The value of relaxation aligned with the release of physical tension makes a powerful duo, and many of you take advantage of that by coming to class early each week.
Recently the early Friday crew (they get there at 6.10 for their 6.30 class!) incorporated some pre-class warm ups (or unwinds) into their routine. This inspired me to make 3 videos based around different ways to utilise a Psoas release. These are also ideal for practice at home or on holiday (look for my earlier 'Long Car Trip Unwind' youtubes for even more ideas).
Video 1 releases tension in the centre of the body via Press and Release and Arch and Release. Mobility in your centre can have a big impact on your hip and shoulder function.
Video 2 adds the Number 4 release and a supported Butterfly to the mix. Such a wonderful partnership for hip and back health.
Video 3 shifts the focus to the upper body, with a hand stretch and Angel Arms.
Also it's Foot Week (yes there will be a nobbly mat to walk on!)
Could it be possible that many of our movement health issues begin with our feet? What if simply massaging your foot with a tennis ball for a few minutes could help you to stand well, improve your balance and walk more effectively too. If you are coming to this weeks classes you'll get to find out. We even have new spikey balls to work with.
A quarter of the bones in your whole body are in your feet! But wait, there's more. They have 33 joints (your legs only have 3), and there are more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments just waiting to be called into action. But if the movement potential of your feet has been restricted (think shoes or living over your toes) their stiffness will resonate on and up in your body (yes, my friends, that's why we do top of the foot release!)
One of the best ways to take pressure off your feet is to stop living over the toes. That's right, back those hips up. Here are a few other ideas to consider:
- Can you spread your toes in your shoes?
- Are the soles flexible so those 100 + muscles can do their thing?
- Are your shoes secured on your foot in some way? An ankle strap, even just elastic attached to your thong - stops the need to claw your toes to keep your shoes on when you walk.
- Do you spend some time barefoot?
- Do you vary the surfaces you walk upon? Simply moving from grass to gravel to a slope can activate many more muscles than always taking the concreted path.
- If you want to read more about moving to a minimalist shoe click here.
Your feet are an important feedback tool, letting the rest of your body know what terrain you are experiencing and how it needs to respond. But there is also so much potential joy of feeling the world through your feet. Walking barefoot on damp grass after a summer rain can feel pretty magical. On a walk with Nic I was reminded how fabulous it feels to have mud between my toes too. I bet you can think of your own favourite ways to be barefoot.
Whatever changes you make let them be gradual and with respect for the tissues need to adapt. There is no rush, and even the smallest amount of attention you give your feet can deliver many benefits.