Root down

WITH YOU, I BREATHE: A forty day yoga column

#24: Root down (A bit about the feet)

In Mark Stephen’s Teaching Yoga, he writes, “With twenty-six bones that form twenty-five joints, twenty muscles, and a variety of tendons and ligaments, the feet are certainly complex.”

The feet are complex, the feet hold us up. They are these little things that carry all our weight. Sometimes I remember this and massage my feet and say, Thank you, feet.  I rarely do this and when I do, feel surprised by the ability to feel grateful and gentle toward myself.

The way we position our feet determines the rest of our posture. If you have bad posture, take a look at how your feet are positioned when you stand.If you want to reeducate your body and learn to stand properly, practice rooting down with your feet and you will notice that your body naturally rise. You can practice rooting down by concentrating on a few things:

-Stand with your feet hip width distance apart. (Tip: If you form two fists and place them in between your feet, that’s about hip width distance.)

-Start with the toes, spread them, and do your best to place them, one by one, on the ground

-Feel the four corners of your feet and root down into those. This will help you stand balanced, as opposed to leaning forward or leaning back, which throws of the posture. (Tip: If you’re not sure how to stand balanced, lean way back into your heels, lean forward into the balls of your feet, go back and forth and see where it feels like your standing in neutral position.)

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