Yoga teachers often refer to the feet as “the roots” of the body. It’s true; the feet ground us to the earth below us and through the ankles, to shin bones, to knee joints (and so on) above us. The feet bear the brunt of our weight as we stand—and provide the sturdy vehicles that walk, run, and climb us from place-to-place.
However, statistics from the American Podiatric Medical Association show that roughly 72-percent of Americans will suffer foot problems throughout their lifetime (i.e., plantar fasciitis, misalignment, foot ulcers, fallen arches, pinched nerves, and foot pain) because we often don’t treat our feet as the vital weight supporters they are. We squeeze them into uncomfortable shoes (and high heels), we stand on them all day long, and then we grumble about the calluses and blisters they endure, yet typically forget to pamper them unless there’s a serious issue.
Famous yoga practitioner, Rodney Yee, claims that yoga poses like these are an efficient way to “reawaken the feet” and treat all sorts of foot problems (i.e., hip misalignment and back pain) related to structural foot issues…
Many yoga practices begin with Mountain (or Tadasana) for good reason. This rooting pose simultaneously grounds us and brings awareness to how we naturally stand. Look at the wear marks on your shoes, do your feet naturally pronate (roll inward as they make contact with the ground) or supinate (roll outward as they make contact with the ground)? Mountain teaches us to distribute weight equally throughout our feet, like this:
- Standing, gently shift your weight back and forth from toes to heel.
- Now shift side to side from inner to outer sole.
- Aim to root the entire foot to the earth by connecting all edges, creating awareness of proper weight distribution.