The human foot is a complex marvel. It contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. It’s generally our first direct point of contact with the earth and the gravity we use to leverage all of our movement.
The significance of the human foot is evident in many of the common expressions we use such as being light on your feet, or dragging your feet, getting off on the wrong foot, or shooting yourself in the foot.
Of all the expressions that reference our feet, the expression “Finding Your Feet”- meaning to become accustomed to new situations or experiences, is a really useful one. Since your feet are literally the foundation for the stand you’re taking in life, it makes sense to find your feet first when you’re examining your posture.
When you become aware of imbalance, of any physical or emotional pain or strain, begin your practice by finding your feet first, because if you can’t find your feet – even if you have a leg to stand on, that leg won’t have a place to stand if you can’t find your feet!
And I want to remind you that the essence of the practice is awareness. You get a benefit every time you simply notice imbalance and respond to what you notice by making simple, step by step adjustments to align your posture, allow your breath, and keep your mind primarily focused on these two points of attention.
And these benefits add up to create shifts that will allow you to change your mind, alter your perspective, open your heart, and find a way to trust in something larger then your limited sense of self. These shifts are the reasons for practicing.
So, the practice of responding to imbalance means paying attention, finding your feet, and beginning the process of tracing your posture from the ground up.
Starting with your feet, imagine a triangle of balance on the bottom of each foot. The first point of the triangle is on the ball of your foot just behind your big toe, the second point is on the ball of your foot behind your baby toe and third point is on the center of your heal.
First, distribute the weight of your body evenly across the three points of the triangle on each foot. Then focus your attention on evenly distributing the weight of your body between the two triangles, reconciling your body’s weight between your two feet. Distribution of forces is a key component to sustainable posture.
Whenever you find yourself feeling unsettled today, pause, and find your feet. Imagine the triangle of balance on each foot and use this focus to establish a strong foundation for sustainable posture.
Use this focus today to help you stay balanced and keep your feet firmly on the ground of the present moment.