Active legs, calm mind. … Feet are made for standing on.
~Ann in yoga teacher training last night
In yesterday’s Saturday yoga teacher training the first half of class we worked on standing poses, which was taught by Ann.
Standing poses are structural and energetic. What happens in life if those are lacking?
We really focused on grounding our feet and legs.
You have to go down to go up. It’s true in life and in yoga. In order for the spine to go up, the feet and legs have to go down.
Tightness and weakness in our legs and feet transfer to the neck and shoulders. And where do most of us hold our stress? I know I hold mine in my neck and shoulders most certainly.
We should be constantly asking ourselves how we can move through our yoga practice and life with less effort and more ease?
Did you know that insomnia is a result of being ungrounded? Ann told us that. And I wanted to find something that said that for certain. I found information (MayoClinic Insomnia Causes) that talked about insomnia causes, which to me sound like an ungrounded person but I am having trouble finding that term and being listed as an effect.
If you feel ungrounded, what is physically happening to cause that? We all need to figure out what that is and remove it, whether in life or in our yoga practice. Undo the ungrounding and let gravity take its course.
Yoga is the practice of removal. We have to work against the grain, work against our habits.
I found out yesterday that for years in certain poses I have been sticking my hip out instead of grounding my hip and leg. So I now need to focus on getting grounded in those body parts and remove that habit.
Your feet are your foundation. Tight calves, tight hamstrings, tight hips can all cause issues for the feet. How can you feel more grounded and sturdier in those parts? How can they feel strong and open?
We did simple things to work the tightness and create relief.
Try this: Sit in a comfortable seat. Take a couple of minutes and give your right foot a good massage. Work the ankle, toes, really dig your hands in there. Now stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Your right foot should feel like pancake batter. (Mine did after this practice yesterday.)
How does your right foot feel compared to your left? Your right foot should feel grounded and the four points of your foot should feel even on the floor. OK, don’t forget about your left foot. Give that one a nice massage as well.