Arches and Spirals: A workshop for developing pliable and strong feet (3-day online seminar)
with Edward Yu
You might have heard countless tips on how to relieve pain in your heels, soothe the aching in your metatarsal joints, raise your fallen arches, or otherwise develop less burdensome and more aesthetically pleasing feet. In general, the information given on this subject is quite reductionistic, meaning that important elements are viewed in isolation rather than as a whole. But the human body is not a machine, learning is not a mechanical process, and individual movement develops from a multitude of influences (culture, sensations, thoughts…).
In this workshop we will take a more holistic and functional approach to our feet, as they form a part of a larger system called the human organism. In the process we will not only make our arches stronger and more flexible, but do so in a manner that improves their ability to respond in synchronization with the myriad movements of the rest of our body.
We will explore some of the classic Feldenkrais lessons and integrate particular dance and martial arts movements. We will discover how the flexibility, strength and health of each foot are inextricably linked to how well its movements are coordinated with those of the rest of our body, regardless of the configuration.
Some of the Feldenkrais lessons that we will be working with require great flexibility in the joints, therefore, this workshop is not recommended for people who have outstanding knee, foot, or back injuries. Those who want to attend despite any injuries they happen to be dealing with will be responsible during the workshop for not only stopping and resting more frequently than their peers, but ceasing to perform any movement that incurs the slightest form of pain, strain, or overstretching.
Ideas & Concepts
Balance and locomotion depend crucially on the ability of each foot to adapt to the movements of the spine and vice versa. This is why the strength, flexibility, pliability, and resilience of either foot is strongly linked to the strength, flexibility, pliability, and resilience of our spine. Put another way: improving the functioning of either foot means both improving the ability of the spine to respond to the movements of the feet, while at the same time, improving the ability of each foot to respond to the movements of the spine.
- Photo of feet on the beach – © Lucas Sankey on Unsplash
- Photo of foot anatomy – © Henry Vandyke Carter, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons