Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘naked feet’

Toe Less Socks For Your Pleasure

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaNia was designed to be done in bare feet.  I believe that yoga is also supposed to be practiced in bare feet.  But there are many reasons as to why people want to have something on their feet.  Many reasons why people don’t like “naked feet“.  Some people don’t like to be barefoot in public places (and with that there could be many reasons).  Some people need support of shoes for their comfort and health.  Some people like to have traction built into their footwear.  Since Nia is designed to be done in bare feet we do not spin on our feet we lift them up so having a little bit of traction does not interfere with our movement, whereas in a Zumba class where you are often twisting on your feet you do not want traction.  What someone has come up with for yoga are toe less socks with traction on the bottom.  I had a friend give me some as a gift.  She was so sweet and said, “I know you do Nia barefoot, but I thought you might like these.”

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaWhile I love to do Nia barefoot there are some floors where the toe less socks come in handy.  Some floors that I dance on or have danced on have a texture to them that is not very comfortable on the feet.  Some floors are really dirty (without access to a dry mop or broom) and so the layer of fabric between the foot and the floor helps to keep the grit from digging into my feet and being uncomfortable. The fact that the toes are exposed give me a bit of a barefoot sensation.  Allowing the toes to come in contact with the floor and keeping those nerves activated.  The energy flowing from the earth and to the earth via the exposed toes.

For yoga these are great because the textured bottom of the sock allows for traction if sliding is an issue for you.  The texture also assists in keeping you from spinning on the foot when doing Nia.  Ha!  I just realized it might help stop that altogether.  It is possible to spin, twist, slide on your bare feet although you might end up with blisters.  But with the traction on the bottom of the sock it stops you in your tracks.  You are unable to spin, twist, or slide.

Maybe the yoga socks could act as “training wheels” for some.  If at first exercising barefoot seems odd, maybe the socks can help ease you into it.  Perhaps the socks could also assist in training people not to spin, twist, or slide, so when they do decide to go barefoot for their Nia workout they will already have the know-how of lifting the feet.

Whatever the person’s reason for not going barefoot, toe less yoga socks might be a great solution.  I do want to say, just so you know, when in my Nia classes as long as the facility allows shoes (some yoga/dance studios do not allow shoes), everyone is encouraged to be comfortable so when wearing shoes allow people to be comfortable then they are invited to do so.

Do you ever exercise barefoot?

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Naked Feet

Posted by terrepruitt on June 1, 2010

One of my blogger friends (and actually I am lucky enough to know this blogger in person) posted about being barefoot.  In her post she mentioned the barefoot philosophy.  I had never heard of it.  She said it is about “living light, being aware and present, being non-conformist, non-consumerist and, well, naked.”

She used a quote that said being naked in public is scary.  When I read that my whole body got tingly.  In a flash I had an epiphany.  We do Nia barefoot.  What is Nia?  It is a workout that was designed to be done barefoot.  But a lot of people don’t like to participate in exercise without shoes on.  I believe that there are a lot of reasons for that and some of them might be because it is different, and a part of you is exposed, and it is like being naked (this is also part of the previously mentioned quote-but it is more in relation to blogging, whereas I am actually talking about feet).

Some people actually never go barefoot because they hate it that much.  Some people have ideas about being barefoot, for example my dad, he thinks you are not dressed unless you have your shoes on.  Me, I am always surprised when people come to my house and the first thing they say to me is, “Do you want me to take off my shoes?”  I didn’t realize until recently that they probably say that because even if I am having a party and I am dressed up, I don’t usually have shoes on in my home.  To me shoes are for going outside.  They are out-of-the-house-wear.  I usually have socks on to keep my feet warm, but not shoes.  Shoes are constricting.  But my attitude towards shoes has restricted me from being sensitive to those that might actually feel naked without shoes.

As I said, Nia was designed to be done in bare feet.  The feet are part of our base.  The base needs to be strong.  One way to ensure a strong, stable base is to exercise it.  A great way to exercise feet is to allow them to do the work of walking, running, balancing, wiggling, flexing, stretching, and generally moving without the assistance of shoes.  Moving in ways that they cannot while they are confined in a shoe.  Also some shoes actually compensate for feet weaknesses.  All of this is not to say that people cannot do Nia in shoes.  In my classes, if the facility allows shoes (some yoga studios do not allow shoes), people are encouraged to be comfortable above all so if shoes allow people to be comfortable then they are invited to keep their shoes on.

My friend’s post just reminded me that it could be a really deep seated feeling of “uncomfortableness” that might require some people to keep their shoes on.  Nia is about moving the body as it was designed to be moved, that alone sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable because we are taught the exact opposite our entire lives.  We are also taught, for the most part, that shoes are required to exercise.  So moving in different ways and doing it without shoes, might not be easy for people new to Nia.  Ah-ha!  I get it now!  It is not just about a floor being dirty.

Well, I will continue to mop the floor when I get to the studio early enough, but I will also think of bare feet in a larger sense.  Because in Nia being barefoot is about exercising the feet, but it also is about being aware, being present, being open, and being free and some people need to work up to that.  Nia is a journey that allows us to work on more than just having naked feet.

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