As we continue focusing on the feet this week, we need to remember everything is connected.
Right now, right where you are, take a little walk. Do you feel the transition from your heel to the ball of your foot to your toes? Do you feel your toes draw your foot and ultimately your body through the motion of your stride alternating from side to side? Are you able to connect with your toes? Our hunter gathering ancestors did not spend their days in shoes as we do. Our shoes don’t exactly provide a positive environment to promote healthy feet.
So, let’s give this a try. Place your feet flat on the floor. Lift just your big toes as high as you can with ease while the other smaller toes stay on the floor. Bring them back to the floor. Now switch so that your four smaller toes lift off the floor while your big toes stay on the floor.
What did you find? Did both feet behave similarly? Did your toes hurt?
You can start finding relief through the use of a ball . . . preferably a yoga tune up ball . . . but, a tennis ball or other small ball of a similar size could work if you don’t have yoga tune up balls.
You can do this standing or seated treating one foot at a time. Roll your foot over the top of the ball. Wrap your toes over the ball and gently roll from side to side. As you continue to wrap your foot over the top of the ball, go through the little exercise we did earlier. First pick up your big toe encouraging it gently toward the ceiling and then toward the floor along the side of the ball. Repeat a few more times. When you switch to the smaller toes you will not find much range of motion available; but, you will experience a wonderful resistance stretch pushing your toes into the top of the ball. Push into the ball and release several times. Switch to the other foot.
Now go for a little walk again. You should realize a widened and more supportive connection with the floor. If you want more help with your feet, ask any of our instructors.
If you are specifically interested in the benefits of ball therapy, check with Wendy or Peggy at RiversZen.com
Peggy Stevens is the founder, owner and operator of RiversZen Fitness Studios in Oregon and Washington. She is also the creator of StretchPro. You can join Peggy live at RiversZen.com or follow her online at MyRiversZen.com
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