This week, let’s befriend our feet. Have you ever seen a baby stare at their feet in awe? If not, here’s a totally random youtube baby.
Try to have that curiosity. Sit down, lift up a foot and explore. Hold hands with your foot, getting your fingers in between your toes, and then explore the three arches with your thumb. Feeling into the outer and inner edge of the foot, and down underneath. You can be pretty strong, your feet can take it.
After exploring your feet, sit back on your heels. This can be torture – so be patient with yourself.
When all this is done, preferably at the beginning of your practice (not always, but on occasion), you’ll be able to bring a lot of attention to your feet as the foundation of your postures. I’ve been thinking of an Oscar Hammerstein lyric from Allegro to guide me through my practice this week. It’s about a boy learning to walk, and the lyric is as simply “One Foot, Other Foot” (Listen here on my tumblr). Sometimes practice and life are as simple as one foot, other foot and the rest will follow.
Next, stand up tall and press into one foot and trace the engagement and power up from the foot, through the leg, through the hip, up through the side of the torso, to the arm pit, lifting on up through the arm as it rise up over your head and out through your fingertips. Practice keeping the connection between your feet and fingers, with energy and breath moving through the entire body. Repeat on the other side. Then later, through each pose, ask yourself how you can find the connection between the foundation of the pose, and it’s natural end, be it the fingers or the crown of the head. Engage the three arches up through the ankle and the leg. Trace that line of energy as it brings power and life to your postures. One foot, other foot, let the feet guide your practice this week. And if Oscar Hammerstein doesn’t help you, try Donna Summer.