The feet serve as the foundation for your entire body in terms of support, balance, posture, and overall well-being.
With 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons, your feet are incredibly complex. All of these work together to make continuous micro-adjustments while you're walking and standing every single moment of every day.
Various traditions and alternative medicine modalities place a significant emphasis on the feet and their connection to overall health. These traditions and modalities often view the feet as a microcosm of the entire body, with points or areas on the feet believed to correspond to different organs, glands, and body systems.
They all provide proof that caring for our feet is essential!
Anchoring the Four Corners of the Foot with video illustration
A Fabulous Foot Exercise with video illustration
Our poor feet tend to be neglected. They carry us around every day, all day. They are meant to be fluid and flexible but most of us wear flat shoes and walk predominately on flat surfaces. The feet then become rigid, and the toes often become distorted by fashionable foot wear.
Establishing A Solid Foundation
Note the parallel between the arches of the inner foot and lumbar curve in the foot reflexology illustration.
In yoga postures, forces applied to regions of the foot generate referred movement into the pelvis, abdomen, neck, and head.
Awareness of the connection between the foot arch, lumbar arch, and neck arch is crucial to building structural integrity from the ground up.
In yoga and other disciplines we start with generating greater structural integrity in the foot arches in order to help stabilize the lower back and develop the integrity for the pelvic organs within the pelvic cavity.
Anchoring the Four Corners of the Foot
Creating the base of your mountain or tadasana in yoga begins in the four corners of the feet. When we press all four corners into the floor at the same time, it lifts the bones, ligaments, and musculature of your foot matrix upward. The arches lift, the kneecaps lift and it creates a firm foundation in each leg.
Each corner of the foot when pressed, engages that same quadrant of the leg all the way up to the pelvis. If we develop patterns in the feet that only press some corners, eventually it will create imbalances all the way up the body and chronic pain or disfunction.
It only takes 4 minutes to experience and establish the 4 corners and feel the engagement they create all the way up to the pelvis:
It really is incredible what a simple foot bath can do for you. When my daughter was a wee one, she coined the phrase one day by saying "Mommy, do you want to go to foot bath falls today?" The answer to that should always be yes!
Footbaths are naturally soothing, and just one foot soak has the power to calm the mind and the body into a state of relaxed bliss.
The many benefits of a plain old hot water foot bath in anything your feet will fit in are:
Relief from Headaches (place a cold pack on the neck or head. Hot feet and cool head brings the pressure down. A proven remedy in my home)
Lowers Blood Pressure
Improves blood circulation
Improves immune function
Encourages better sleep
Reduces stress and boosts mood
Reduces the effects of anxiety and depression
You can add Epsom salt to a foot soak to ease muscle soreness as well. Adding aromatherapy or essential oils to your foot bath can increase these health benefits, leading to a wonderful way to unwind after a stressful day.
A Fabulous Foot Exercise
This one set of exercises will go a long way to restoring your feet and toes. It takes less than 7 minutes. Dare you to try it and tell me can't feel the difference immediately when you get back up on your feet.
You Will feel a difference if you take the time to care for your weary feet. As you free and stabilize the feet you will feel the ease and adaptability it will bring into your life.
The energetics from the feet up are profound and extensive. The feet help orient us to the sacred axis through the temple of the body, a central pillar of vitality that is the primary pathway for the movement of the deepest life-force energy (kundalini). Imagine that central axis beginning in the inner foot. There are countless references in many traditions to the central interior, and the wellspring of energy that conducts the flow of consciousness from our feet up into our entire being and beyond. This concept is vast and would be a whole other blog. 😉
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