Whole Foot

Whole Foot: Instead of leading with your heel, as you would in a normal walking motion, walk, step, or land on your whole foot. Sense your entire foot as the foundation of your body. Be aware of three points on the bottom of your foot–the center of your heel, the inner edge of the ball of your foot, and the outer edge of your foot. Sound the word melt or root to emphasize deep-rooted grounding. Imagine leaving an imprint of your foot in the sand. This is a great move for feeling grounded. Benefits: Practicing Whole Foot stimulates sensation in the foot and ankle, making it possible for you to move in agile and safe ways. (from The Nia Technique, Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas).

It is week 11 of my 52 week challenge, and the move of the week is Whole Foot. If you are playing along with me, incorporate Whole Foot into your daily routine. Explore the three planes of movement, high, middle, and low, and the three intensity levels using the Whole Foot move. Invite the five sensations of fitness, agility, stability, mobility, flexibility, and strength along for the ride. At the end of your week, reflect on your experiences with Whole Foot and journal or blog or report back about what you sense and experience.

Last week we were playing with Heel Lead. I consider this move to be THE basic Nia step; it is in every Nia routine and class that you might attend. It is the move that leads us forward. Because it is a move that I use all the time, I found it a challenge to stay present this week when I was Heel Leading around my house. It is such a familiar move (after all, it is a natural movement that you experience whenever you walk) that I found my attention drifting off to other things. I would consciously begin to play with Heel Lead and before I realized it, I would be thinking about something else in an entirely different room or space than I began in. With moves that I don’t enjoy as much or don’t feel as much mastery with, I bring much more awareness to my play. I failed to really play this week with Heel Lead.

The week was not a total bust however. When I was walking around without a plan to bring awareness to Heel Lead, I would often hear “heel, ball, toe” in my head. I enjoyed rolling my weight through my foot and sensing both agility and stability with each step. My ability to stay focused may have been challenged this week, but my ability to enjoy these sensations was not. I also feel like I gained valuable insight into my ability to bring awareness to movements that are so familiar, and I know exactly what I can work on in the coming weeks.

So, while my mind wandered, and I failed to play with Heel Lead, I feel like I did learn something. The point of this challenge is to grow and learn, so although I am annoyed with myself and my lack of concentration, I did glean some information that I can use in my Nia practice.


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