Today, I learned from the great master Richard Freeman that the feet are symbolic to feeling grounded. You go stand somewhere, say the top of the mountains, by the beach, or on top of a tall building, to look out. You look everywhere over the horizon to search, think, contemplate on the meaning of life as you stand there. You look everywhere, but the answer is not in the everywhere, but in the under…under the feet! And…here’s the pun…that is why and how we understand.
Here’s another from Paul Dallaghan. He’d always say to open your feet in baddha konasana as if there are secrets to enlightenment written there.
Indeed, my feet are my best friends. They allow me to walk, run, jump, hop, frolic, and practice yoga asanas. In yoga, the feet are said to be alive and breathing, because your feet are the foundation of all your asanas. Take tadasana or standing in samisthitih for example. Your feet are the first to connect with the earth, which then sends energy up your legs, spine, neck, your soft palate, and through the crown of your head. They automatically engage your mula bandha. They help draw in prana, or the vital life force, into your body by maintaining your erect posture. If you have sloppy feet, you’ll ultimately feel imbalanced.
If the feet are my best friends, then the balls of my big toes are my bestest of best friends. By digging them into the mat, they allow my toes to lift apart like feathers, and send energy up my inner legs. They help keep my balance in poses like tree pose, utthita hasta padangusthasana, and ardha baddha padmottanasana. They remind me to lift my kneecaps and contract my quadriceps to protect my knees in trikonasana, padangusthasana, prasarita paddottanasana, and parsvottanasana. In sitting forward bends, the fointing action (flexing my feet but pointing the balls of my big toes forward) helps tone my hamstrings, protecting them from overstretching.
So next time you curse at your feet for tripping, not running fast enough, or being smelly, think again, because they just might be the path to enlightenment.