Posted by terrepruitt on June 2, 2009
I was people watching the other day in a coffee shop in Willow Glen. I was looking at people’s shoes and it occurred to me that people might not realize feet need exercise too. The foot is an awesomely designed structure. Think about it: over 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and a bunch of muscles and tendons, all working to support you and transport you, and sometimes even defend you. The foot was designed to move, flex and absorb. Your foot can be subjected to up to four times your body weight.
For most people feet are in shoes most of the day. Most shoes are very rigid and they don’t allow for the foot to bend and flex. With that kind of captivity your feet do not move much, so the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons don’t get the workout they need.
One of the reasons Nia™ is done barefoot is to exercise the feet. The Nia routines have us (at the very least) stepping flat foot, stepping into releve, stepping onto a heal lead, at times we use the ball of our foot flexing out toes—our entire foot gets a workout.
Nia can be done in shoes, but there is a reason why we do it in bare feet. We want to build a strong base. Our feet are the very bottom of that base. According to The Nia Technique® White Belt Manual: “Ida Rolf, the creator of Rolfing, teaches that the feet tell an entire story. She says to develop healthy and powerful posture, to have a strong an agile body, the feet must be structurally aligned. They must provide a firm, sturdy and flexible foundations.”
It is good for our feet to make a connection to the earth. Nia say that our feet are the hands that touch the earth. We have 7,000 nerve endings in our feet. Think about how alive they would feel out of shoes, touching the floor, assisting in the health of the rest of the body.
Next time you are working out, think about how you can help your feet get some exercise too.