Category Archives: Feet

Plantar Flexion and Tight Hamstrings

Plantar Flexion and Tight Hamstrings

shapeimage_1Patience with self. How many times I use this as an intention in my classes, how very seldom I am finding I practice it outside of the class. I accepted from the onset of my injury that it was going to be a practice of patience and acceptance. I just did not know it was going to take so long!  LOL  The simplest of tasks took so much more energy as I hobble around balanced on one leg. The right side of my body  having to do twice as much work not to mention these arms of mine were getting a daily work out.

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Foot ARCHitecture

Foot ARCHitecture

shapeimage_1-18“If our bare feet were once muscular, finely-tuned thoroughbreds, encased in shoes they are now sleepy, flabby cows.”  Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton

The evolution of the foot, or maybe it is the evolution of the shoe that is holding us back.  I read a study that said children who go with out shoes until around the age of 5 have the happiest feet.  Growing up for me, going barefoot was never an option.  I began the same trend with my children, even putting my oldest into special and very expensive shoes.  My other 3 did not get the same “luxury” and I often would send them out barefoot.  Their feet are fine, my oldest has his mom’s tender foot. Read the rest of this entry

Footloose

Footloose

shapeimage_1-19Our feet, often neglected and abused and yet we expect so much of them. They are our connection to the earth, a foundational support that is often asked to adapt and shift at a moments notice. On a recent adventure to Bali, I was never so keenly aware of the work I asked my feet do. Still less then a year since I broke my ankle, I was very much aware of the uneven slick surfaces and really did my best to keep my brain in my feet. I went from hard uneven sidewalks to a constantly changes surface of sand with everything in between. Not only do we rely on our feet to keep us strong and in balance as they support us, we can help restore balance and strength with proper care and attention. Read the rest of this entry

Heel That Pain

Heel That Pain

shapeimage_1-20The achilles tendon.  The largest tendon in the body and perhaps one of the most debilitating if it tears.  You have heard of the mythological figure Achilles of the trojan war.  He was said to be invulnerable in his body except for his heal. He died because of a wound to his heal.  An arrow was shot by Apollo and punctured his heel. This wound proved to be fatal.  Even the term “achilles heel” has come to be known to describe a persons main weakness.

Injuries to the achilles tendon are common and can be difficult to come back from.  Highly preventable in Todays Athlete, and thankfully so as we rely on them so much for mobility. Read the rest of this entry

How Fit Are Your Feet?

How Fit Are Your Feet?

shapeimage_1-21I have always been fascinated with babies feet and I might say quite repulsed by adult feet.  I had such a foot phobia that I really believe it was a prerequisite to my choosing my spouse.  Crazy as that may sound, it is true.  But I must say I have gone full circle with feet.  The only thing I can attribute it to is I befriended my feet.  I began to see them not as the nemesis and cause for my discomfort, but as a mistreated, abused and neglected part of my anatomy.

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Carry On

Carry On

shapeimage_1-22As you become rooted, self supported, you will find the confidence to handle anything life throws your way.

Our Feet, they support and carry us thru life, yet often go neglected and unnoticed until they hurt.  Our feel are a reflection of our attitude, confidence, energy as well as our place in the world.

Standing on you own two feet is a sign of growing up, no longer dependent.

Putting your foot down means not letting someone take advantage of you, holding your own.

Put your best foot forward represents stepping forward with courage and confidence.

Dig your heels in- holding on tight fear of change.

Then intention is to be able to plant your weight and energy firmly and confidently beneath you.  As you are able to do this you are better prepared to  meet comfortably the challenges that life may throw your way.

As you become rooted, self supported, you will find the confidence to handle anything life throws your way.  As you begin to accept and acknowledge that the way we are in the world fits and molds the shape and function of our feet, you then are ready to take the steps needed to reverse the process in two ways.

As we become more grounded emotionally we will find this reflected in our feet or we can begin to restructure the feet and observe changes in our lifestyle and way of being in the world.

As you come to the mat focus your attention on the four corners of your feet.  Notice if the weight is evenly distributed between not only left and right sides of the feet, but left and right foot.  How about front to back.

Notice how a shift in the action of the feet can change the sensation in the pose.  Try lifting your toes up into your shin, pointing your toes, turning your toes in or out.  Can you detect how a simple movement in the feet affects many areas of the body.

Often tightness in the sole of the feet is reflective of tight hamstrings as the feet are a continuation of the back of the legs.

Become more observant of your feet in your practice, don’t wait until they hurt before you give them any mind.

As you leave the mat today, be reminded that the way we ground ourself physically is the way we ground ourself emotionally.  Notice as you walk thru the day if you take small uncertain steps, or large confident steps.  Adjust your stride to be reflective of the emotional state you need to be in for that moment.

Appreciate the need for balance and  stability as you give yourself time to slow down and support yourself ,  Your feet are your roots, they are your foundation, the hands that touch the earth.

I read how the Redwood trees, know for there strength and longevity, actually have very shallow root systems, yet because they share their root systems with each other they each help support the whole system.  As women we to need to strengthen our root system as we ask for and encourage each other.

As we begin to build a healthy support system it is important that we choose wisely with who and when we share them.  Finding women who we can trust and that you feel safe with is a great guide.  Have the courage then to ask for support when you need it and be willing to provide support for others when they need it.  This will in turn help create, like the redwoods, a safety net that as a whole is greater then its parts.
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I had the privilege of working with this young man,  who after several orthopedic surgeries and orthotics he decided it was time to take matters into his own hands.  He worked tirelessly over his summer break,  meeting with me every week with a new set of yoga exercises that he took home and did everyday.  sometimes twice a day.  We also did Thai Body Work, worked with tennis balls and walked more mindfully mindful awareness.

The results are amazing  Even the skin color looks healthier.  His mom is thrilled, yet cannot believe after all the dr. visits that it was the yogalady that helped her son find his footing.  It was a privilege to work with this young man and I cannot wait till he comes back for a visit this fall.