People really have a hard time with feet. It’s no wonder since we spend every day shoving them into socks and shoes – hiding them from the world. Don’t even get me started with high heels!
Through the years of teaching yoga & facilitating teacher trainings, I’ve noticed that people of all ages are actually scared of their own feet! It’s so rare to find people who actually practice self-care and give their feet the love they deserve. I am one of the lucky ones who gets to spend most of my day barefoot. I love that part of my job! I get pedicures and paint my toes fancy colors with glitter. I massage oil into my feet every morning, setting them up for all the work they will have to do for me that day. Most of us do not do these things- why bother when no one can see them anyway? It seems that the only time people will take extra time to care for their feet, is summer or when they are going on vacation.
Caring for our feet is a year-round job. They do so much for us! I will never take my feet for granted – having an important person in my life who does not have the use of her feet anymore, I know how prized this body part really is.
This is a lesson I love to teach the kids. I took a yoga class almost 20 years ago in Boston where the focus was on our feet. It was about grounding and using our feet as a base that keeps us upright. It was enlightening and since that day, I have not forgotten it.
When I do my feet class with the kids, we talk about all the uses for our feet. Running, jumping, skipping, hopping, balancing & standing are among the activities they shout out. That alone gets the wheels turning in their brains about how important our feet really are!
We do a little self massage, rubbing each toe separately. They love the feel of pounding the bottoms of their feet to wake them up. We exercise our toes, attempting to lift each one individually- linking our brain to our toes! It’s a hard trick, one that requires tons of practice.
We spread our toes in between our hands, widening our base. We even weave our toes together!
The best part of the class though- is playing Toe-ga.
It helps develop focus and concentration as well as help to strengthen that spot below your toes, the part of our foot that helps us to balance.
All you need are some buckets and pom poms. I like to play fun music and see if the whole group can pick up all the pom poms before the song ends. Picking up pom poms with our toes is so much fun!