This weekend, we will be focusing on the feet and how we find balance in challenging experiences.
Leslie Kaminoff, my anatomy teacher, says it like this:
"Our feet are the only structures in our body that were designed to have a relationship with the Earth."
Naked, our feet are incredibly designed and fashioned for the unexpected. In healthy feet, our arches support every step we take by absorbing the shock we emit at almost 3x our own body weight. Each set of 28 bones helps to organize the dozens of muscles which can articulate with as much accuracy as our hands. Sadly, most people will loose their innate foot power by wearing "cute," but non-supportive footwear and walking for a lifetime on manicured, landscaped and homogeneous surfaces.
Hatha Yoga, by its very nature, will strengthen your feet, encourage articulation of the toes and increase the supportive arch in the muscle tissue. Without the ability to stand with an even effort of grounding and rebounding, we stand to risk injury (bunions), disease (plantar fascitis) and loss of well-being (joint pain in the knees or hips, poor circulation, lack of mobility in the toes).
For years I never thought about my feet. I didn't like how they looked, I cared more about what my shoes looked like, and had no idea that they were responsible for so much potential energy. Having broken my big and middle toe during the fall of last year, I know that my regular yoga practice and awareness of my feet helped to alleviate a lot of the associated pain, headache and balance issues that come with a major bone break.
This blog post isn't doing much justice for the prowess of our kickers. If you're local to Los Angeles, come over to Aeriform Arts this Sunday to learn the details of how to cultivate strong feet and an even stance. I'll write again soon about some of the cool mechanics of how we actually move about the Earth.