We generally don’t appreciate our feet until there is a problem, a sentiment captured well in a local foot clinic’s tagline: Get back to not thinking about your feet.
Each foot has 26 bones and 33 joints all held in position by hundreds of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. They carry, balance and pivot our weight, supporting us from point A to point B. Whether we are chasing after a toddler, marching in a protest, or climbing a mountain our feet must hold us up.
Some of us also squeeze our feet into beautiful works of art by following trending shoe styles. Still, our feet keep working for us even when we adorn them with this less-than-optimal footwear.
Our feet are often a body blind spot–highly utilized, yet misunderstood.
Take a moment to remove your shoes, wiggle your toes, and maybe even give yourself a little foot massage.
How we position our feet and distribute our weight has a domino effect on the rest of our bodies when we walk, stand, run, and spend a lot of time sitting at a desk.
Or, maybe it is the other way around: if we cross our legs, hold tension in the pelvis, and have uneven muscle distribution in the torso, how does that impact your feet?
In other words, it’s all connected, but today we will work from the ground up.
Tuning into how I am using my feet has become an easy access point to my own ability to heal myself. Relieving sciatica, halting my bunions, strengthening my arches to ease pressure in my knees have all been accomplished.
And, yes, when I begin to fall back into old habits of over-pronating my feet, pain and discomfort start to come back.
But we can always look down, notice and make a change.
Here are four simple practices to reconnect to, re-energize and strengthen your feet.
Come back to a neutral position, take a few more deep breaths, then let all effort go.
This pose is practical. You can do it when standing in line, riding the subway, or cooking–wherever and whenever you want to connect to your feet and strengthen your alignment. Practicing this pose gives you the personal intel to intuitively move back into a stance that is most efficient for your body.
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This content was originally published here.