August 8, 2010


I stand on the outsides of my feet.

Sounds strange, doesn't it?

I roll all my weight onto the outsides of my feet.  When I brush my teeth.  When I do the dishes.  When I blow dry my hair.  When I wait for the bus.  Basically whenever I stand still.

I started noticing this after my private class with Ida.  She pointed out that I really need to focus on spreading my weight across my feet.  In Standing Head to Knee, I almost always fall out because my feet roll to the outside.  In Head to Knee Pose with Stretching, the outside of my feet are pushed out more than the big toe side.

So, what am I doing about this?  Well, I've started consciously pushing all corners of my feet into the ground.  When I'm in the shower.  When I'm at my desk.  When I blow dry my hair.  When I brush my teeth.

It's working.  I've been able to keep my feet fully planted on my mat in Standing Head to Knee.  I roll my weight slightly forward so that my heels aren't supporting all of my weight.  Oh, man, do I notice a difference.  I am now feeling muscles on the outsides of my calves that run up the outside of my legs up to my butt.  I can hold the pose for the full minute, but I am not where I used to be.  I can kick out for a few seconds on the first set but I am using so many new muscles that I get tired really quickly.  On the second set I am able to kick out for the entire 30 seconds - most of the time.

At first this step backward in the posture bothered me.  I wasn't holding it as long.  I couldn't kick out.  It was frustrating and annoying.  Now, I realize that my alignment wasn't correct.  I was not practicing the posture 100% correct. 

It is amazing how this realization not only has helped me fix the physical (the asana) part of my yoga practice but to also work on the mental part my practice.  I have learned a new compassion for my self.  For my being.  For my mistakes and for my strengths.  This is my yoga.


aHappyYogi said...

What a wonderful insight you have got!

hannahjustbreathe said...

Ooooo, lovely. "I stand on the outsides of my feet"---I feel like that's one of those yoga realizations that transcends the hot room.

I, too, have been working on spreading my weight evenly, on planting all four corners of each foot into the ground, of finding the balance there. And, needless to say, some days are certainly stronger than others!

ellelove7 said...

Oh my, I'm so glad you posted this! I do that exact same thing but could never place why I couldn't evenly distribute my weight on my standing foot. Thanks Lady J!

bikramyogachick said...

It's amazing how hard it is to spread the weight evenly on that one little foot. It sounds easy, but in practice, I too go spilling over to the side, my weight on the outside of my foot suddenly.
Great post!

Anonymous said...

Great post, shug.


Lorrena said...

Bingo! Thanks, J for this post. I'm aching in the same places, and standing on the outsides of my feet as well! I will make note of these helpful tips and will touch base with you. See you soon!

anna said...

think about drawing the ankle bones together - this will encourage the adductors (inner thighs) to work and help you keep the foot stable when the weight is evenly distributed.

Even in standing single leg balancing poses, start the setup drawing ankle bones together and try to stay connected with that inner leg energy.
It helps me tremendously!