foot of choice or come to sitting on a chair. Bend your knee and lift your leg of choice so that you can tuck your toes under. Softly press the top of the foot into the ground. The stretch will intensify as the upper body leans forward into the top of the foot. Rest in savasana (laying on the floor with legs out long or knees bent) with your favorite sole soothing tune.
- Be bare foot more inside and out, say nice things to them! Scrub with coffee grounds, moisturize/massage with coconut oil infused with your favourite essential oil.
- Interlace your fingers between each toe as if you were holding hands with a loved one! From here wiggle, squeeze, spread and stretch your fingers while interlaced to awaken your toes! This is best done starting from a cross legged seat.
- Practice ‘legs up the wall’ pose for 3 minutes up to 20minutes…or even longer if you want! Enjoy!
Healthy feet make for healthy roots!
[pictures found on google images]