My first class will focus on understanding the importance your feet. I was stunned the first time I taught a class for young girls (ages 3-5) and found that they were already embarrassed about their feet and wanted to wear socks. Similarly, high school girls were adamant: heck no, the socks stayed on.
I knew what they meant, I was the same before I began my study of yoga: I had a strange hammertoe since birth. Told that “you inherited grandma’s toe” I went my whole life thinking it just had to be that way. It was lazy and inert and just layed there like a sleepy slug. However, when a nerve started to pinch in my twenties, I started asking around. A friend, a podiatry student, suggested cutting the tight tendon. My gut said no thanks and I’m glad I listened to it. It wasn’t until I met Amanda Sharpe (a fellow yoga student instructor) a physical therapist that I finally understood.
When I whined in class that, “this is just the way my toe is” she told me with all the conviction her name implies: “This toe has ligaments and muscles and tendons and it does not have to be this way. You can strengthen and change it. So get busy.”
Wow! It only took me until I was 41 to finally get the message. My toe is still a tad strange to look at, but now I can move it and wiggle it and most importantly, engage it.
This sequence is intended to wake up the awareness in our
feet. Because you can change your feet too. Flat arches do not have to be flat. Bone spurs can be prevented.
Consider the Feet:
Begin at the wall with a bolster:
Viparita Karani-legs up the wall. Remove bolster
Ananda Balasana-Happy Baby Pose.
Virasana-hero’s pose with a block, alt. lifting knees, then:
Traditional kneeling…add toes curled under, breathe then:
Balasana-child’s pose…massage foot beds, then:
Adho Mukha Svanasana-Downward Dog…
Plank-Push Ups. Begin 4 rounds of:
Surya Namaskar Sun Salutes. Then:
Utkatasana-Chair Pose. Then:
Ustrasana-Camel Pose. Feet flat, then curl toes.Then:
Balasana-Child’s Pose. Then: Then slide forward into:
Ardha Bhekasana–Half Frog Pose. Then
Balasana-Child’s Pose. Then
Sukhasana-Sweet Pose. Then, for more add:
Gomukhasana-Cow Pose. Add twist to change sides.
Marichyasana 3- Twist: Squeeze knees into chest (neutralize) then repeat on opposite side.