It takes the time it takes… so lets explore how to create an environment where it can safely take less time.
How our feet rest on the floor is an indicator of tension that is active within our body. The quality of our weight resting on the earth (how grounded we are)… either sitting, standing or lying down is a message telling us there is something we can physically let go of, or stop doing to increase the quality with which we are resting on the earth, or, how grounded we are physically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually.
What does it feel like to release your feet?
It feels heavy & lite, as your entire muscle system unravels to allow your skeleton to take your weight, and each joint to be aligned with the correct space between the bones, each bone riding the wave of your unique, complete & natural breath rhythm, as directed by your nervous system, automatically responding to external & internal information to keep you alive.
Whole Being; so where do you start?
By allowing our internal environment to feel safe.
We have to bring our awareness back from looking at something as broken, needing fixing or should be better… and we have to accept it as it is. We let go of judgment, drop any past labels of diagnosis or future expectations… and we spend time in unconditional love of who we are.
Unconditional love of what we physically feel, gives us an opportunity to observe our present moment range of motion, which is expressed in how our feet interact with the earth surface… and… this can be done in any shoes you currently wear, which is where you start.
Maia Movement guided observations are to get you to feel what you are doing that limits your physical range of motion, which indicates & empowers your emotional-mental-spiritual range. And in the beginning, observing yourself is easier to feel when you lie on the floor, but this awareness needs to be brought upright, to be felt in motion, so you can respect your current range of motion… releasing the tension to free your feet from the inside.
There is no easy way to tell you how to fix your feet, because you have no start & end point… you are a dynamically integrated physical creation.
You are a physical organism with multiple organ systems which all
work in relation to how another is working… and all are
overseen by your nervous system.
As well as…
Your physical is dynamically integrated with your
meaning your physical is both an expression of the state of all the mentioned energetic aspects as well as energises all aspects of being you.
Dynamically integrated does not stop there… your physical is dynamically integrated with Earth Force (the earth supports you)
and gravity or atmospheric weight (which also supports you).
Your nervous system responds to your safety, which is informed by your structural alignment, the quality you rest on the earth, as you stand up supported by gravity.
There is no way we can safely isolate any aspect, muscle or organ system as more important than another… as where attention goes, energy flows… so… if you are ‘focusing’ on any one area at any one time, with the energy that it is broken or needs improving… you are draining other areas.
Lets be realistic, we do not have conscious control over each muscle
in our muscle system, so what is happening to these muscles
when we are focused on strengthening & stretching by
using the muscles we can control?
When we are working with our whole body, our feet will unravel in conjunction with all our organ systems returning to functioning optimally. We move through this without force, with acceptance that our intellectual ability is not capable of ‘controlling’ our physical being, nor are we able to observe our whole self in action… our mind is meant for greater creativity than controlling that which works perfectly when we aren’t trying to fix it with our limited intellectual input.
What does the state of your feet tell you?
They are a result of the past… the footwear choices as well as an expression of subconscious muscle tension within your body.
We create subconscious muscle tensions in our body from the ground up as well as into our body from our mind-emotions-spirit… our tensions carry our past energies forward, as well as causing more layers of tension as our nervous system attempts to bring us into balance.
- Ground Up
- Footwear choices
- Body Down
- physical habits, or subconscious muscle tension created by repetition… common ones include…
- holding our shoulders up, or standing straight
- holding our stomachs in, or going for core strength
- holding our legs together, like a good girl.
- copying our parents or caregivers
- looks & our attempts to improve them
- emotional, psychological experiences that stimulate, or cause fear, or the stress response to posture us… repetitively
- physical habits, or subconscious muscle tension created by repetition… common ones include…
There is a whole being adventure awaiting you when you decide to
free your feet.
- Energy in motion; all emotions will be welcomed as equals
- Open your mind; creating space in our body creates space in our mind
- Nervous system, has us, we just need to provide a more available internal environment for this system to work with.
- Posture is simply… muscle-bone-breath working in harmony
- Range of motion, moving with respect to what you are capable of in the present moment.
- Acceptance of what you have created, as expressed by your range of motion.
- Earth support – give your weight to her
- Gravity support – encouraging your bones into the correct skeletal alignment for the task infront of you.
Where do you start?
Where you are!
It is not so important to remember, or revisit why you ended up like this. Being present allows the past to rest, and softening subconscious muscle tension allows the memories associated with why you are like this to soften the affect they have on you. This changes your vibration & what you attract.
The first thing to do is stop pushing yourself around beating yourself up for not meeting expectations… because, on principle, this is exactly what poor footwear choices did, sports shoes chosen to improve your ability or fancy shoes for looks, safety shoes because you may not be smart enough not to hit your foot with a shovel, or crappy shoes to save your bank balance, or ease of use… chosen because they are easy to slip in & out of… living for the future, energised by the past got you here.
Jandals require you to pinch toes together, while gripping up with the toes… as well as slapping around on the base of your foot like you are on very unstable ground.
First we rest, being out of alignment is exhausting.
So, we get on the floor, lying down on the floor in the Neutral Position, to give your nervous system space to remember safety.
We learn to lie here in acceptance, so we stop
pulling (stretching away from the present by battling the past)
and pushing (tensing up to create something better for our future) ourselves to be something we are not… yet.
