The foot has 26 bones, 31 joints, and 20 intrinsic muscles (meaning the muscles start and end in the foot and do not cross the ankle). The feet are meant to be used and to have fine movements to them. For most of us, though, our feet have become relatively rigid. (For reasons beyond the scope of this post!) When our feet are rigid, we walk like a car without shocks; we land hard on the ground rather than rebounding lightly. We don’t yield to the energy with the ground.
So, the first step to becoming more grounded is loosening up the feet to bring back the bounce in your step.
Before you begin, sit briefly in Dandasana (Staff Pose). Notice how your feet feel right now. It is illuminating to compare how they feel now versus after waking them up.
Step 1: Massage the Feet
- Sit in Sukhasana (Easy, Cross-Legged Pose)
- Hold your right foot with your right hand and lace the fingers of your left hand into your toes. If you can, lace all the way to the root of your fingers. (If your toes are particularly tight, just lace the tips of your fingers. The tips are smaller than the root of your fingers.)
- Hold your arch strongly with your right hand to steady the foot.
- Gently rotate your toes with your left hand. You are only rotating your toes, not the ankle so be sure your right hand is holding firmly.
- Rotate a few times in one direction and then change direction.
- Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) and compare how your feet feel.
- Now repeat the massage to the other foot.
- Come to all fours. Tuck your toes under.
- Slowly begin to sit back on your toes, stretching your toes and the soles of your feet. If you toes are very tight, this stretch can be intense. (My students accuse me of Yoga Torture with this one!) Just sit back as far as you can and still be able to breath and enjoy the stretch. You may be able to sit all the way on your heals.
- Sit for 10 breaths then come out.
- Return to Dandasana (Staff Pose) and compare how your feet feel. Ahhhh!
Grounding: Grounding Your Feet