Standing and Project 61: Ugly Alignment socks made from holey socks

Slide hips over heels

Feet root down and spine lifts up

Soft eyes, free belly.

 

I wrote a haiku on standing in December that was a little different than the one above. Earlier versions included “untuck your butt” or “stick out your butt”. My attention has been on standing, sitting, walking and moving in general. I’ve been reading and exploring biomechanics and alignment of the body. Some changes I’ve been exploring are very subtle, but the affects of the small adjustments and focus of awareness on the alignment of feet, legs, spine have been shifting the way I stand and walk as well as reducing the number of times my hip makes a snapping noise during yoga class. I have been reading some of Katy Bowman’s books and blog, Nutritious Movement and listening to her podcasts for a while now, and I like her style, her whole body approach, her sense of humour, her clarity and her disciplined good enough authenticity that shows in pictures and videos with real life going on in the background (nursing stains on t-shirts, a lived in looking house, kids running around) as she guides movement exercises or explains alignment.

One of my favourite things I learned was what she calls foot schmear.

Got Schmear? If you’ve got a lot of foot mass on the sides of your feet, it’s probably the what’s-supposed-to-be-the- bottom of your foot you’re looking at, schmeared via your gait pattern. The solution: Counter-schmear, of course. Which you can create through external rotation (hip strengthening) done with your feet on the ground.

It’s not a new idea to me that “flat feet” are changeable, but putting it into perspective of the whole body this one more time, has made it make sense for me. The connection between the floor, the foot, the ankle the shins the thigh rotation to the outer hips hit home for me. It makes the connection between cues like “lift the arches”, “roll the outer calves back”, “shins forward” and “compact the hips” all tie together. These external rotation actions balance the internal rotation action at the top of the thighs that takes the thighs back under the pelvis. Her book “Whole Body Barefoot” includes a program to help strengthen and prepare feet and legs on up to transition to minimalist footwear. Most of the foot exercises were familiar to me, like rolling on a tennis ball and interlacing fingers and toes. The alignment of the knee pits was a new way to look at things as well as the deceptively easy looking pelvic list (standing on one leg).

I was also inspired to try making some alignment socks – a passive way to stretch the muscles of the foot. I didn’t make these up. You can buy them, here, but I’m cheap frugal.

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BEFORE: socks ready for regroovenating
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Cut off the toe of the sock. Sew strips of another lone sock between the toes.
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The one on the left was the first prototype. The right one looks a bit better.
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AFTER: Really ugly alignment socks.

My daughter noticed me wearing these in the kitchen and with her eyes bugging out of her head, she said,”MOM, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Then she realized, “Oh, you’re just doing stuff for your toes. I thought you were doing some yoga fashion thing.” Only wear these around the house and not around the fashion sensitive. Listen to any messages from your body that you’ve had them on long enough.

June Written by:

4 Comments

  1. Karen
    February 26, 2016
    Reply

    Love these socks June!

    • June
      June
      February 26, 2016
      Reply

      LOL! That’s great, thanks Karen. Let me know if you try this out. Mostly I get, “What are you doing?” type response around home. But they’re mostly over it.

  2. March 5, 2016
    Reply

    Funny and for sure a win for me! I need them now though and not exactly handy with scissors and needles. Oh June , if we could all be more like you!

    • June
      June
      March 6, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks Kate. You could always use a sock, no cutting at all, or even handier, your fingers 🙂

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