Marayka’s Callanetics Tips #1 – POSTURE – Feet & ankles

If you want to accelerate your workout results and keep your body in optimal shape far into your middle years and beyond – then this should be your first focus:

POSTURE

It’s fairly obvious when you think about it. Our bodies are brilliantly designed and need the correct posture for everything to be in alignment, and thereby function optimally.  When we spend a lifetime out of alignment bits of our bodies start to hurt. It’s easy to be out of alignment, and although most of our mothers were keen on posture, nobody really taught us what good standing, sitting, walking and lying down postures were. Other than, possibly, stand up straight, don’t slouch, pick your feet up and just lie down.

FEET & ANKLES

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Good posture starts with your feet and ankles. So stand up (in bare feet) and look down at your feet. How far apart are they? Is one foot turned out, are they both turned out and one more than the other? Are they turned in? Do your big toes bend away from each other?  Now bend down and look at the arches of your feet, can you see them? Is there a hollow area?(or ask somebody else to have a look).  Ok now stand up again and place your feet hip width apart – find your hip bones at the front of your pelvis and draw a straight line through the middle of your thighs, straight through the knees, shins and through the middle of your feet. Now make sure they are parallel ie straight.

Place your attention on the outer heel of each foot approximately one to two centimeters in from the outer edge.  Shift your weight to this area simultaneously making firm contact with the floor with your big toe. Your weight is now on the outer heel, big toe. (which, for most people, will also straighten up the ankles).  The other toes are on the floor and relaxed. Done correctly you should feel the arches of your feet rise, and if you bend down it should be visible too.

A visible arch is important because the arches are the shock absorbers of the feet. If your arches have fallen the shock absorbers don’t work and as a result other parts of the body have to take the full initial shock (like your knees) which they were not designed to do, because that’s supposed to be the foot’s job. Thats also why we spend big bucks on shoes, wanting them to take the load off the knees and hips, back etc when your feet are perfectly designed to do so.  Ok so your feet may be far from perfectly aligned at the moment, your arches may have already fallen in, your big toes bending away from each other and the ankles either kink inwards or outwards. However, for most people, with consistent practice (there’s no instant way) great improvements can be made, and if you want to correct your posture it starts here. So whenever you find yourself standing still, (cooking, washing up, brushing your teeth etc) just adjust your foot positions and shift your weight to the outer heel, big toe – that’s not too difficult, hard or complicated, is it? (it’s a little trickier in trainers,  bare feet or socks are best).

Next week’s tip (tip # 2) will be about knee and pelvic alignment (which are essential if you want to sculpt your legs and bum).

See you in class,
Feel free to comment or ask questions