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Free your feet! Breathe/Feel/Play Session

How does it go? Free your feet and your spine will follow..?

Here we’re going to have a look at ways to influence the arches of the feet by massaging with a ball and doing some simple movements to release and mobilise. Because I like to work this way, you’ll get a chance to feel the difference in movement capability through the whole body. We’ll also look at how the breath can make a big impact on how we move and how we can reset our nervous system. For more on this, have a look at these blogs on my website.

We can make real changes with stress levels, deal with pain and boost performance, ourselves, for free! Once we’ve learnt some basics, why not start to play with our movement, ever danced in your kitchen? Make today your day!!!

Tom Myers conceptualized human anatomy as consisting of interconnected lines of muscles and connective tissue which support and communicate with each other, rather like a suspension bridge. This lattice gains its strength and available movement from the interplay of the whole structure. The arches of the feet have a huge influence on the rest of the body and how we can react to the ground we stand on. Here we’re going to think about how the body produces extension and rotation, specifically 2 of Tom’s ‘Anatomy Trains,’ the Superficial Back Line and Spiral Line. Check out the links to see his vision.

We’re going to have two measures that you do first and then keep checking on as we make some changes through breath, massage and movement. Forward bend and rotating. Go slow and gentle to start with, this is not a competition, it’s a chance to explore and build awareness. There’s no need to push into painful movement here. See where you get to…

With time, I like the idea of the ‘work zone’ – sitting somewhere between the ‘comfortable’ and the ‘too difficult’ boxes. This is where we can get some real change, without either stagnating or forcing our body too hard. If you need the relaxing and the gentle on any given day, listen to your body, the work can come later…

Have a small firm ball and a tightly rolled-up face-cloth or tea towel handy.

We’ll add a couple of our most important functional movements into our ‘play’ section.

Firstly, the squat/hip thrust – fold at the hips then come up tall and squeeze your glutes – a great tactile connection into their partners the hip flexors.

Secondly, we’ll look at flexion and extension, rotating into the different quadrants, here we can really work with those long lines and go full body! If you find any of these are painful, stay to smaller, gentler movements: remember where they are, work around their edges and don’t stay there for too long – do what feels right, keep exploring!

Music: I love loads of different styles and rhythms; suiting my mood, challenging my mood. Find what works for you, along with your own pace and range of movement: calm and classical or funky and energizing, order or chaos! Maybe no music at all, just move – go with your instinct and what allows you to feel more.

Move into pleasure, not pain. A nice beginner’s dosage would be one track, 3 to 5 minutes or so – if you want to work more, great but just let it settle in first and see how it feels afterwards and the next day. Stiff areas might have a grumble to start with but if we build gently and repeat the message of movement, the body adapts and strengthens.

As your confidence increases try the challenging stuff: lower stance and more powerful, harder balance, more complex spiral and figure 8 movements. Make it a habit, make it fun – enjoy!!

Look out for workshops at The Well Studios, Gap Filler’s Dance-O-Mat and Diamond Harbour.

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