Finding Balance in Your Yogi Feet

We probably don’t give our feet as much gratitude as we should, yet they guide us through our life journey, provide balance and stability and connect us to Mother Earth. In Yoga asana practice, it all begins with our feet and when our feet are aligned the rest seems to fall into place. You’re probably familiar with expressions like “roots to transcend”. Our feet lead the way, they pave the example for the rest of our body to grow and follow. The reality is that if structural imbalances in our feet are apparent it will likely manifest somewhere else in our body. By not evenly distributing weight on our feet we can hamper spinal elasticity and or bear constricted pressure in our hips. This will manifest itself in physical frailty and also contribute to body and mind fatigue.

To master the art of standing and moving on our feet, we should focus our attention on elevating the arches in our feet (formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones). Practice by dispersing the weight in equal measure through the right and left side of your heel and balls of your feet, raising your toes and as your practice improves play with lowering each toe down, one at a time. This is what teachers really mean when they say “engage your Yogi feet”. The science behind this will strengthen the ligaments and the tendons to allow the foot to support the weight of our body with minimal pressure. In addition, by keeping the heel and toe in a parallel line, not at an angle but a median plane, we create less constriction in our groins, space in the abdomen and openness in the chest to breathe more deeply and to lengthen our spine. Is there a more fitting beautiful asana to bring awareness to our feet than tadasana, mountain pose which you can practice anytime and anywhere?

Moving with grace, lightness and flowing intent through each step we take forward (or backwards) in life and through each asana, flow or sequence will limit the shudder compression that ripples up throughout the body. Why stomp when we you can skip, glide or float? Stomping only creates tension within ourselves and can bring damage to our environment. Besides, skipping, gliding or indeed floating is much more fun, don’t you think?

Give your feet some love and allow them to be expressive. The value of stretching them and pointing them is untold, stimulating the nerve endings which are more per square metre than any other part of the body. The occasional pedicure to make them happy feet will feel good, look good and stop those unwanted distractions in your Yoga practice when you notice that scabby looking baby toe that deranges your aeroplane/warrior 3 pose.

Woman legs out the windows in car above the sunflowers field

We all benefit from taking a breather every once in a while and this philosophy also extends to our wonderful feet. Give them a chance to breath not only on but off the Yoga mat. Is it not incredibly liberating to walk around barefoot, be it on a grassy mossy lawn, a sandy beach or at the end of a night having attempted wearing the most ridiculous shoes? Not only can it provide you with a sense of grounding, it also serves as a natural pedicure and encourages good alignment and gets the blood moving.

Your feet are the foundation of your body, so don’t tiptoe around the importance of happy and healthy feet. Incorporate a few of these pointers into your daily life and Yoga asana practice to help bring about lightness into your body and mind.


Win 5 Nights at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat in Puerto Rico

Take a moment to center yourself... Imagine rolling mountains of green tropical forests, the sound of wildlife in the distance, a smooth fog rolling over the scenery... This is the setting of our October Retreat, located at the Casa Grande Mountain Retreat in Puerto Rico.

The island of Puerto Rico is a lush paradise, home to incredible flora and fauna. Adventure awaits around every corner. You may find yourself experiencing a side of nature you've never known while on deep nature walks through the forest. Extend your summer while laying on bright, beautiful beaches. Or, find solace in calm, meditative spaces that inspire a deeper connection to the true you.

October's Retreat: 5 Nights at Casa Grande

Casa Grande Mountain Retreat View

Casa Grande is set on a truly stunning 107 acres of lush, beautiful rainforest, a veritable oasis of natural peace and tranquility gently nestled on a former coffee plantation turned carefully-landscaped dream destination. The story behind Casa Grande on its own is incredible, and the passion that served as the genesis for the retreat comes through in the level of detail and attention paid to making this a truly relaxing environment for all to enjoy. Everything from the menu to the carefully planned botanical gardens, featuring more than 100 varieties of plants, trees, and flowers, have all been planned by the owners.

In addition to the amazing ground the hotel resides on, Casa Grande also offers daily yoga classes. For hotel guests, this provides a relaxing, spiritual connection to their stay. It allows for a seamless integration of their yoga practice in their vacation, and all levels are encouraged.

This month's package includes:

  • 5 night stay at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat
  • Daily morning yoga classes
  • Comfortable rooms with private bathroom and hammock for day lounging
  • Open day schedule to explore the island or the grounds
  • Must Book dates by 6/1/16. 

Casa Grande Mountain Retreat Room

Win 5 Nights at Casa Grande Mountain Retreat

It's easy to win this retreat: all you need to do is start by joining Yogi Surprise! Learn more below:

Learn How to Win this Retreat >


Celebrating Life!

Yogi Surprise is one-year old! For our amazing Yogi community, we dedicate the month of October to a blissful celebration. Our journey together so far has been remarkable and only possible with the overwhelming support from our fabulous family of loving Yogis. We feel tremendously blessed  and overjoyed with positive emotions.

Joy, bliss and pleasure are just a few words to describe positive emotions.  Good or bad, we can’t see or touch our emotions, yet they can pack a punch which we feel straight to our core. Emotions play a significant role in our state of well-being, and for every single one of us it’s a different story. So how do you write/edit/publish your own life journey to enhance positive joyful happiness?

Just like writing a story, guiding principles exist to help the author (you) create a great story filled with joy and happiness. Take a flick below for inspiration, when joined together they spell YOGA LIFE.

 

YOGA

Group of people in a yoga class looking very happy

Get moving, grooving and flowing. Yoga is yours, a means to connect with your body, mind and embrace the Devine soul within.

 

Okie dokie

gesture and body parts concept - human hands showing ok sign

Ok, so no-one is perfect, but wouldn’t life be dull if we were? Focus on who you are. And remember, you are a unique child of the universe.

 

Giving

(close up on hands)

Marianne Moore nailed it by saying ‘The heart that gives gathers.’

 

Appreciating

woman drop up leaves in autumn park

It’s a wonderful world full of little things which equal the bigger universal things. By tuning in we dwell on the past and worry about the future less, allowing us to be present.

 

Learning

Time to chill. Beautiful young woman keeping her eyes closed and meditating while sitting at the library

Learning allows us to discover new wonders, it also stimulates ideas keeping us curious and engaged with life. Attaining a sense of accomplishment is a vital self-confidence booster.

 

Intentions

Notepad with indicators of healthy lifestyle on wooden table

A bright future is imperative to our happiness. Goals (dreams with deadlines) encourage us, and should be challenging enough to excite us.

 

Feelings

Hands and green heart on the white background

Yes we will have up and down days, but by focusing on positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, contentment and inspiration we can elevate ourselves by creating an ‘upward spiral’.

 

Elasticity

pilates yoga resistance band red rubber woman sport gym fitness exercise

We cannot always choose what happens to us, but we can choose our attitude and shape how we bounce back. Not an easy task, but like many life skills, it takes practice.

 

Our frame of mind, beating heart and experiences both within and beyond all contribute to the way we feel. Just as the ocean wave and tides rise high and low, so will your emotions. Observe them, admire them, learn their tidal flow, ride them, and write about them. This is your life story, enjoy it and celebrate it!


If you're not already a member, subscribe to our monthly yoga care package to experience items we've intentionally chosen to help you open up to your practice of mindful joyful living.

Choose Your Yoga Care Package

Yoga Lifestyle Box

6-8 full-sized yoga lifestyle items
$49.95/month + free shippingYoga Lifestyle Box

Yoga Jewelry Box

2 jewelry pieces + chocolate!
$24.95/month + free shippingYoga Jewelry Box