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Tripod of the Feet

Many of us have foot imbalances. Genetics plays a large part in our foot structure.  So does environment– the shoes we wear, sports we play, injuries we may have had–can all have a lasting effect on how we activate the many muscles in the feet.

The soles of the feet are connected to EVERYTHING in the body.  Stretching and strengthening the feet can feel really nice in the moment.  It can help reduce stress and tension.  More than that– it can help with pelvic floor activation, posture, knee function and . . . everything!

The mechanics of it all can be really complex–feel free to hire a physical therapist if you want to do a deep dive.  For the purpose of taking Yoga, Pilates or Core Yoga classes, all you really need to know is–stretching and strengthening the feet can be really good for you.  

Connecting to the Tripod of the foot can help:

  • Create mindfulness–bringing our mind and energy to the here and now

  • Physically stabilize us during our exercises and yoga poses

  • Activate different muscle groups in the whole body, including pelvic floor

The Three Points of the Tripod of the foot are:  1)  The Big Toe Knuckle  2)  The Pinky Toe Knuckle  3)  The Center of the Heel.

If you have an imbalance in your feet, you may have a harder time connecting to the earth in the big toe knuckle, or the pinky toe knuckle.  The good news is, you can practice connecting those points, and get stronger and more supple.

Any time your feet are on the ground, you can bring your attention to these 3 points.  You don’t have to press hard.  Just imagine connecting to the earth.

In the case of a lunge, when one foot is forward–the tendency is for the big toe side to try to pop up.  You can stabilize the pose by focusing on that big toe knuckle connecting to earth.

For those of you who join my morning foot yoga–Notice that we massage the 3 arches!  

You may have heard yoga teachers talk about the FOUR corners of the foot–I may even say that from time to time, but I’ve moved away from that cue due to new understanding.  The idea is that the ankle might be more balanced if you visualize connecting to earth through the inner and outer heel.  Others insist that connecting to the 3 points of the foot has a better effect on the arches and pelvic floor.  I think anything that brings your attention to your feet and earth grounding is good.

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