StandPosted: January 24, 2012
One thing (among many) that yoga does for you is make you aware of your feet. You see them in class year-round. Instead of saying farewell to them once it gets cold and you’re wearing layers of socks and boots every day, you make even more sure to keep yourself in pedicures so that you can look at pretty toes and smooth skin.
I like my feet. Along with my hands, they are slim and delicate. My toes are long but cutely pudgy, and my arches are elegantly curved. I enjoy examining them each time I settle into a parallel stance at the front of my mat.
But they weren’t always so awake and aware. These days I can spread all five toes just by willing it — by lifting them and broadening across the top of my feet. I can pull my pinkie toe and its neighbor up and back toward my knee, toning the muscles on the outside of my calf. I can press down through all four corners of each foot and really make contact with the ground. I can push into my big toes and really get the muscles of my legs to wrap around the bones in the process. I can feel the tightness in my Achilles tendons, and I know to lift up onto my heel to stretch them out.
What’s more important than being able to really feel the ground under your feet? Really being able to stand tall, out of a firm foundation? Being groundless, on shaky ground, makes it hard to do anything particularly well, or with any focus or confidence, or with any feeling of comfort or intention.
Learning to stand on your own two feet is a gift that you can actually give yourself.