Foundation First, Chair Pose Next…
In my last post, I touched on how important a firm foundation is with regards to our bodies and our Yoga practice. The feet and hands are our infrastructure… when they are in alignment and in a supportive stance our postures become easier and our body works better. Every pose requires a solid base, whether it is the hands or feet (occasionally even the bum) that are connected to the earth, spread them W~I~D~E! Toes and fingers… the wider the better! This does two things. First, it stretches the muscles in the feet and hands! Secondly, it helps us connect with our posture and body.
Often times our hands are grasped tightly around our computer mouse or wrapped white-knuckled around our steering wheel, hoping the person in front of us will put down their cell phone and actually do the speed limit! But thanks to them, we are now practicing our Yoga breath. ooops, off on a tangent, where was I… oh yah, whether we are enjoying Crocodile, Plank or Down Dog, focus on spreading the fingers wide, like a starfish. Press the first knuckle on each finger (closest to the fingernail) firmly, firmly, firmly into the ground, but keep the palms resting on the floor. Feel the power and strength pulsing through those muscles.
Enough about the hands…time to move to the other extremities…. the feet! We love to squish our feet up in those gorgeous high heels or work shoes. owww. PS. Glad I don’t have to wear those anymore!! When we create space between the toes, the feet begin to luv us again.
I love to take time and just stand in Mountain Pose, closing the eyes and just paying attention to how my feet feel marrying my body to the earth. For some of us it is challenging enough to balance on our own two feet, so let’s start with that… A favorite two-legged pose that require stability is Chair Pose. This pose is a very practical one; one that will become much more important as we age. For example, getting up and down from the couch or bed…it takes quite a few a muscles and a solid foundation to safely ascend and descend. On our next trip to the restroom, notice how much effort it takes to lower and rise up again. Especially if we are doing it mindfully, and not using momentum. Let’s face it, momentum stops being our friend after a while, and we need to rely on our body to do the work. So the next time you are placing your bottom on the cold commode, think about how it will be in another 40, 50 or 60 years. It’s never too early to start practicing! Make sure as we move into our Chair pose that we are keeping the weight of the body in the heels of the feet, and belly and glutes squeezing in tight. We wanna look like the gal who is front-and-center in the picture, with her chest open and lifted. No peeking up her skirt! I saw you trying to look! tsk tsk tsk LOL
Whether we are on our hands or on our feet, we are uniting our bodies to our practice and our surroundings. Open our hearts, fingers and toes and see how we feel. It’s the little things that can sometimes make the biggest difference.
Until we meet again, Namaste’ and High-Five!!!
Each Yogi assumes responsibility for their own practice. Yoga Untwisted will not be held responsible for any injury obtained while practicing these postures. Always honor your ability & limitations.