Looking at feet

I’m always a bit obsessed with feet — show me a yogi who isn’t! And on holiday it’s magnified since I wear shoes (even) less than in normal life. I love the sensations of walking barefoot and how much more alive this makes me feel — from head to toe!

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My feet — enjoying a coffee at their favourite beach bar, after walking on the wet sand!

Back in London my Rolfer gently tells me off for looking down at my feet when I walk, so I practise trying to feel my feet rather than look at them. She also has this great cue when she wants me to soften the muscles but keep some gentle engagement when my feet are lifted in the air for something she’s working on: she asks me to imagine I’m walking on wet sand. So in case my imagination isn’t good enough, it’s just as well I’ve been getting a lot of real life practice at this while I’m on holiday! I’m sure she’ll be impressed by my abilities when I get back 🙂

Because for us holidays always also involve museum visits, I get intrigued by how feet (and bodies in general) are represented by the Ancient Greeks. I love looking at the long, evenly spread toes and wondering how much of it is idealistic and how much is the reality of not wearing the kind of shoes most of us do.

No museums today. And it was so hot that we went for an afternoon cool-down not to a sun-baked beach but to some nearby waterfalls which tumble down at the head of a deep gorge, surrounded by overhanging trees and mossy rocks. Blissfully cool! img_3245

The unevenness of the terrain made for an interesting experience of feet, how they flex around obstacles, grip onto surfaces, and find stability no matter which way I’m leaning my body. I needed to bring all my attention to where I was treading, negotiating uneven terrain and slippery rocks: in the interests of health and safety I’m sure my Rolfer would forgive me looking down at my feet so intently! Through these simple observations I became full of wonder all over again at how the whole leg works as a unit — and how that movement and stability is carried on up the whole body — in order to manage these tricky conditions safely. Wow, feet — you are amazing!

And they also turn into flippers to propel me through the water!

I think I might need a pedicure when I get home though!

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