Tuesday, December 8, 2009

From Anna: Spread Your Toes (all the cool kids are doing it)

I love me some fointing. Actually, the term I've heard quite a bit is 'floint', which has a similar ring to it. As a hyper-extender, it's an extremely helpful tool in general, but it's in the inversions that it really rocks my world. The activation created through the length of the entire leg is rather remarkable, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am. I even floint the foot of my front (bent) leg in pidgeon, as it seems to release the knee just a tad more...

In thinking about our feet, my thoughts turn to good ole' toe spreading. When I first began yoga and the teacher would ask us to lengthen and spread our toes, it felt as impossible and inaccessible to me as wiggling my ears. For some time, I was a manual toe-spreader - but the minute I released my toes from the fervent grip of my fingers, I would lose 90% of what I had created. Anyone who knows me is aware of my ridiculously short fingers and toes but this wasn't an issue of length, it was a matter of harnessing some control.

Over time, I didn't give up, but I shifted my attention to other bodily projects. When teachers would cue the actions of the toes and feet I would give it my best shot but my hopes weren't very high. More often than not I found myself looking down at my feet thinking that it was time for a pedicure. After I started teaching I would even instruct toe lengthening and spreading, I just hoped no one was looking for an impressive demo. As seems to be the case more often than not, it finally happened when I stopped waiting. One day not so long ago, I looked down at my feet and my toes were longer and more spread than ever before. They were like little fingers that I could direct at will. Now I can't stop spreading my toes and want to do it all over town.

If only the ability to spread my toes would translate to opening my hips, I'd be all set...

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