The Secret to Happy Feet: Yoga

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Are your feet sore after a long days work? Are you tired of walking around with aches and pains? What if your shoes are the
cause of much unwanted stress and back pain? Have you ever thought about how you are walking in the shoes you are wearing? Let's take a walk on the wild side and discover how to greet our feet on the mat and in the world. Discover the strength in your foundation and how it relates to the overall support of your body and your life.
 
The practice of yoga brings awareness to the sensation of engaging muscular energy, supporting the body's ability to strengthen muscles that are weak. Through establishing a connection through all four corners of the feet, these tiny muscles are able to function to support the entire balance of the body. This is one of the most important aspects of the journey through yoga and sheds light on how we build our foundation, creating the strength to support building yoga postures while improving the alignment of the bones and tissues. 
 
Why is this SO important? 
Any movement that is weight bearing is going to need the support of muscular energy, the hugging of the muscles to the bone. Yet, there is always an equal opposite to this and that is organic energy, the lengthening and expanding into spaciousness. We can establish a deeper awareness of both of these qualities by standing with our feet parallel and hip width apart, bending into the knees and lifting the toes off of the floor. In order to maintain balance, one would have to establish a deeper connection to all four corners of the feet. This may not be established right away, so here is where the "work" comes in! 
 
Look down at your feet. 
Do you see the big toe edge of the inner foot touching the floor, the pinky toe edge, as well as the inner and outer heel? Practice standing with a slight bend in the knee for 15 to 30 seconds and notice the sensation. Do you feel the feet strengthening? Is there cramping? If the answer is yes to either of these, then you ARE strengthening your feet. A cramp is only a sign of new muscular energy or an area of the body waking up that was once "asleep" or out of shape. This "shape up for your feet" exercise is not only a way to improve balance, strength, and stability in all exercise, but can dramatically change how your feet track, ultimatly bringing more ease to the ankles, knees, hips, back, need I say more? The whole body is effected. This is one of the key components to how YOU walk and stand in the world. Get up, stand up, and show up to how you are walking. This simple exercise will change your life. 
 
Standing for greatness 
Every single day, we have the opportunity to either settle or stand for something great. What stand are you taking? Yoga is a way of saying yes to you and yes to life. When you are willing to observe how you walk in the world, you are brining that awareness to everyone around you. So, on that note, here's a bit of sage advice:
 
If your shoes are causing you pain, get rid of them!
 
I must be honest and let you all in on a secret, it took me most of my twenties to get this one and why!? The answer is simple, I was unaware of the fact that there are plenty of shoes out there that are made to fit different types of feet. I love heels, but I didn't know that there were high heels that would feel good on my feet. I also began to notice that the more yoga I did, the more I would choose shoes that felt better on my feet and I was walking with more awareness in them. In other words, as my body got stronger, I felt better walking in heels.  Regardless of what style of shoe you are wearing, there are many options for those who like myself, may have a bit of a shoe fetish. If you are a lover of heels, guess what? You don't have to break your back wearing them. If you cannot walk with grace, your shoes are doing you a diservice. Show yourslef some love and send them of to Good Will! On second thought, if they are comfortable heels and you are still having challenges walking in heels, get to work! On your yoga mat, that is! It took me years to get this one, but I finally began to realize that I could have the best of both worlds. Without the intention to exclude men, I am also referring to those nice dress shoes men often dread wearing. Have you discovered the power of inserts!? Those tiny little microfibers are supportive and help with the summer heat on those extra sweaty days. And Just in case you are not privy to either, say you are a sandal friendly person? There are plenty of supportive sandals out there. Do a search on the internet and have fun browsing on-line before you go out searching for the perfect fit.
 

Happy feet have a ball! 
Yes, that's right check out the power of a tennis ball...for your feet that is! All you need to do is put it under one foot and start to roll your foot around. This can be done seated or standing for a little extra work on balance. If you have those toes that look like they've been stuffed into shoes all your life;)...here's a little help for that:  Yoga toes: http://www.amazon.com/Original-YogaToes-Medium-Crystal-Clear/dp/B002SPTFYW. You can also use my yoga technique of placing all five fingers through your toes. I think you may have some fun with this one! This feels like you are holding hands with your foot. Kids love this exercise!
 
That's right, today is the day you get to work and to play with your feet. So get up, line up your feet, and start to feel your footing in a whole new way! After all, you deserve to feel fabulous all day long.
 
If you are looking for more of that feel good feeling in your life, email me at kaliraytorres@hotmail.com or call 480-251-5208.
Whether in your home, at the office or on the road, you deserve to feel your best right now. I offer group rates and packages to suit your budget, so don't hesitate. Want to put a new twist on your summer party by the pool? Have a yoga party! I'll see you around the bend.