“It is only by grounding our awareness in the living sensation of our bodies that the “I Am,” our real presence, can awaken.” – George Gurdjieff
I propose you start with your toes. Notice your weight-bearing tendencies today… Can you identify some of these typical issues: Do you keep all your weight out by the pinky toe or heavy through the inner front tip of the big toe? Do you scrunch the middle toes up against the ground/your shoes? Do you often find yourself standing with your feet splayed out to the sides with your toes turned out – and how does that effect the tension in your toes?
When you’re ready for a positive change in the alignment and therefore health of your body, start here: relax your toes so that they all feel soft against the floor/your shoe. (Extra credit if you can do so with your feet parallel to each other as you stand – more on this in future blogs!)
Hmmm… Soften your toes. Sounds simple, right? Try it and see if you can maintain that relaxation (in sitting OR standing) till the end of reading this blog. If you are like most people, your “ground reaction” will reflexively be one of imbalanced, grasping struggle at first, (it certainly has been for me), but let me assure you it’s normal to cling and hold tension until we find our center.
Indeed, softening your toes evenly will help center the weight of your shin over the arch of your foot, (specifically the cuneiform bones), and this is extremely valuable for the strength and integrity of your arch, the mobility of the foot and ankle joints, and the muscular coordination of your legs and lower back. I dare say: this can even help to tone the pelvic floor muscles!
How so? It’s the privilege of selective neural “awakening…” by releasing our unnecessary holding patterns we create space in our system for the most efficacious action potentials to emerge.
Well?… have your toes gone back to fighting the floor?… not to worry! When you’re ready, start over (again and again) with softness – this head to toe overhaul will pay off soon. For now, feel for the ease and enjoy.