This article is part of a series discussing the biomechanical connections between the feet, ankles, knees and hips and how they all impact knee health.
What are your standing tendencies?
To find out how your feet affect your ankles, knees, hips and spine, the first thing to do is observe how you tend to stand.
Try the following exercises:
1. Begin by standing in a comfortable, relaxed stance. Then march on the spot several times. When you stop, as long as you don’t feel dizzy, close your eyes and observe how your feet feel.
- How has the weight landed in your feet?
- Is there more weight in your right foot or your left foot, or do the feet feel balanced?
- Is there more weight in you inner feet or outer feet? Front feet or back feet?
- Do your feet feel the same or different? For example, maybe you tend to lean more weight in the inner left foot and more weight on the outer right heel.
2. Next find a mirror where you can see your feet, knees and hips. Stand in front of it with bare feet and legs so they are easy to observe. Again, walk on the spot. Relax and let your feet land naturally on the floor. After several steps take a look in the mirror and see how your feet finally landed.
- What do you see? Take a moment to take in the big picture. Your feet and the rest of your legs. The right leg, the left leg. The inner sides and outer sides.
- Now look more closely at the feet, are they the same or different?
- Do you have more weight on your inner feet or outer feet, or do they look even?
- Observe further up your legs – do your ankles bow in or out? Or do they have a more balanced shape.
- Can you tell if the shins are turning in or out?
- Are your knee caps pointing straight forward or do one or both turn in to the midline or out to the side?
- Can you make out the position of your ankles, your knees, your hips, and even your pelvis? Comparing the two sides might be helpful in distinguishing what’s happening.
- Does what you see in the mirror correspond to what you felt in the first exercise?
3. Lastly, try taking a stroll around the room. Several laps of relaxed, easy walking should do. Stay aware and connected with what’s happening in your feet.
- Can you feel how each foot lands as you step?
- What about when the foot leaves the floor?
- Can you feel the natural pronation and supination that occurs with each step?
- Can you feel how the toes of each foot move?
- Can you trace how the movement at your feet reflects up to the other leg joints?
Whatever you feel and see – don’t be alarmed! Be curious instead. Any differences or seeming imbalances can have many reasons for being there. Try not to judge them, especially if they aren’t causing you any pain.
For more yoga articles, updates, classes and workshops, sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page or like on Facebook at Ann West :: Iyengar Yoga. You can contact me directly by email or call (858) 224-2484.
© 2017 by Ann West. All rights reserved.