We practice ‘observing without judgement’. We observe tension expressing, and we stop fighting it… like loosening the ends of a rope with a knot in it, taking the pressure off that allows us to undo the knot.
What does our nervous system have to do with our alignment & feet?
When danger is detected, our nervous system postures us, contracting muscles to bring our body into a forward lean, bending joints to make us springy… basically ensuring ultimate propulsion for if we need to run or fight.
This is involuntary, or subconscious, as our innate intelligence will always have our back (much easier if we have a neutral muscle system that can be contracted).
The problem is, we are now born to a life where our posture is already locked into the fight/flight posture.
Getting on the floor… simply takes away the requirement for fight/flight.
As there is no chance of us falling over in this position, the subconscious muscle tension that is active to keep us from falling, is no longer required.
As these tensions start to release, due to feeling safe, our muscle tissues returning to neutral, allowing our bones to rest in comfort on the floor. This is how our feet should feel when you are standing, and how our muscles & bones should be integrated while upright.
Interestingly, this is actually falling, so time on the floor reminds us we can be ok with falling, because the earth is there supporting us, and our innate intelligence will respond to catch us when we we lean too far.
Falling, I like to feel this as the quality of our weight resting on the Earth.
Falling, is our bones resting on the earth, surrounded by neutral muscles which allows for effortless, upright skeletal alignment, and full range of motion in each joint. Neutral muscles are available to respond to our nervous system when it detects a shift in our skeletal alignment… activating muscles to keep us upright & moving in our desired direction.
Why is observing without judgement important?
Judgement of ourselves holds us in the past & propels us into the future.
To ensure your nervous system feels safe, it gives you physical messages that we can hear or feel. We undermine our nervous system, our innate intelligence or our intuition when we judge what we feel, and decide we know better.
When we stop judging any of our emotions, moods, pain, thoughts, looks, health, strength, flexibility, as good or bad, we have released judgment of ourselves, we have released judgment within us on principle, and this is what we now vibrate into the world.
This is relevant to our feet because, when we undermine what we feel, our nervous system is now at war thanks to our ability to choose based on thought, based on what we are told to believe, not what we feel (our intuition) and this sets off the sympathetic nervous system response, which activates fight/flight muscles to posture us into a position where our weight is out of alignment, readying us with the power of propulsion for speed & strength to get us out of this dangerous situation… which we may not actually need.
Repetition creates habits, so the more we judge & try to fix ourselves, the more our nervous system responds.
And we lose our dynamic integration with the earth, as we create more habits, more layers of subconscious muscle tension, which makes a few things constant
- Space between bones is restricted, pulling the joints out of alignment & holding them under pressure.
- Our body weight is now being carried by our muscles, which uses energy to carry ourselves around with force.
- Bones are no longer needed… and the body will respond to this by disintegrating them.
- Adrenal glands are constantly active, as are our feel good, or pain killing hormones.
- Digestive system is sluggish, and trying to work in the limited space between subconscious muscle tension.
- Circulation is limited, like a sponge held tight
- Autoimmune, bone degeneration, lymphatic issues… the list is any health issue that exists.
In our habits, we have a new normal.
Our nervous system has developed these patterns to keep us upright & moving, and every move we make perpetuates the tightening of our soft tissues, the draining of our adrenals, the restrictive loss of internal freedom, the imbalance of being physically ungrounded. Our body starts to break down under this pressure.
Changing our footwear is a must, but doing it in respect to where you are as a whole being, will help the transition be smoother, and faster. Unraveling from the inside out changes the shape of your feet, and choosing shoes that give your feet an environment they can change in is helpful.
Smoother & faster is the time it takes with awareness, this is not about doing it quicker.
So, when we make space for our body to unravel in safety, our nervous system state will change & our feet will open.
This is part of your unique, whole being adventure.
Which is why I don’t use correct toes, and why I don’t stretch or strengthen my feet.
Maia Movement is about release. Giving our weight back to our bones, so they can do their job, by refining our alignment with earth force & gravity, with our unique, complete & natural breath pulsing us… we rest completely on the earth, supported by the atmospheric weight… our nervous system able to respond by having all muscles available to twitch (activate & release) as needed.
Barefoot Minimal Zero Drop Shoes, they require us to move through our landscape with respect, we become responsible for taking care of ourselves. As we move within our space of emptiness, free of past energies or future expectations… our true potential is available…
Moving with respect to our range of motion is a whole body awareness.
Rushing into barefeet, or barefoot shoes, adding correct toes… doing all this pushing & pulling our toes apart, before our…
- lower back has released
- pelvis has settled back into alignment, and rests on our thigh bones
- shoulders open up & drop
- rib cage comes into alignment over our pelvis
- hamstrings lengthen
- and… we can feel our breath move each joint…
Well, using correct toes may push us further out of alignment, as our nervous system attempts to incorporate this external pressure, which changes how our out of alignment body is able to rest on the floor.
Foot health is a whole being adventure, and each of these areas of subconscious muscle tension are an adventure into your unique true potential.
There is no right & wrong… there is just awareness of what you are doing, and doings within your range of motion… that is dynamically integrated.
Being exists when you have stopped all the doing.