If today, you were to page through any random exercise, yoga, running, or physiotherapy magazine, you would stand a good chance of finding expert tips on how to relieve the 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. Yet if, hoping to actually improve the functioning of your feet, you were to follow the tips, you would likely be in for a disappointment. This is because rapid-fire information of this nature normally emerges from a reductionist paradigm that views the human body as a machine, learning as a mechanical “input-output” protocol, and individual movement as divorced from not only cultural influence, but the possibility of sensing, feeling, and even thinking on a deeper level.
In this workshop we will take a more holistic, functional, and therefore, categorically non-reductionist approach to our feet, viewing each one as part of a larger system called the human organism, and each organism as part of a larger system called society. 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 to as well as synchronize with the myriad movements of the rest of our body.
In addition to exploring some of the classic Feldenkrais “sitting on the heels” lessons that take us off our feet and onto the floor (whether in supine, side-lying, or kneeling), we will integrate particular dance and martial arts movements that bring us onto our feet and off the floor (whether crouched, as in Russian folk dance, or upright, as in judo and boxing). In the process, we will gently introduce new ranges of motion, integrate the new ranges into more coordinated patterns of movement, and in the process discover how the strength of each foot develops in relation to our (learned) ability to balance on top of it. We will, in short, discover how the flexibility, strength, and health of each foot is inextricably linked to how well its intrinsic movements are coordinated with those of the entire rest of our body, regardless of the configuration.
Because “sitting on the heels” lessons make greater demands on joint flexibility than ones normally taught to the public, 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—that is to say, despite the tenderness and vulnerability they may feel in any part(s) of their body—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 inextricably linked to the strength, flexibility, pliability, and resilience of one’s spine. And this is why improving the functioning of either foot is part and parcel of improving the movement of the spine. Put another way, improving the functioning of either foot means both improving the ability of the spine to respond to its movements, while at the same time, improving its ability to respond to the spine’s movements.
This webinar will take place live via the online conference software "Zoom". It includes lessons in Awareness through Movement (so-called "ATMs"). Please make sure that you have a mat or blanket available for the exercises when the class begins. A flat pillow (for example a towel) is also advisable, just make sure it is not too thick or too soft.
You can participate in the webinar using a computer, tablet or smartphone, your camera and microphone do not need to be turned on to participate.
Please register for the webinar by clicking the "REGISTER NOW" button.
Once you have paid the registration fee, you will receive a confirmation email with your personal link for attending the webinar. Please save this link and do not share it with others.
If you are using Zoom for the first time, you will be asked to install the Zoom software or app. This is advisable for a smooth running of the session. Please allow 10 to 15 minutes for the installation of the Zoom software/ app.
- Photo of feet on the beach – © Lucas Sankey on Unsplash
- Photo of foot anatomy – © Henry Vandyke Carter, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons