Free Download! Foundations First: What Your Feet Say About Your Overall Health

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Susi Hately

Susi Hately Susi Hately is the owner and principal instructor of Functional Synergy Inc. She started yoga in 1995 after becoming frustrated with her recurring injuries as a teenage athlete. She credits yoga with getting her back running. Having experienced the benefits of yoga, she began showing her...

Most of us rarely pay attention to our feet. Even in our wellness and fitness activities, we typically give little time to specific activities for keeping the feet healthy and fit.

However, it’s not just a meaningless cliche to say that the feet are the foundation of our body, notes yoga therapist Susi Hately in this free download. They are, both literally and figuratively speaking.

The feet play a crucial role for the balance of our posture, our gait, breathing, pelvic floor health, and overall structural health. In addition, the feet are one of the most proprioceptively dense areas of the body; they are our most common communication point between our bodies and the earth. This means that keeping the feet healthy and sensitive is essential for retaining balance and negotiating unexpected obstacles when we walk and move.

In our yoga practice, we tend to get lost in the alignment of the upper body, torso, and pelvis. Susi notes. But it’s actually the feet that provide the foundation of the posture – and of nearly all activities we do on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, for most people, the health of the feet deteriorates with age. The feet lose much of their proprioceptive faculties, and they tend to get more easily injured.

Once that happens, it’s easy to get caught in a downward spiral of reduced movement, decreasing mobility and slowly accumulating disability.

Foot injuries like plantar fasciitis are among the most common injuries experienced by yoga students, says Susi. Not only are such injuries to the foot painful and difficult to heal, but they can also be a sign of a deeper issue somewhere else in the body, like the respiratory muscles or the pelvic floor.

Susi emphasizes the benefits of a “foot forward” yoga practice in preventing injuries in not only the feet but throughout the entire body.    

“We can work locally at that foot to support its ability to absorb and dissipate shock, and then we can also improve the structural integrity of the body further up the chain, so that the rest of the body can do its job,” says Susi.”

When we recognize the connection of the feet through myofascial chains to the rest of our body, Susi notes, we can begin to move with greater efficiency and ease both on and off the mat.

 

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You may also be interested in Susi Hately's upcoming course: Yoga for Healthy Feet: Improving Myofascial Efficiency to Reduce Plantar Fasciitis.