Can you see your feet?
I can't anymore!
But I sure know the importance of focusing on my foundation, my feet as they ache and swell with pregnancy. Twenty-six bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments sure makes the feet complex!
I was delighted that in this week's practice foot work was included...no, not dance moves...but concentrated yoga poses to relieve tension and strengthen the feet. The new DVD I tried this week is Zen Mama by Rainbeau Mars. Within the 40+ minute practice, we covered many yoga poses that focused on this so neglected area of the body - pregnant or not.
The most outstanding pose was the toe squat. In a kneeling position, hips over knees to start, toes are tucked under and heels are pointing up towards the ceiling. The initial tension starts to resonate down the arch of the foot. By slowly lowering hips down towards the ankles, a superb or shall I say a severe pull is felt. Yikes!
What I love most about how Mars spoke about this pose was she related the tension to the pain to be felt during labour. Being my second time around, I'm not quite sure that anything compares to labour and delivery! But nonetheless, the focused energy on keeping still, calm and relaxed with tension is not a bad habit to work on right now!
Personal question now - do your toes spread apart at all or easily?
In my case, one foot has more mobility through the toes than the other.
The next foot foray in my yoga practice this week was working on separating the toes. I LOVE this simple and effective way to release tension in the toes. In a seated position, lace your fingers of your right hand in between the toes of your left foot. There is something about making space between the toes (with assistance) that just relieves tension and stress. Not formally a yoga pose that I'm aware of but still a beneficial and a self-care kind of way to work on the feet.
The final piece to my foot focused practice this week was with deep squats/sitting down pose (Upavesasana). Now with a pregnant belly, it is crucial that I squat wide to leave space for babe. This pose is amazingly hard and easy all at the same time. My centre of mass is skewed and as such, I needed to find the right balance in the position. I even used two blocks under my heels for added support, which provided the needed stretch through my heels.
So, three fantastic foot poses this week that made me feel like I was walking lighter as I stepped off the mat.
Keeping my step light and my foundation strong,
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.