Though most distant part of our bodies, they play an important part in our postural habits, and therefor also in our breathing patterns. Here is part my workshop for Pilates teachers, that is focused on working the feet.
While working with our clients, we often get so busy with the core, the back, and the limbs, that we forget to have a look at the feet. Yet how people carry themselves on the feet will be of significant influence on how they align the rest of their bodies, and vice versa. The placement of the pelvis on the legs, the lengthening of the central axis, the balancing of the head on the spine, it will all be reflected in the way we stand on our feet. A dropped arch in the foot can often be influenced by simply lengthening the central axis.
Raising the foot-awareness of the client can prove to make huge differences in how they carry themselves through life. When problems arise in the feet, we often see our clients come back from the podotherapist with new insoles, but without exercises.
How can we as pilates teachers encourage our clients to take off their socks, and get them interested in their feet?
Well, that is easy: let them experience the difference! Exercise with one foot first, and let them stand, walk, balance, and experience the difference.
While working with the feel the use of pops proofs to be very helpful. I have a range of different balls, thePilates foot corrector, toe corrector, elastic bands, and the Mini’s. Working with the Mini’s you have a playful tool, that will wake up the senses and increase the sensitivity towards stance and balance. Balance is very important for your clients, especially as they age. A poor balance can lead to many problems, and life-impacting injuries (a broken hip!). In every class there should be some balancing exercises. Also the client needs to take home the importance of good balancing skills, and add balancing moments in their every day life habits.
Good habit; start you workout with a (short) foot massage, loosening up the joints and muscles there.
The Mini’s can be useful for this, they are relatively cheap, and easy to carry!