Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feet - the foundation of your body

Our feet is like the foundation of a building, if we don't ground our feet firmly on the floor, our body will collapse. Nothing can be built on a shaky foundation. Even the brain, the seat of intelligence, cannot be held in correct alignment with the spine.

I just reliase that I have a slight flat feet on my right feet till Justin (http://iyengar-yoga-bangkok.com/teacher.html) told me recently. No wonder, sometimes my knee will have little pain, no wonder sometimes I feel like falling down suddenly while walking,... It's not too late, as least I know my problem now and bring more awareness to this leg.

I still remember, there was once Ann Barros (http://www.baliyoga.com/) told us that when we are standing still or doing any standing asana, if the upper body have any problem, do check from the sole of our feet first. Whereas, if we are doing inversion, check our palms.

Do learn to stand in the correct alignment now to protect your body! For an alert body, alert mind and brain. Tadasana is very useful.

Etymology of Tadasana:
Tada – Mountain
Asana – Pose or Posture
Tadasana – Mountain Pose

- the best way to restore the natural aliveness, strength, and adaptability of the feet.
- bring attention to how we stand and correct the posture of the body
- learn the basic position of standing firmly on the legs

According to B. K. S. Iyengar (http://www.bksiyengar.com/)in his well loved treatise on yoga, Light on Yoga, Tadasana was traditionally performed with the arms stretched over the head. It seems that for convenience, and practical purpose, Tadasana, has come to be known as the basic standing posture, with the arms by the sides.

- stand upright
- feet together, toes, ankles and heel touching
- see that the body-weight is spread evenly over the feet
- tighten the kneecaps and lifet the knees up
- shinbone in line with the tigh bones
- front of the thighs pressed back
- spine erect, chest lifted, open the heart
- arms straight down by the sides, in line with the hips
- roll the shoulder bone back and tuck the shoulderblade in
- neck straight, head straight
- look straight ahead

Learn to have an overall glance over the whole body to feel its existence. Learn to distribute the weights evenly on the feet, soles and heels.

Effect: (excerpt: Light on Yoga, by BKS Iyengar pg.62)
People do not pay attention to the correct method of standing. Some stand with the body weight thrown only on one leg, or with one leg turned completely sideways. Others bear all the weight on the heels, or on the inner or outer edges of the feet. This can be noticed by looking where the soles and heels of the shoes wear out. Owing to our faulty method of standing and not distributing the body weight evenly on the feet, we acquire specific deformities which hamper spinal elasticity. Even the feet are keep apart, it is better to keep the heel and toe in a line parallel to the median plane and not at an angle. By this method, the hips are contracted, the abdomen is pulled in and the chest is brought forward. One feels light in body and the mind acquires agility. If we stand with the body weight thrown only on the heels, we feel the gravity changing; the hips become loose, the abdomen protrudes, the body hang back and spine feel the strain and consequently we soon feel fatiqued and the mind become dull. It is therefore essential to master the art of standing correctly.

Do not consider this asana unimportant since it is very simple. The more you attend to it, the more you begin to realise the defect in your own body's posture.

Here with some articles, happy reading! Happy practising!

More reference@

What actions does tadasana teach as a base pose?

Happy Feet
Give your feet just a little attention, and your whole body will feel better.
By Melanie Haiken

Feet First
If you want your yoga to build strong, stable, balanced legs, it's important to work the feet properly—even when you're not standing on them.
By Julie Gudmestad

* Light on Yoga
by BKS Iyengar

* The Path to Holistc Health
by BKS Iyengar

* Yoga - a gem for women
Geeta Iyengar

* The Women's Book of Yoga & Health
by Sparow & Walden

* Yoga Anatomy - Your illustrated guide to postures, movements, and breathing techniques
by Leslie Kaminoff; illustrated by Sharon Ellis

Lokaha Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu
(Translation: May all beings everywhere be happy and free)


melliebaby said...

This is so true!
I have bunions on my feet and since I stopped doing yoga (yes, very lazy, I know) the pain has started to come back, especially for my left foot. By the way, I have flat feet too!
Have to start standing correctly again even if I hardly do yoga these days.

~yw said...

I notice you like to wear those kind of shoe that is narrow toe box and excessive heel height last time. I advise you altering the kind of shoes you wear to keep it from getting worse.

If it causes a lot of pain, Dr always suggest to go for surgery. :( Don't be so lazy lar, start pratice Yoga again, hehehe... As you know, Yoga's stretches and strength-building move, spreading the toes and metatarsals, creating space, perhaps could undo some of the damage done by wearing too-tight shoes, which can exacerbate the problem. You might need to wear insoles that customize made for your feet to correct the faulty foot structure. I'm planning to do it.

I went to Health Fair at PWTC last Sun, they have special shoe for bunion.

I use to advise my students with bunion to wear 'Toe Separators' that use for pedicure at home to strectch and separate the toes from one and another. You may want to try that. :P


take care

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