We first connect to the earth through our feet.
Our balance, sense of self, and our “groundedness” with the big ol’ Earth is usually first transmitted through our feet’s dainty arches. The more connected and rooted we are to the earth, the more stability and power we can access in our asana practice. Through activating and energizing three three arches of the feet (medial, lateral, and transverse), we begin to engage up through our legs into our core, which helps us find our center.
This week in class, we are taking this work in the feet up and into the hips. Ah, the hips. The energetic centers of chakra one and two (muladhara and svadisthana) are governed by primal, and mostly unconscious needs. Fear, survival, sex, creativity, emotion…..all these energies are housed in the first two chakras and dysfunction in these areas can manifest as physical resistance and blockages in the pelvis and legs. And when we start to open into the unexplored areas, we can often meet with sensitivity, claustrophobia, resistance, and unexpected emotion.
So we use the strength of the first chakra and its connection to great ol’ mama earth to give us the stability to root into these unexplored terrain. With sensitivity – but without hedging – we use the power of our feet and legs in our standing poses to open the hips in warrior II and parsvakonasana. We’ll use the strength our our quads and hamstrings to work the legs and make them more receptive to stretching in parsvotanasana and king arthur’s pose. We’ll complete our circuit by opening the hamstrings in paschimottanasana, the groin in baddha konasana, and the outer hips in double pigeon.
By using the feet to connect to the earth and draw this strength into our asana, we will create the stability that will let us open these areas safely. And so we clean out the first floor of energetic house, while getting some really awesome physical opening through our hips.