Strengthening our Foundation
Walking on the streets of some of my favorite European cities, I took note of how tired the muscles of my feet and lower legs were. Although I consider myself to be a rather in shape human being, during the winter months I can fall into periods of inactivity – having to spend more time indoors, on my computer, and focusing less on my body than I’d like. Despite my dedication to my yoga practice, and even playing recreational sports like Ice Hockey, the reality is I am just not walking, running, and jumping around barefoot on multiple surfaces throughout the entire year. So I decided to get back in shape, but from the ground up!
Consider this: How much preparation and attention goes into setting the foundation of a home? While many of us want to skip straight to the appliances and decorations, none of that matters if the structure isn’t sound. Builders spend a great deal of time making sure that the foundation is solid so that the rest of the home lasts for a long time. When it comes to the human body, we also tend to want to focus on the “appliances” rather than on our foundation. In my 11+ years of practicing yoga, I have encountered hundreds of ab exercises, alignment techniques for the hips, shoulders, and core, and so on. When I try to think about a class that focused on the feet and ankles, I can think of only two (aside from my own “Hips” and “Root Down” workshops.) But for real, the feet…I remember two classes. I am not saying they don’t exist, I am sure you have one or two teachers that focus on the feet too, but I think we can agree that it’s a rarity. Could you imagine deciding to build a home and the majority of builders didn’t mention a foundation?
While I offer many practical techniques to apply to your standing poses in my Hips: Rock & Unlock ‘Em workshop, I wanted to provide some additional exercises that are completely free so you have the opportunity to practice them and focus on your foundation.
I have been focusing on these exercises lately to rebuild strength and awareness of my feet, and it’s amazing how much better my hips and low back are feeling when I’m walking around, standing, and even doing handstands.
So let’s get you up to speed with the ankle joint, what joint actions are available to you, and how to strengthen these actions.
Commonly referred to as “flexing the feet,” Dorsiflexion is when the tops of your feet and fronts of your shins move toward each other.
When the outer ankle lengthens, like a “sickled foot.” I don’t use that term often because it implies that this action is not good, but it is an important action to walking and also maintaining an arch in the foot in the asana practice.
“Pointing the feet,” Plantar Flexion is the opposite of dorsiflexion – Tops of feet and shins move away from each other.
Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em
Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long-lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access, and can enjoy the benefits today!
Full Side Plank With Modifications STEP BY STEP VASHISTHASANA BREAKDOWNFULL SIDE PLANK FULL SIDE PLANK & MODIFICATIONS: VASHISTHASANA USING THE WALL AS A PROP Full Side Plank (Vashisthasana) has many modifications and variations to help make it more accessible or...
GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE How to Double Wrap the LegsEagle Pose GARUDASANA - EAGLE POSE Why is it hard to double wrap the leg Garudasana, known as Eagle Pose is a challenging hip opener and hip strengthener. Its useful in developing balance, but for many people, double...
Hips & Hamstrings Flexibility "The 4 Quadrants of The Hips"Hip & Hamstrings Hips And Hamstrings Flexibility Why Is Hip Mobility Important? If you practice yoga you are sure to increase your flexibility of the hips and hamstrings. However, that doesn't mean you will...
Intelligent Yoga Sequence Technique "REVERSE ENGINEERING"Yoga Sequencing HOW TO DESIGN AN INTELLIGENT YOGA SEQUENCE REVERSE ENGINEERING Designing an intelligent yoga sequence for your at-home practice or for your students can create a massive lifelong impact. Whether...
Backbend Technique to relieve back pain "BOWING THE SPINE"Bowing The Spine Why are backbends uncomfortable for many people? Can we do anything to change this? Let's dive into my #1 backbend technique to relieve back pain, and provide you with maximum range of motion....
FIREFLY POSE TITIBHASANA STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL: LEARN TO FLYFIREFLY POSE FIREFLY POSE: TITIBHASANA STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL: 4 KEY ACTIONS Firefly pose (Titibhasana) might have you thinking, “There is no way I’ll ever be able to do THAT pose!” Yes, for sure it requires...
Hips: Rock & Unlock 'Em
Get 2 full hours with Matt Giordano focusing on the techniques that increase the range of motion in your hips and provide long lasting freedom. You will have immediate, unlimited access, and can enjoy the benefits today!
The Elements of Mastery
Are you looking to go deeper in your study of yoga and want an online resource to support you in your journey? This training packed with content to advance your practice and teaching! You can take your time or immerse yourself in the training.