It all starts in the feet.

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Posted by Debs de Vries (Yoga for Lutterworth & Villages) on 12 Apr 2017

How much attention do we pay to the feet of our students? And how much can we help their posture - and confidence -through correct use and alignment of the feet?

Sometimes - as in life - in the rush to achieve a pose, students forget about their feet. Yes, they are there and yes, of course they are standing on them. But how many minutes of class time do they get? A range of non urgent ailments - sore knees, hip ache, plantar fasciitis - can be supported by great footwork. In my own classes, I have had wonderful results reported to me by students when we began working with focus - on feet.

Feet have chakras and if we teach Pada Bhandas - 'energy locks' requiring correct lifting of the arches - we can also teach how to draw energy up the body which aligns the feet to the upper body too.

A simple exercise is to ask students to get balanced and safe on their mats, then lift all of the toes at once - and then see if they can encourage the big toes to move towards the midline and the little toes to move away from the feet. After a few weeks, life does suddenly seem to reach the toes and it's a nice moment when a student sees and feels it. In doing this, we are assisting a neural connection to the all important grounding and balancing mechanisms of the feet which helps safety for students in walking and standing in daily life.

Don't forget the heels - just encouraging the heels to press lightly down not only increases the sense of connection to the ground, but brings a sense of emotional strength and groundedness - also helps to move blood up out of the feet back towards the heart. Give your students the benefit of a few minutes footwork and see how they respond.

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