How much attention do you pay your feet? If you knew how important your feet are, you might start giving them more attention. In the yoga world, the body is often compared to a tree and the feet and toes the roots which stabilise and nourish the whole body.
Just think, you have one major bone in the upper leg, two in the lower leg but 26 bones and 30 joints in the feet! Each one of these bones and joints serves an important function. That’s not to mention all the ligaments, tendons, muscles and fascia.
The feet are the home of the earth element and the basis of structural alignment and good posture. If your mind gets too busy and you’re feeling unsettled, it’s often helpful to just tune into your feet and their connection with the earth or the floor. Bending the knees a little when you’re standing will help you ground even more.
The feet also provide the body with an amazing suspension system to soften the ride. However, this won’t happen if they don’t get the right attention. Everything in the body is connected, so caring for your feet can have a positive influence on all the systems.
It helps to consider that there are four points on the feet that are like the four wheels on your car. We all know what happens with vehicle performance and wear and tear if the wheels are out balance and not aligned. It’s the same with your body. Your wheel points on your feet are located at the base of the big toe and little toe on the ball of the foot and the two outside edges of the heel.
If you look at a pair of well-worn shoes, it will reveal the pattern of how your feet meet the earth or floor and what you need to focus on to bring more balance and alignment.
For example, if the rear left point of your right shoe is more worn, it’s easier to see how not only will your foot be collapsing inwardly but the misalignment will move up the body. It will place tension on the inner right knee, start to misalign the hip and then impact on the alignment of the spine all the way up the body.
Misalignment of the feet can contribute to tightness in the jaw and headaches. Even minor misalignment which is constantly reinforced will create problems.
Tips to better care for your feet:
- Bring awareness and care to your feet regularly
- Massage them often (ideally with Ayurvedic herbalised oils)
- Tune into them, especially when you’re standing, walking or running and focus on more evenly distributing the weight across the four points of the feet
- Take your shoes off when you can and also walk barefoot. It’s great to do it on grass
- Enroll in the forthcoming InSync Yoga Developmental Course