Saved by the Arches

There's a family story. My folks read this, so they can shout out if I'm getting this wrong, and therefore causing trouble. But. There's a family story.

Silverman family legend has it that flat feet run in the family. Going all the way back to Grandpa Manny, we've been a flat-footed clan. I have flat feet, and they pronate, too. Double whammy. These flat feet, however, were a boon to Grandpa Manny. It's told that his feet were so flat, so very nontraditionally shaped, that the man got out of service during the war. Saved by the Arches.

In honor of Grandpa Manny's flat feet, today we honor the arches. In today's practice, notice your arches. Perhaps you have heard a teacher in the past, or you yourself have instructed, to ground down through the four corners of the feet. If that works for you, keep it up. But, I encourage you to also notice what's going on inbetween. Do you think it's possible to develop higher arches? I might go for that.

Saved by the Arches

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Pretend you are pulling up the arches of your feet. What other muscles in your body activate? Even though you are pulling upwards, do you feel more grounded? Less? Also, do a quick stress scan. Did the engagement of the arches bring tension to any part of the body? If this works for you, play with it throughout the practice. Like a bridge you don't know you're walking over, your arches will support you.

  1. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
  2. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  3. Akarna Dhanurasana (Standing Archer's Pose), repeat other side
  4. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
  5. Utkatasana (Chair Pose) [note: this is an especially interesting pose to play with the arches of the foot]
  6. Tadasana
  7. Vrkasana (Tree Pose)
  8. Keeping balance without lowering foot, Utthita Hasta Padagusthasana (Standing Head to Tow Pose)
  9. Slowly swing leg through, barely touching floor, to Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Splits)
  10. High lunge
  11. Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  12. Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
  13. Tadasana
  14. Repeat steps 7-13 other side
  15. Dandasana (Staff Pose)
  16. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler's Pose)
  17. Gomukhasana (Face of Light Pose). Repeat other side.
  18. Trianga Mukaikapda Paschimottanasana (One Leg Forward Fold)
  19. Janu Sirasasana (Seated Head to Knee Pose)
  20. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head to Knee Pose)
  21. Torso up, gentle twist in opposite direction
  22. Dandasana
  23. Repeat 18-22 with other leg
  24. Supta Matsyendrasana. Repeat.
  25. Savasana (Corpse Pose)

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